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Living in the present

Of course we live in the present. The question is – are we truly, fully experiencing life as it happens? If not, we could be missing out on an important source of peace and happiness.

Most of us have wandering minds, trudging over past events or shaping concerns about what could happen in the future. In fact, regardless of what we are doing, our minds are likely to be somewhere else much of the time. And this sort of distraction, research has found, makes us unhappy.

Constantly thinking over worries or trying to block them out can actually strengthen negative thoughts. Mindfulness is the process of living in the present, from moment to moment. Instead of suppressing or avoiding thoughts, they are simply observed without judgement, before returning to the present.

Mindfulness can improve the ability to deal with stress, increase relaxation and boost self-esteem. Although it requires practice, mindfulness techniques can be used regularly throughout the day. For people with osteoarthritis, having fun and enjoying life can play a positive role in overall management.

Tips for living in the present:

  • Train your mind to focus on the current activity
  • Engage in, and feel what you are doing
  • Enjoy the process
  • Take notice of your surroundings – sights, sounds, smells, ambience
  • Listen attentively to the conversation of others, music, even silence
  • Acknowledge any intrusive thoughts or emotions and let them float away.

Life unfolds in the present so make sure you make the most of it.