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'Being' on a holiday every day

30 January 2017
by Allegra Consulting

How often as humans do we ever feel content, happy, and fulfilled with what we currently have in our lives? Or are we more likely to feel we are on a continuous journey pursuing more health, wealth, happiness, and fulfilment? It seems funny that once we arrive at our destination, we continue to seek even more of what we are chasing. For instance, once we achieve our health goals, we set new ones to challenge ourselves even further. Once we experience that euphoric feeling of happiness, we start to look for different and exciting ways to ensure we continue this high. We tend to get so swept up in the happenings of our daily lives and focusing on what our futures should look like that we have become more like human ‘doings’ as opposed to human ‘beings’. 

Our perception of being so pressed for time, contemplating how we are going to fit everything into our busy schedules, means that we will do anything to gain a few seconds – literally anything. How many times have you run a red light so you will arrive at your destination on time? When have you walked the crossing on a red man because you were late for work? When in conversation have you ever mentally made a list in your head of what you are going to cook for dinner that night instead of focusing on the conversation?

These types of behaviours and thinking remove us from the present moment to achieve a future state, and can be detrimental to our health and wellbeing if it becomes our only focus. Feelings of stress and anxiety about the time pressures we have, having constant access to the latest gadgets and gizmos of our technological advanced world, the incessant rushing we can get caught up in, and our primary focus of achieving goals to feel complete, has taken away from our state of ‘being’ – being content in the here and now – and grateful for everything that we have at this very moment.  

It can sometimes seem we can never win – always being reminded to slow down and enjoy life before it gets away from us - whilst also achieving our goals and being the best Mum, Dad, Brother, Sister, Friend, Entrepreneur, Yogi we can be. This is why you need to savour the best experiences you have endured, and apply them to what you do.

So……what are some of your best experiences? Holidays of course!  

When on holidays, the rushing around, the never-ending to-do list, the future thinking about what you need to achieve, is often obsolete. Think about the feelings you get when taking part in your holiday activities - lazing on the sunbeds; participating in water sports; shopping; eating the local cuisine – all experiences where our senses are immersed in the present moment - engaged in the here and now. How happy and fulfilled does this make us feel? How content are you when only 'being' in your present holiday? We take notice of the smells, tastes, and beautiful scenery that engulfs us – we don’t take it for granted and we are extremely grateful for the experiences we are being exposed to. Yes we are on holidays – often in a different city or country and tropical paradise, and our lives back home include work, family commitments, managing finances, and the juggle of our goals, but what would it be like if we were to take the experiences of just ‘being’ – the way we are on holidays, back to our everyday happenings?

It isn’t rocket science and doesn’t have to be complex, but there are simple things you can do throughout your day that may have you feeling more grateful, happy, healthy, and fulfilled than you ever thought before (there is neuroscience to prove this – we will write more about that next time). Below are some of the simple ways to add more ‘being’ into your day and life.

  • Breathe to relax –Breathe deeply in to your tummy (count to 5), hold the breath (count to 2), and then slowly exhale. Repeat this three times. Notice how you feel after the third exhale.
  • Tuning into the sounds around you - On your way to work, whether that be driving in your car, walking, riding your bike, taking public transport – take a moment to tune into the sounds around you. It could be a car horn, the sound of the trees swaying in the wind, the birds chirping, the rain hitting the pavement – anything. Focus your attention on these thoughts and really listen to them. Try not to attach any thoughts to the sounds – just observe.
  • Conscious Eating – Did you know that merely thinking about the nutrients you are ingesting can be more beneficial to your health than the actual nutrients themselves? When eating a healthy and nutritious meal, try to chew every mouthful until it is liquid (to aid in digestion), and really think about the health benefits you are providing to your body, i.e., you are providing a multitude of antioxidants to your body by eating that crunchy celery and red capsicum. How does the food taste? Is it sweet, sour, salty? You will be surprised what you notice about your food that you never noticed before when being conscious of what you are eating.
  • Mindful Observation – When in nature, take notice of your surroundings. How many different coloured flowers did you come across on your daily walk? What did you notice about the trees, the grass, and the air whipping your face? What are you grateful for about during this moment in nature? Is it your ability to be able to go on this walk; your ability to see and smell the flowers?

These are only a few ways to immerse your ‘being’ into your everyday life and become present in all that you do. It definitely takes repetition, energy, and discipline to continue this practice for it to become a part of your life.

Once it does though, your holidays will be with you every single day!

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