By Ben Turshen.
Are you missing it? Missing what? What's happening right here, right now.
An ongoing Havard University study found that participants spent 46.9 percent of their time awake thinking about something other than what they are doing and this mind-wandering experience typically made them unhappy. Why?
When our mind is somewhere else we are suffering. Even if we are thinking back upon our very best day we are not nearly as happy as when we were there experiencing it in realtime. That makes us suffer. And if we are thinking ahead, guessing, speculating, worrying about what the future may bring then we are really suffering because our level of accuracy in predicting the future is almost non-existent (how much of what happened in your life in the last year did you predict with any accuracy?).
So what can we do to be more present? Trying to be present does not help. When we are trying to be present we are not actually present, we are trying. Present moment awareness happens spontaneously (without trying). The best way to increase our ability to attend to the here and now is by decreasing our stress.
When we practice Vedic Meditation our body's chemical makeup is the exact opposite of when we feel overwhelmed and stressed. We have an influx of bliss chemistry (serotonin, dopamine, anandamide, oxytocin, beta-endorphin) and a decrease in stress chemistry (adrenaline, cortisol, lactic acid). Getting dosed with bliss chemistry regularly decreases our accumulated stress and makes us more resilient. We find ourselves happier and more aware and attentive to what is happening in our lives as it happens.
Being unhappy 50% of the time is unacceptable. The sooner we do something about it, the better.