What Happens To Your Mind When You Live Day By Day google4228e52aa5dfebc8.html

What Happens When You Live Day By Day

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Worry, anxiety, the past and even the future keep you from enjoying this day. How learning to live day by day can improve the quality of your life.

You’re stressed out.


Between personal obligations, work, family, the leaking roof and twenty extra pounds (like, when the hell did THAT happen?), it’s no wonder the day ends in a heap of exhaustion.

The stress is compounded by thinking backwards: to yesterday, last week…childhood anyone? And for good measure let’s toss in stress about tomorrow, next week, Thanksgiving NEXT YEAR at HER house…

You get where we’re going on this one right?

Raise your hand (or glass) if you’d like to learn to live day by day and how not to be stressed by the overwhelming demand from life in general.

“Yeah, but you have NO idea all the shit that’s happened to me or MIGHT be coming down the road,” you say. Wah-wah-wah. Stop whining and consider this:

There are no do-overs to clean up PAST mistakes and mess-ups. Eliminate coulda, woulda, shoulda from your vocabulary. You can’t fix it.

Stop wasting precious time.

Moving on…

The FUTURE is a great unknown.

Stay away from fortune tellers and soothsayers. Trust me on this one: If they had all the answers, they’d be living the life in Fiji lounging on a hammock swinging in the breeze, NOT taking your money.

The PRESENT my friend, is a good bet. But even that isn’t 100%. Did you hear the one about the guy walking to the corner deli for lunch and then a big city bus…

But at least give the idea of living day to day a try.


It feels freakin’ awesome to unburden yourself from the living in the past and future.


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Open your eyes and watch the world around you. Really take time to do this. Yes, there’s crappy news around the world that makes us all sick. Break from TV and social media. Instead watch the bunnies frolic in the yard making more bunnies. Or lie on fresh mowed grass. Use all of your senses and let your mind wander. 

When old thoughts arise or you start to think about the parking problem for a doctor’s appointment NEXT Tuesday, wipe it away. Physically wave your hand if you must. A succession of thoughts only breeds stress and anxiety. The point is to eliminate these, okay?


Buddha’s journey to enlightenment began after his intense and deliberate observation of the world around him. He concluded there is happiness in life. And sadness.

He acknowledged that shit happens. Well, he didn’t say it in those words, but he understood that people get sick, and grow old and die.

And there’s not much you can do about it.

That this life is a whisper in time.

Full of trials, hard times and disappointments. You have observed this. You have lived this.

But you’ve experienced happiness too. Sometimes for a moment. Sometimes for long stretches.

You say things like “life is good” and “I feel blessed.” Because it IS good. And you ARE blessed.


I had a college professor who explained our individual place in the Universe, from the perspective of his five-year-old daughter.

Amanda was anxious and excited to celebrate her birthday. Every day for weeks she’d pester her father. “How many more days until I’m five?!”

Finally, his wife gave the child a calendar to mark off each day. The counting lesson began. The daily drama ended. Smart Momma.

“Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what clearly lies at hand”

Thomas Carlyle

To Amanda, her five years represented her entire lifetime. For you, your age right now, is your entire existence.

But each year, the professor said, is a percentage of the whole.

So for Amanda, the year of her fifth birthday represented one-fifth of her entire existence. When you’re forty, the year of your birthday represents one-fortieth of your entire existence. Each year you’re here the fraction gets smaller in relation to the whole.

And here’s the funny part: Professor Fred said this explains why time seems to feel as if it’s passing by faster the older we get.

While the A-plus math majors in class were all “Ooh and Ahh” the undeclared B-minus majors (yours truly) scratched our heads.


Okay, for the visual learners among us, picture yourself standing still. Then imagine floating above yourself and observing your body. As you float farther and farther away your body becomes surrounded by the rest of the world. You look smaller and smaller. Continue floating higher until you can barely see the speck that is you.

Soon you’re playing “Where’s Waldo?” and your body blurs with the rest of the world. Farther still, and you realize how minor and insignificant your existence is in relation to the Universe.

Perspective of where you fit into the grand scheme, this viewpoint about yourself and this life, is humbling. Allow this thought a moment. You should gain an appreciation for what you have and the people who surround you.

The big picture.

Take a deep sigh.


Dance like there’s no one watching, someone said. March to the beat of your own drummer, said another. Be a wild and crazy guy, said Dan Aykroyd and Steve Martin.

Meaning be fully present in the moment to the point you feel one with reality.

Be drunk with love (or just get drunk once in a while).

Be kind to your body so that you get to write smaller and smaller percentages with every birthday.


When each day is approached consciously, the mind is slowly altered. It relaxes. It handles stress better. It laughs easily.

C’mon. How friggin’ absurd is reliving the past in the present? Again and again and again. Even YOU are tired of it.

It’s true that some periods of life slog along. Some days suck out loud. And instead of living day to day you find yourself wishing for them to be over.

Remember what Buddha learned about observing  life — there’s sadness AND happiness.

So use caution here. You only get to be five years old ONE TIME.



Original graphic and quote: Stephanie DelTorchio

Other POSTS you might like:

How Not To Worry And Focus On The Present

Live A Life That Matters

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