Finding Joy in the Journey: Tips for Embracing the Present Moment
When you’re going through a period of transition, it can be hard to find the joy in your situation.
Whether it's leaving a career, experiencing an empty nest, grieving the loss of a person or relationship, or something else that has completely thrown you into a tailspin, transitions are painful. Instead of just focusing on "the next step" or "I'll be happy when ____," it's important to embrace the present moment and find joy where you are.
Here are some tips to ensure that you can get to a place of enjoying where you are today.
Change can often be spurred on by a toxic relationship or situation. It is human nature to have resentment when you feel you have been wronged. When you ruminate on these past experiences, it can lead to despair in the present.
Forgiveness almost always benefits the person forgiving more than the person being forgiven. (Notice, I didn’t say to also forget. When someone has truly wronged you, it is important to use this experience to establish healthy boundaries.) But moving beyond the past by offering forgiveness will allow you to release those negative emotions so that you can focus on today’s opportunities.
Living in the present means practicing contentment and recognizing all the gifts you have been given and earned. Far too often in our society, “having more” and “doing more” equates to success. By shutting out those voices that demand more, more more, you can focus on all the beauty that is already around you. What brings you happiness without having to do, buy, or BE more?
It is also important to practice awe when we become accustomed to the mundane. When was the last time you watched a gorgeous sunrise? Listened to the laughter of happy children at play? Reflected on how far you’ve come? Felt the blessing of people who love you? Marveled at the amazing work your body does for you every day?
There are so many blessings around us that we often take for granted! Summer is a great time to be intentional about how you spend your time and energy. Intentionally recognizing things that we often overlook for inspiration can lead to more joy in the present moment.
Listen To Your Body
Forbes, as well as many other sources, will tell you that there is a direct link between increased exercise and a decrease in anxiety and depression. Moving your body can positively move your mind forward, as well!
Practicing mindful breathing is another way to embrace the present. It helps you to check in with your emotions, allowing thought that focuses on acknowledgment and acceptance of feelings.
Consuming healthy and nutrient-rich foods and drinks can also improve your ability to feel joy.
Remember: Change is Hard for Everyone
Transitions can often lead to a grieving process, just as one experiences the death of someone we have loved. Accepting and acknowledging these emotions as a perfectly human response will allow you to move through them and get to the place where you can enjoy the present again!
If you need more support on this journey, check out these resources: