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Living in the Moment - Serenity

Living in the Moment - Serenity

Place your palms together tightly with your hands pointing in a vertical position. This is a universal symbol for prayer or spirituality. Pretend that between your palms is this very moment - today. To the left is your past and to the right is your future. Sometimes people focus on the past, especially on the problems they have had and, over time, this can develop into a depression. Those who focus on the future and are worried about the pitfalls that it might hold, can develop
anxiety.

Recently I heard a speaker state that the most difficult task in the world is to sustain focus. There are so many things to distract us from peace and rest. The arrival of invoicing for what now seems a frivolous purchase, meetings with relatives or reminders of how things "used to be" can plunge us into a pool of somewhat overwhelming emotions. A new diagnosis, thoughts of planning for retirement or developing a new relationship, on the other hand, can lead to sleepless nights of worry over things that haven't even happened yet.

Our mind and body need times of rest and refreshment. Imagine leaving a light on for 24 hours a day. Over time it becomes extremely hot and eventually burns out. If we don't have breaks the same thing happens to us.

I frequently recommend that individuals begin a list called "100 Things that bring me Pleasure". At first, they are usually quite shocked by my suggestion and state that they couldn't think of more than four or five. Some are less than that. This tells me something. When a person doesn't know what brings pleasure they are in trouble!

I coach them to NOT put things on the list if they involve other people. That makes the homework even more demanding. It doesn't matter how long it takes to write the list. In fact, it may take a lifetime. The important thing is to know what bring your pleasure.

After a week or so of working on the list, I challenge the client to begin doing these things. It might be only one item a day to begin. Almost immediately, things change! There is something to look forward to, something to enjoy and also something great for the memory bank. This week my challenge to you is to start your list of "100 Things that Bring Pleasure" and remember to live in the moment.

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About the Author

Dr. Hancock has written a regular weekly column entitled “All Psyched Up” for newspapers in two Canadian provinces for more than a dozen years...