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Why does being here and now improve quality of life?

Joanna Pidanty - May 6, 2024 - 0 comments

Engaging in the present moment, in everything we do and experience at that particular time, is crucial for building quality of life. We cannot turn back time or change the past, but the present gives us a chance to find happiness. Through mindful presence in the current moment, we can improve the quality of our lives and be happier right now, in the present experience, without anxiously awaiting happiness in the future.

Quality of life

The term “quality of life” is multidimensional and can be understood differently depending on the research perspective and field of science. Quality of life cannot be equated solely with material prosperity, nor with the absence of difficulties. Quality of life does not rely solely on objective criteria. The sense of quality of life is a subjective assessment of one’s life situation. High quality of life means existential fulfilment. Feeling satisfied with various aspects of life is connected to an overall sense of happiness. On the other hand, the feeling of happiness and life satisfaction is linked to one’s attitude towards life. An attitude focused on “being” improves one’s perception of the quality of their life. For well-being and a sense of balance, it is worthwhile to practice the skill of engaging in the present moment, in mindful presence here and now.

Awareness of the moment

Being in the moment means consciously focusing on what is happening at the present moment, without getting lost in thoughts about the past or racing ahead into the future. The goal is to be fully present in the moment, with the potential outcome being a better future. Dwelling on thoughts outside the present moment robs us of the life that is happening. The ability to focus on the moment allows us to experience the world fully, recognise our feelings, emotions, genuine needs, and the positive aspects of life. Such pause allows us to see beauty, as well as to control impulses and reactions. Awareness of the moment increases control over life. Being here and now allows us to conserve life energy that we otherwise spend on reminiscing and overthinking the future. The emotions activated in these processes do not arise from the actual state and do not give room for experiencing the present. Thoughts flowing in all directions can cause unhealthy tension and anxiety. Stress and staying under tension, and therefore in a state of anticipation of danger, causes us to act impulsively and without thought. Being consciously here and now allows for adequate decision-making. Being mindful prevents unpleasant consequences in the future. Practising being mindful of the here and now frees one from an accumulation of thoughts and excessive striving for unnecessary possessions. It helps understand that it is rather the experience that becomes the source of lasting life satisfaction. Practising mindfulness helps develop an attitude of high adaptation to life, free from seeing beauty, happiness, and opportunities elsewhere and in something other than now.

Mindfulness helps notice the positives – the proverbial glass is half full.

Depressive absence

Health is an important component of quality of life. Ailments that interfere with functioning can diminish this quality. An example of a negative correlation with the assessment of quality of life is depression. The severity of depressive symptoms is associated with a decreasing quality of life. A person with depression thinks about the past with guilt and about the future with anxiety. Depressive thoughts increase withdrawal and isolation. The loss of the ability to derive joy and pleasure distances one from celebrating the moments that fuel life. Through the depressive lens of pessimistic thoughts, it is difficult to rate the quality of one’s life highly. A person suffering from depression sees their situation as hopeless and their existence as not worth continuing. The depressive attitude of life negation (feeling life is meaningless, suicidal thoughts and tendencies) stands in stark contrast to an engaged approach to existence. Depression negatively affects motivation, activity, and initiative. Mindfulness helps regain the power to influence one’s own life. Mindful presence in the moment allows for improving emotional state and beneficially affects psychophysical health. Treating depression can be successfully complemented by mindfulness-based methods, meditation, and breathing exercises, which have the power to bring into the present moment. Applying these methods is helpful for people with depression; it allows them to release anxiety, stress, and negative thoughts. It allows to revive potential and make decisions beneficial for health and quality of life. Mindfulness not only supports health recovery but also protects it. Therefore, methods that support being present can be beneficial for all individuals who desire health and greater life satisfaction.

Symptoms of depression make a person absent from the present moment.

Virtual Reality

Excessive dwelling on the past or focusing on the future prevents us from being present in the moment, leaving us torn and consequently restless. Distraction from reality is encouraged by haste, excessive information and stimuli, and bad habits. Conscious focus on the present moment requires effort, but it brings better relationships with oneself and the world. When we perceive the contents of the moment, life satisfaction grows. There are ways that promote maintaining focus on the present moment. It is interesting that Virtual Reality (VR), which is a reality that does not physically exist, can support the practice of mindful presence in the present moment. The virtual environment created by VR TierOne GO are excellent for practicing mindfulness. The virtual experience frees from the unnecessary burden of unwanted, intrusive thoughts and imaginations that often bring discomfort greater than the actual situation. Relaxation and mindfulness are closely related, promoting stress reduction, fostering balance, and allowing for a break from high mental activity. Virtual relaxation sessions include elements that help to be present in the moment. This happens through directing attention to conscious breathing, one’s own body, and observing the surroundings. VR provides an opportunity to separate oneself from distractions, which is crucial for those unaccustomed to relaxation and mindfulness. A calm, relaxed mind allows one to perceive the world without distortions. Virtual sessions help to maintain calmness and foster positive attitudes towards life, which promotes satisfaction with existence even during difficult moments. It is worth noting that the relaxation device VR TierOne GO has found application in the practices of psychologists, psycho gerontologists, psychotraumatologists, addiction therapists, and psychiatrists. Mental health centres and institutions focused on improving quality of life, such as the Institute of Awareness in Warsaw, utilise VR relaxation goggles like VR TierOne GO.

Caring for mental health with VR TierOne GO helps improve quality of life.

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