Living for the moment
Mayflies have the shortest lifespan of any animal on Earth; their life lasting only for 24 hours. Mayflies are also called ‘one-day insects’ because of this short life span. In fact, some members of the Mayfly family die within a few hours. However, within this short period of life, they form groups and dance together on all available surfaces. Perhaps we should follow their example and enjoy the life we have instead of worrying about how long we have left.
In contrast to the Mayfly, the Ocean Quahog can live for 500 years. Arctica islandica, common name the ocean quahog, is a species of edible clam, a marine bivalve mollusc in the family Arcticidae. This species is native to the North Atlantic Ocean, and it is harvested commercially as a food source. Ocean quahogs live in water between 25 and 1,300 feet deep. The molluscs are known to live exceptionally long lives with two specimens found to have lived 507 years.
The average person in the UK will live 80 years, which is 29,220 days or 701,280 hours or 42,076,800 minutes. Perhaps we should start paying more attention to the present moment instead of worrying about the future. Being conscious of your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you in this precise moment can improve your mental wellbeing. Some people call this awareness “mindfulness”. Mindfulness can help us enjoy life more and understand ourselves better. You can take steps to develop it in your own life.
Professor Mark Williams, former director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, says that mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment.
“It’s easy to stop noticing the world around us. It’s also easy to lose touch with the way our bodies are feeling and to end up living ‘in our heads’ – caught up in our thoughts without stopping to notice how those thoughts are driving our emotions and behaviour,” he says.
“An important part of mindfulness is reconnecting with our bodies and the sensations they experience. This means waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment. That might be something as simple as the feel of a banister as we walk upstairs.
“Another important part of mindfulness is an awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen moment to moment. It’s about allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. When we do that, it can positively change the way we see ourselves and our lives.”
The NHS says that mindfulness can help reduce anxiety and ease depression. It can also help us to just enjoy the moment and really feel and experience life. If you would like more information about mindfulness and would like to make the most of those 42 million minutes of life, then call Age Concern Liverpool & Sefton on 01704 542 993.