Scientists suggest that you train your brain to enter each experience as though it were your last time; because the impact that this mental trick has on your overall health is remarkable.
The data showed that participants' overall satisfaction and happiness increased, and their cortisol levels (stress hormone) decreased.
At first, when I read this, I thought I would be a bawling buffoon if I went into each moment thinking it was my last. And I scoffed at the data and concluded that I would drill myself into depression and went on to the following article.
But then, the next day, the idea floated back into my head, and I decided to try it out for myself.
What I Discovered When I Lived Each Moment Like It Was My Last:
- Household chores were enjoyable. Typically when I do the dishes or laundry, I'm thinking of other things; I'm not thinking about the dinner we had as a family, the moments we shared, or the shopping trip we went on to get the clothes I'm hanging up. But having this frame of mind, I enjoyed the warm water and rinsing off the plates. I took time carefully hanging each shirt, and guess what? I enjoyed doing the daily annoyances that we all dread.
- The bedtime routine was more memorable. Now that our kids are older, they are pretty self-sufficient. They brush their teeth, hug us and head up to bed. Instead of having them go straight up, I took the opportunity to snuggle. They are busier now with friends and don't hang out with me as much, and I miss the days we would sit on the couch and cuddle. I decided to take full advantage of the fact that they never want to go to bed, snuggled in our bed, and connected.
- I magically had more patience. I struggle with patience, and candle-making has helped me a lot in that area; however, I still fight the urge to rush through things. Sometimes a certain family member can be long-winded, and my mind can wander while they chat. However, this trick allowed my brain to stay fully engaged and enjoy every word that rolled off his little tongue.
- Food had more flavor. I tend to eat quickly and move on. But going into my meals with the idea that this could be my last bagel, my last salad, my last chicken parmesan, I slowed down, truly enjoyed it, and ate less.
My Experiment Didn't Make Me Depressed
As you can tell, it had the opposite effect; I was appreciative of everything. I enjoyed my time, the chores, my family, and the food to the fullest, and I felt happy and content.
How To Stay In The Present Moment (longer)
I know it's hard to stay in the present moment. With so much on your to-do lists, dings constantly ringing from your phones, it's a true challenge. AND I have an easy hack to help.
Use your five senses to stay grounded in the moment.
What do I see, hear, taste, smell, and feel? It's that easy. The science behind this hack is that you can't be in the present moment and think about about something else at the same time. These processes take place in different areas of your brain and both can't occur at the same time.
That means if you focus on the color of your husband's green shirt, you can't be worrying about what an email you forgot to send.
Here's My Challenge For You
Take one day and choose to go into each moment, believing it's your last time experiencing whatever it is. I guarantee you will love your days more and enjoy your life to the absolute fullest.