Sometimes, you resist going with the flow. This can be for many reasons. One of them might be the rhythm with which your days go by. Indeed, they can often be frenetic, incessant, and quite chaotic.
For this reason, it’s healthy to take some time to reflect. Stop for a few seconds and ask yourself about certain magical aspects of your everyday life. The kinds that make you feel warm inside. Those daily situations in which you strengthen your connection with life.
“Life happens in the river, not the shore.”
The art of connecting with life
Does your life path run in a straight line or does it have curves? Sometimes, you can forget that today, the present moment, is life. That’s when you find yourself saying things like “I remember when I was young…”. This is a waste of your time.
We started this section by asking you a question. We did it because, you often go through your daily life with a predefined objective (for example, work). However, almost without realizing it, you find yourself at the end of the day. On looking back, you feel surprised at how quickly the day went by.
When you look back over how your day was, you might come to the conclusion that nothing remarkable happened. But, are you sure?
For instance, perhaps certain things happened to you during the day to which you were unreceptive. By overlooking what life offers you, you’re depriving yourself of the factors that make you make contact with it. They can be a smile, a hug, having a coffee, or the simple effect of feeling the breeze on your skin.
You can choose to go through your life with blinkers or without them. If you wear blinkers, you’re only able to look forward. In effect, you’re unable to admire the landscape. Your path looks straight and boring, instead of being curved and full of beautiful views.
“Happiness is a butterfly which, when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight on you.”
Strengthen your connection with life
There are countless ways to strengthen your connection with life. The mindfulness philosophy can be useful in connecting with those moments that give you energy and make you feel alive. So, if you believe that time is moving too fast and feel short of breath, use some of these techniques to increase your receptivity to the joys of living.
However, you might confuse awareness of being in the here and now with emptying your mind. This is a misconception. In fact, mindfulness is a vital philosophy. It’s a way of life. A way of learning from life. It allows you to increase your awareness about what you’re doing, with the aim of strengthening your connection with life. In effect, it makes you more receptive to what’s happening in the present moment.
With mindfulness, loving-kindness, and self-compassion, we can begin to let go of our expectations about how life and those we love should be.”
Mindfulness: Learning to focus on the here and now
Going through your life with your mind fully focused on what you’re doing, in addition to preventing anxious and depressive symptoms, changes the way you relate to your surroundings. The seconds, minutes, and hours of your life cease to be ’empty’. In fact, with practice, you’ll find they gradually acquire vigorous energy.
Introspection to help you strengthen your connection with life
You might think that meditating is a waste of time. However, it’s a mindfulness procedure that enables you to reach a state of relaxation. For example, try focusing for two minutes solely on your breathing (Shapiro, 2006).
Don’t worry if your attention escapes your control. This is normal. After all, the fact of focusing on your breathing can cause certain thoughts and emotions to emerge that have little to do with your observations.
When this happens, simply bring your attention back to the air filling your lungs and the rhythmic movement of your ribcage. Observe your thoughts, without going into the details of whether they’re ‘good’ or ‘bad’ or if they ‘should or shouldn’t be in your mind’.
“Mindfulness is a pause – the space between stimulus and response: that’s where choice lies.”
A matter of perception
Observe your body. How do you feel? Stuck or relaxed? How does it feel if you focus on the big toe of your right foot? Do you feel it in contact with your shoe? Focus on that feeling. Gradually, go through other points of your anatomy. Get in touch with the sensations they make you feel, without valuing them. Without judging them.
When you walk, do you feel the contact of the sole of your foot against the pavement? A good way of ‘getting in touch with life’ is to increase your awareness of the sensations and perceptions that you experience throughout the day. Look at the trees, the people, the sky. What do you see? What do they transmit to you?
Observing what surrounds you can provide you with extraordinarily positive emotions. Indeed, the environment is full of colors and vibrant sounds. The sun has the potential to caress your skin and provide you with a little heat, even on the coldest days. Have you ever stopped to reflect on these aspects? They’re only little things, but they have the potential to make you feel better and comfort you on a daily basis.
“Plunge boldly into the thick of life and seize it where you will. Life is always interesting.”
Gratitude is a faithful and loyal friend. Indeed, you can trust in the fact that practicing gratitude will potentially bring you intense feelings of positive valence. The ability to give thanks for what you have is the “ability to perceive and recognize certain things that have benefited us at some point in our days” (Cerdan et al., 2022).
Developing this capacity through the things that others do for you or the things that life offers you (for example, the chirping of a bird or the sound of the wind between the buildings in the city) increases your perception of the positive aspects of your life (Seligman, 2011). Furthermore, it improves your ability to connect because you give meaning to the events you experience.
As you can see, there are many ways in which you can strengthen your connection with life. That said, it can often be difficult for you to pay attention to the situations, colors, people, and sounds around you. However, you can make use of mindfulness. Through its processes of meditation, observation, and gratitude, it’ll help you stop and enjoy your life. To love and feel alive.
“Be thankful for what you have and you will end up having more.”
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