Natalie’s Happiness Hack #3: Living in the Moment

Natalie’s Happiness Hack #3: Living in the Moment

In celebration of “National Admit You’re Happy” month, Profile’s Senior Learning and Development Specialist Natalie Papini is here to dish out well-being and happiness tips ALL. MONTH. LONG. Natalie already has her Master’s in clinical health psychology and is now hitting the books for her PhD. (In other words, she is one smart cookie when it comes to behavior change.)

How often do you stop to smell the roses? When was the last time you paused to take a moment in as it was unfolding? Your answer to those questions was probably “rarely, if ever,” and you’re not alone. We live in a world where multitasking is an expectation and mindlessly bouncing from one activity to the next is the norm. “Stop and smell the roses” may be cliché, but I’m going to explain its importance and how you can do so.

Missionary Jim Elliot was quoted saying, “Where you are, be there.” This simple statement is the essence of mindfulness—or present moment awareness—free of judgment. One way you can live a happier, more fulfilling life is to be intentionally present in your day-to-day activities. The act of being present can be challenging because the human brain’s default mode is to wander. In fact, one study suggests the human mind wanders roughly 47% of the time. This study also found that people reported lower levels of happiness when their mind wandered during various activities versus when they reported present moment awareness. 

How you can start living in the moment

Meditation is an activity you can do to stop mind-wandering and boost your happiness level. In one study, 139 adults were randomly assigned to a loving-kindness experimental group. The participants of this group completed six 1-hour group sessions over six weeks. They were also encouraged to practice loving-kindness meditation at home for at least 5 days per week with guided recording. Results showed that those who practiced the meditation had an increase in daily positive emotions. This led to higher levels of mindfulness, purpose in life, social support and decreased illness symptoms. If you would like to practice loving-kindness meditation, click here. I highly recommend this guided meditation!

If you missed my first two blogs on efforts you can take to boost your happiness, you can find them here:

Remember: Your Profile Coach would love to be a part of your support systems and cares about your well-being! Share with them what habits you are working on adapting. Not a Profile member? Click here to set up a FREE one-on-one, no-obligation consultation with a certified coach at your nearest Profile location.

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References:

Fredrickson et al. (2008). Open hearts build lives: positive emotions, induced through loving-kindness meditation, build consequential personal resources. Journal of personality and social psychology, 95(5), 1045-1062.

Killingsworth & Gilbert (2010). A wandering mind is an unhappy mind. Science, 330(6006), 932–932.

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