Where You Focus Affects Your Well-Being

The results of my recent LinkedIn poll are in! You voted that you spend 46% of your time each day living in the present. This number is very close to research statistics that I quote in my Well-being webinars that found we only spend 47% of our day living in the present.

How does where you spend your time affect your well-being?

When we spend time future tripping—worrying about and projecting what our future will look like, and not living in the present—we are likely to feel anxious. Similarly, when we spend time living in the past—rehashing what we could’ve done differently—we are likely to feel depressed. Living in the future or past detracts from our experience in the present.

It is completely normal for our mind to default to focusing on the past and future. But, if we refocus our mind on the now, we will see all that is there, including the things that are going right in this moment.

Our mind is wired to keep us safe, not make us happy! Only by increasing the amount of time we spend in the present each day will we be able to increase the amount of joy we feel.

Let me give you an example: When was the last time you were in flow? This is the experience of being so fully immersed in a project or activity, be it creating something or solving a problem, that you lost track of time. How satisfying and fulfilling did that feel? This can only happen in the present.

Yes, we are still deep into another wave of the pandemic, something we don’t have a lot of control over. But we do have more control than we think over where we focus our attention each day, and the present is where we have the greatest opportunity for happiness. Where do you choose to be today?

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