“The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness.” ~Abraham Maslow
It was 4:00am, but I was wide awake. I wanted to be a great achiever, a great partner, and a great parent. Instead, I had turned into an irritable insomniac who no longer knew how to relax.
I was trying to do everything perfectly and be everything to everyone. Demands kept piling up. This made it tough to focus on the present moment.
A wandering mind is less happy than a mind focused on what it is doing, according to scientific research. For most people, a wandering mind dominates about half of the time spent awake. That encourages over-thinking, anxiety, and other emotional distress, while limiting the quality of work and play.
At the time, I didn’t realize how focusing on many different things at once limited my ability to be fully present in my relationships. I also didn’t realize just how crucial relationships are to happiness.
The Harvard Study of Adult Development tracked people for seventy-five years. People who thrived weren’t those who gained wealth and fame, but those who nurtured great relationships with family, friends, and community.
What’s the key to nurturing great relationships? Presence. Love flourishes in an atmosphere of kindness, patience, forgiv…