While travelling through America I spent a day at Disneyland in California. It was my first visit to any of the Disney parks and I was of course blown away by the sheer grandeur and variety of activities on offer. I did as much as I could in the time available and had an absolute ball!
What took me most by surprise, however, was the fact that there were more adults than children at Disneyland. It was like a giant playground for adults – with everybody laughing, racing around and getting involved. I had never before experienced such activity and so much energy expended by so many adults in one place.
The lesson I learned is that at heart we are a playful species and play is just as important to our wellbeing as good nutrition; as George Bernard Shaw said: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
In our hectic, modern lifestyles, most of us focus so heavily on work and family commitments that we never seem to have time for pure fun. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we stopped playing. Even when we do make time for leisure, we're more likely to sit in front of the TV or computer than engage in fun, rejuvenating play like we did as children. But the reality is that we don’t have to take ourselves so seriously just because we’re adults. By giving ourselves permission to play with the joyful abandon of childhood, we will reap a variety of health benefits throughout life.
Most people believe that the biggest constraint on their productivity, is the amount of time that they have. In most cases, this is not true.
Of course, you probably have had days when you went from one thing to the next without even stopping to eat, and felt like you had accomplished so much by the end of it. But you will also have noticed that you felt like you were spinning and that this was followed by a slump – a drop in energy. We cannot keep going in this mode for too long without it leading to loss of energy and burnout.
The concept of ‘living in the now’ or ‘being in the present’ has its roots in Eastern philosophies, but has gained popularity in mainstream western thinking in recent years because of the writings of people such as Eckhart Tolle, Jon Kabat-zinn and many others.
The increasing popularity of the concept – also referred to as ‘mindfulness’ – has quickly promoted its status from an esoteric concept to an abundantly used ‘power-phrase’ in the area of ‘self-help’. Many people are still confused by the concept and don’t fully understand it. So what does ‘living in the now’ actually mean and why and how should introduce it into our lives?
Article as it appeared in Bona magazine. By Keletso Modisakeng
“The secret of health for both mind and body, is not to mourn for the past or worry about the future, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” – Buddha
We often worry about things yet to come, past mistakes we wish we could change, and time we wasted and will never get back. One needs to live in the now, focus on the present, and stop worrying about things out of your control. These things are major contributors to stress-related illnesses and can have a negative effect on your mental, emotional and physical health.