Gary Barnes

How To Be Fully Present In Every Moment

From the time we are in school, we are taught to prepare for the future. But now as an adult, I get a lot of anxiety thinking about the future. I’ve spent so much time dreaming about it that I forget to appreciate my life in the present. 

Do you dislike when you’re spending time with someone and they pay more attention to their phone than they do you? It’s one of my pet peeves. Thus, I’ve made it a point to spend less time on my phone this year. 

By spending less time on my phone, it’s allowed me to see more of the beauty in the world. I’ve seen more sunrises and sunsets, quirky dogs sitting in cars, and peaceful places to sit and meditate. I’ve also been able to have more conversations with the people around me. 

I feel like we ignore each other too much. We prefer our relationships to be virtual, as it’s an easier interaction. There is an unlimited amount of gratification our phones give us, but connecting with another human being in person is a singular and beautiful experience that should not be taken for granted. It’s no wonder we often feel disconnected from each other. 

If you’re addicted to your phone, start by putting it down just for a few moments. When you’re in line at a restaurant or at the supermarket, observe who and what is around you. Compliment somebody. See if someone is having a hard time and ask them if they are okay. Just one act of kindness can change somebody’s life. 

When you take a walk or a car/train/bus ride, count how many kinds of trees or flowers you can see. What type of clouds are in the sky? What sounds do you hear? Are there birds singing? Are there children laughing? Try to notice these things. 

I love to think about the future; it’s fun to imagine and plan. But it’s not okay to obsess about the future so much it stresses you out and you’re afraid to climb out of bed. If this happens to you and you have an anxiety attack like I do sometimes, just acknowledge the attack is happening. Be fully present. Before you know it, the anxiety will be gone and you can take the next step forward.