Learn to Measure Happiness in Moments

September 29, 2019
Everyone feels the pressure of the future and the weight of the past to some extent. However, the reality is that the only thing within your reach is the here and now. If you only focus on what was or what will be, you'll suffer. In this article, learn to measure happiness in moments and enjoy the present.

Being and living in the present has incredible benefits. Although measuring happiness in moments is a great philosophy, actually doing it is challenging. I see the struggle in my patients, whose lives revolve around their anxiety or sadness. But I also see it in many common habits. Have you noticed it as well?

You feel nostalgic about the past, those moments when you laughed so hard your stomach hurt or the ones you wished would last forever. In an attempt to recreate those moments, you make a thousand plans for tomorrow, hoping they’ll be perfect and unique. This requires a lot of work and preparation. So that’s how you spend your time, remembering and imagining, lost in the memories of things that already happened.

A sad woman with her hand on the window.

Anxiety about the past

Everyone thinks about their past, as it’s a very normal thing. You’re human, and your memories are part of what defines youAs you move through life, it’s tempting to go back to the past if you don’t feel great about your present. It’s easy to cling on to good moments (that are now good memories) as if they were your greatest treasure.

The problem arises when your desire to stay in the past gets in the way of your personal growth. That kind of behavior can affect your mental health, especially if it becomes obsessive.

In this regard, some memories can make you feel awful. These past moments still cause you a lot of sadness and make you feel guilty, especially if you don’t know how to deal with them in a healthy way.

The uncertainty of a future that you have yet to build

Everyone worries about the future. We’re sure you’ve experienced moments when your thoughts raced and you couldn’t stop thinking about the future. This habit is very common in modern society and in many people’s lifestyles. It forces your mind to stay in a state of high alert and use up its resources.

Although the future can be scary, that fear comes from imagining all the terrible things that could happen. This is a strategy that humans, as a species, have used to survive. It fails, however, you aren’t able to develop a certain tolerance for uncertainty or to use anticipation to develop strategies to prevent anxiety.

“Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.”

-Albert Camus-

Measuring happiness in moments

The only reality you can change with your behavior is the one happening right now. This is where life happens, whatever’s going on as you read these lines. All you can do is enjoy each moment you get to experience. At the end of the day, life is made up of those small moments.

When you revisit the past or think about the future, the important thing is to be able to objectively recognize why you’re doing it. You have to learn to separate your emotions from situations and be able to identify new paths so you can move forward. One of the keys to making that happen is to place yourself firmly in the present and look for happiness in every single moment.

Of course, this is much easier said than done. However, you can adopt this habit with practice. The first step is to embrace the idea that there’s nothing wrong with change. Accept that life is synonymous with change and evolution and the present moment is where life happens.

A woman measuring happiness in moments.

The author and expert on leadership and management, Francisco Alcaide, offered clear tips on how you can manage your emotions and take control of your life:

  • Look back on the past with gratitude.
  • Enjoy the present with enthusiasm.
  • Build the future with hope.

Enjoy the moment

As you go through your day-to-day life, you sometimes need to stop and redirect your focus. Try to stop rushing and turn off your negative internal dialogue. Only then will you be able to live in the present moment and truly enjoy it.

Practicing mindfulness helps, as it’s a technique that helps you be fully aware of the present moment. It gives you the peace you need to respond, not just react, to the things that happen to you.

All you have to do is stop and think about the moments that make up your life. If you pay attention, your fondest memories are often of things that happened serendipitously. Although you weren’t looking for them, they happened while you were living in the present.