Thu12132018

Last updateMon, 10 Dec 2018 4pm

Opinion

Present Sense

default article imageGrowing up as the youngest of five prevented me from ever being a big sister. With that being said, I never really had the opportunity to watch a child grow or become exposed to things for the first time. Luckily, I have been blessed with three nieces and a nephew, all of them under the age of ten. This has given me a new perspective on life. All four of them experience each moment fully. There is no worrying about the future or contemplating the past because they are so young and innocent.

As we grow up and experience both positive and negative situations, we begin to lose some of our innocence. Things aren’t as exciting and gratitude for the little things in life may lessen; completely normal. But, it’s important to realize that if we completely lose touch with the present moment, then we can completely lose touch with ourselves and what makes us feel happy.

At our age, the past and the future is what consumes most of our thoughts. Whether it was your freshman year that ruined your GPA or your worries about what homework is due next week, we are constantly looking for the answers to the never ending “what if’s” that our mind tortures us with. It doesn’t help that our phones have become an extension of ourselves and most of us can’t even go through a class period without looking at what is going on somewhere else, myself included.

But what we don’t realize is that what we are doing is escaping the present moment. We’ve allowed ourselves to ruminate in our own minds over things that we cannot control. Unlike children, we have created an intangible world with our thoughts and experiences which can create anxiety and stress. According to Garden of Life, the percentage of millennials diagnosed with anxiety has doubled from the baby boomer generation. I feel a large portion of this is due to our inability to stay grounded and present.

People who understand what it’s like to keep replaying the past will most likely be able to understand worrying about the future. This is usually a fear based thought system. Everything originates from, “what if this happens,” or “I can’t do that because this may happen.” It’s understandable. We all want the best for ourselves and we are willing to try and control anything in our power to avoid any negative situations. The problem here is that it is irrational to consistently think this way. We cannot control the unknown but we can put uncertainty to rest by trusting that the universe has a plan for us.

Learning how to stay present is the key to a happy and healthy mind. Presence is the balance between the past and the future. It’s the grey area that a lot of Americans don’t understand. It is the idea that everything we need is right here and now.

One of my favorite quotes comes from a book titled, The Power of Now written by Eckhart Tolle. Tolle states, “The present moment holds the key to liberation.” Although this is a simple statement, it has a lot of depth to it. If we are constantly thinking about what happened in the past or putting most of our attention on what can happen in the future, we are living in jail. We are not allowing our minds to be free of constant concern and worry.

Do me a favor and try to make a conscious effort to eliminate thoughts of the past that no longer serve you and to prevent yourself from predicting the future when it is uncontrollable. Try and revert back to your childish ways, embrace that sense of innocence and excitement over seeing and experiencing things as if it were the first time. Find joy in the silly things, get off your phone, and start living your best life here and now.

Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu