How do you deal with that concept, so often used by children, of continually asking “Are we there yet?” Rather than constantly thinking of our destination, it’s more constructive for us to focus on the present moment. The big question is: “How do we do this?”
If we can be more present, stay in the moment, it will help us mentally. There are so many things for which we need patience. While it’s human to be impatient, doing so doesn’t help. We use techniques in our hikes that have helped in the past and we continue to use in our walks to develop that “present moment” strategy. These are as follows:
- Taking breaths. The mere act of taking bigger breaths, also the counting of the breaths, can help you return to the state of being present. Take a moment and breathe fully and consciously. This revitalises your energy and brings your mind into a clearer focus.
- Engage your mind. Do an activity that will help bring your mind fully into the present and gives you a boost of energy at the same time. One example, when you’re hiking or even in a car, is to sing a song! The repetitive nature of the song is like a metronome that hooks you into the present moment. It feeds the spirit so you can continue.
- Use the journey/hike to learn something. Such as memorising a poem. Instead of just being on electronics in a long car trip, practise learning lines of a play. Create a story!
All of these are productive and lovely ways to engage our brains and focus them in the present moment.
Also, try to negotiate with yourself if you’re on a big project. For example, say you’ll sit down and have a snack in ten minutes. Break down (say a hike) into parts. Give yourself and your kids a reward. Treat yourself to get yourself out of the moment where you are being dragged down.
Use these mind tools where you have any project where there is a quality of endurance.