Last week I wrote about ‘perfect moments’. This idea led me to realize there are other types of specific moments that we need to understand and respect in order to enjoy life more and prevent problems like boredom and addiction. These are moments that we can use to make life better or worse; it’s up to us.
Perfect Moments: These are the moments where we feel completely at peace as described last post.
‘Oh Yeah that’s Good’ Moments: These moments are called ‘oh yeah that’s good’ moments because that’s exactly what they are like the first bite of a good dessert or chip, the first moment you step into a hot tub, the first smell of Cinnabon, and the touch of someone you love. For me, this is the moment I look at the clock and realize I still have time to sleep. It’s something that feels soooo good and then slowly loses its goodness because we adjust to it. Abusing these moments leads to addictions whether unhealthy eating, over drinking, over relaxing, and over sleeping.
‘Woo’ Moments: These are the moments where we want to scream for joy. It can be winning a championship, finishing a major task, meeting a love interest, walking down the aisle at your wedding, finding out your pregnant (when you’re trying), graduating, getting a job you’ve been hoping to get into, skydiving, riding a big rollercoaster for the first time, and other moments that make you go ‘woo’. Abusing these moments usually lead to dangerous stunts to get a thrill, using extreme drugs, becoming addicted to sports, or getting into things like stealing because you want the high.
‘In the Moment’ Moments: These are the times when you get into a task, and time just disappears. You’re not bored, stressed, and you’re not over thinking… yeah, these moments are pretty great. This is the state we get into while doing things we want to do like watching TV, doing a hobby we enjoy, or talking with a good friend. This is the also the state you want to reach when you’re doing things you don’t necessarily want to do whether exercise, a homework assignment, cutting grass, or cleaning because you’re getting lost in what you’re doing thereby removing the struggle. Of course, this is the state we don’t want to be in while eating things we like because we miss out on the flavor; we’re just eating for eating sake. The downside is these times can make us late for something because we lose track of time, or it can be hard starting a new task. For instance, I have a hard time switching gears like when I get called for dinner, I need a few minutes to finish up what I’m doing in order to transition, but this can look rude because I don’t immediately drop what I’m doing.
Challenging Moments: This involves doing the things we don’t want to do, and it takes great self discipline to push ourselves to move. As they say in physics, an object at rest tends to want to stay at rest, which means moving can be the hardest thing to do, but we’ll never get the ‘in the moment’ moment if we don’t take the first step. When I think of a challenging moment I think of school, particularly math class where I wished it’d be over. This is often the time I’d feel restless, bored, and wishing I was doing something else.
Scary Moments: These moments make us move. For instance, I know someone whose doctor told her that if she didn’t lose weight she’d die. This big scare pushed her to go on an extreme diet and lose over 120 pounds, and increase her chances of living longer to see her grandkids grow up. Some people like being scared because it helps them feel emotion when they’re generally void of ups and downs. Other people are so anxious one big scare can help them feel a temporary calmness after.
Emotional Moments: These are those “wonderful” moments when we become overwhelmed by sadness, anger, jealousy, guilt, or fear to the extent where we can’t think clearly. These are the moments that make us say things we don’t really mean and do things we wouldn’t normally do whether punching a wall or getting a tattoo we later regret. For some people, emotional moments help them feel alive while, for many guys, we think we need to keep them to ourselves. These moments, however, aren’t evil or mean we’re crazy; they just need to be treated carefully to prevent unnecessary hurt. Typically, the best remedy for these times is venting in a healthy way to get out all the emotion in a safe way like screaming in a pillow, hitting a punching bag, and writing angry letters we throw away. Emotions are healthy; we just need to use them for connecting to ourselves and others.
This week may you discover how to include more of the special moments and less of the unwanted.