Reduce stress by paying attention to the present

At a time when all focus is on the future, it can be hard to pay attention to the present. This is especially true now, when thoughts are turned toward the future of politics, the world, its environment and the future of ours and our fellow students’ educational careers. It is difficult to stop thinking of what is to come for a little while, and enjoy what is here.

What often happens is, while directed towards a goal, the importance of “the now” is pushed aside. Take, for example, the rush for college. As a student, from the moment I started receiving letter grades, my thoughts were turned towards getting into college. Now, in my second semester of senior year, I realize just how fast the years have gone by. I spent so much time trying to reach for the milestone mark of going to college that my past years of schooling passed in a blink of an eye, so to speak.

Now, that day is closer than ever, and I am ready, but also surprised at how much of a rush I have always been in. Recently, I was tired and recognized that my run can safely be a walk. I make good grades and make sure not to stress myself out. I now spend more time thinking and observing. This, I think, has kept me more rooted in the present than I ever have been.

The purpose of this article is to remind everyone to relax, find their pace and appreciate the smaller things in life.

Wake up early one morning, spend the morning as you desire, eat a balanced breakfast and watch the sunrise. Watch the sun lick hungrily over the tree tops as it crawls its way into the sky. Smile as the sunlight warms your skin and know that you are prepared for the day.

A lot of what we worry about is mental. Don’t stress over things that will not matter; know you will do well and it will be so.

Once such a mindset is adopted, a happier and healthier lifestyle will emerge; one in which the pressure to do well is there, but stress never becomes an issue. Stress is actually one of the leading causes of sleep disorders. By cutting this out of one’s life, they will be better rested and much happier.

Besides the reduction of stress, paying attention to the present is essential for noticing and appreciating the smaller details of day to day life that are normally not recognized. By slowing down and being more observant to these aspects of life, we see more, remember more and get more out of our time on earth.

Everybody has their own comfort zone; find where you want to be and be there. When one stays in the present and keeps an open eye to what is around them, they will reduce stress and truly appreciate the world they live in.