LIVE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT

Time travel is possible. We all do it occasionally, but some people do it more often than others. People who time travel spend a large portion of each day thinking about all the things they should’ve done yesterday, all the things that went wrong in the past, and all the things they’re supposed to do tomorrow. As a result, that’s where they live, in the past or in the future. They rarely pay attention to what’s happening to them right now, so they miss living in the present moment—the only true moment in which anyone can really live. For example, notice what’s happening to you right now as you read this. Are you thinking of something else? Are you thinking of something that happened in the past or something that’s coming up in the future? What does your body feel like right now? Pay attention to it. Do you notice any spots of tension or physical pain? How are you breathing? Are you taking full, deep breaths, or are you breathing very shallowly?
Often, we don’t pay attention to what’s happening to us. We don’t pay attention to what
people are saying to us or to the things that we read. We don’t even pay attention to who’s around us while we’re walking. And to make it even more problematic, we often try to do more than one thing at the same time, like driving, eating, and talking on the phone simultaneously. As a result, we miss a lot of what life has to offer and we often make easy situations more difficult.
But even worse, not living in the present moment can also make life more painful. For
example, maybe you anticipate that the person with whom you’re talking is going to say something insulting, which makes you feel angry—even though the person hasn’t even said anything yet! Or maybe just thinking about past events makes you feel physically or emotionally upset, which then interferes with whatever you’re trying to do at the moment. Obviously, both types of time traveling can make any event unnecessarily painful.

Try the following exercise to help you live in the moment and tolerate distressing events more skillfully.

“Where Are You Now?”

The next time you’re in a distressing situation, ask yourself the following questions:
  • Where am I right now?
  • Am I time traveling in the future, worrying about something that might happen, or planning something that might happen?
  • Am I time traveling in the past, reviewing mistakes, reliving bad experiences, or thinking about how my life could have been under different circumstances
  • Or am I in the present, really paying attention to what I’m doing, thinking, and feeling?
If you’re not in the present moment, refocus your attention on what’s happening to you now by using the following steps:
  • Notice what you’re thinking about and recognize if you’re time traveling. Bring your focus back to the present moment.
  • Notice how you’re breathing. Take slow, long breaths to help you refocus on the present
  • Notice how your body feels and observe any tension or pain you might be feeling.
    Recognize how your thoughts might be contributing to how you’re feeling. Use
    cue-controlled relaxation to release any tension.
  • Notice any painful emotions you might be feeling as a result of time traveling, and
    use one of the distress tolerance skills to help you relieve any immediate pain.

From DBT Skills Workbook pages 53 – 54

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Water Fast

I started a fast today.

Here’s my schedule:

Day 1 (today) water

Day 2 – 5 add lukewarm salt water am and Apple cider vinegar pm

Day 3 veggie broth

Day 4 steamed greens

Day 5 fermented food

Day 6 back to normal diet

I had to adjust the timeframe for my schedule. I have an appt on Thursday and a party next Saturday.

Here is the protocol I’m following:

How to properly water fast a step by step guide

Take A Time Out

Time-outs aren’t just for kids. We all need to relax in order to refresh our bodies, minds, and spirits. Yet many people don’t take time out for themselves because they feel like they’d be disappointing someone else, like their boss, spouse, family, or friends. Many people struggle with the constant need to please others, and as a result, they neglect to take care of themselves. But people who don’t take care of themselves lead very unbalanced lives. Many people ignore their own needs because they feel guilty or selfish about doing anything for themselves. But how long can you continue to take care of someone else without taking care of yourself? Imagine a woman who stands on a street corner on a hot, summer day holding a jug of cold water. She pours drinks for every pedestrian who walks by and, of course, everyone is grateful. But what happens when she’s thirsty and goes to get a drink? After a long day of helping everyone else and neglecting herself, the jug is now empty. How often do you feel like this woman? How often do you run out of time for yourself because you’ve spent all of it taking care of other people? Helping others is a good thing to do as long as it doesn’t come at the expense of sacrificing your own health. You need to take care of yourself, and that doesn’t mean you’re selfish.

Simple ideas I am willing to do to take time out for myself:

  • Treat myself as kindly as I treat other people. Do one nice thing for myself that I’ve been putting off
  • Take time to devote to myself, even if it’s just a few hours during the week, by doing things like taking a walk or preparing my favorite meal
  • Go someplace beautiful, like a park, the ocean, a lake, the mountains, a museum, or even someplace like a shopping center
  • Take time to do things for my own life, like shopping, errands, doctor’s appointments, and so on.
  • Go in my room, close the door, put my headphones on and listen to music or an audio book, or watch a movie