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  • Writer's pictureNatasha DeMaio, LMFT

Stop and Smell the Roses

I sometimes have clients tell me they have a hard time enjoying life when it’s going well, because there’s this underlying feeling that something bad will happen. This is anxiety trying to steal your joy, take away a positive moment or time in your life, and cheat you of feeling happy. Here’s the thing... we know tomorrow isn’t promised. There’s a good chance this situation will be different next week, next month, or even next year. We will miss this time and maybe even look back and think, “Wow, we didn’t even know how good we had it.” (I do this sometimes when I think back to college memories and the “good ol’ days” when sleeping in was the norm and my best friends were just down the hallway.)

So what do we do? How do we quiet anxiety and enjoy the good times? We soak it in. We stop and smell the roses. We enjoy the moment. We force our brain to be present. We ask ourselves, what is going well? What am I grateful for? How is this day or this season in my life so amazing and so beautiful? What will I miss about this one day? We tell anxiety to kick rocks, because we deserve to ENJOY the fruits of our labor and the beauty around us.

Is this when your newborn is nestled against your skin? The breathtaking views during a vacation you worked hard for? The sound of laughter from your kids playing together nicely (by some miracle). Well deserved praise from your boss? A beautiful, sunny day after a long week of rain? Feeling happy with a new relationship after a series of dating nightmares? Or maybe just feeling like the universe no longer hates you and things are finally falling into place.

We are constantly trying to chase happiness, but are we noticing when we are in it? When it’s here? Life can be cruel and negativity surrounds us. Negativity is louder and more obvious. Contentment is quieter and sometimes unappreciated.

Okay, so what do I tell my clients when they say they live in fear that these happy times won’t last? I say, unfortunately you are probably right. Loved ones pass away, relationships dissolve, people move away, and life can be cruel. Change is inevitable. But there are always new things to be grateful for and new, beautiful seasons of our life. It can also provide comfort in knowing that when you’re going through a rough patch and experiencing negative feelings, that will change to. Life can be fleeting and that’s the beauty and the curse of it. #stopandsmelltheroses

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