Hi. I’m Lori Miller and I’m back! This…is your Mental Health Moment.
How’s your summer so far?
I took a little break there because my son just got married. It’s hard to believe that the little toddler who used to stand in his diaper next to the window and laugh and wave at the guys on the back of the trash truck… is now a married man.
That was so fast.
I wanted to drink in all the fun and happiness these past few weeks, and experience every emotion and feeling.
And we surely did that!
I’ve spent the past few days since the wedding quietly reflecting on what it all means.
Because I’ll tell you, watching my son and his wife look at each other and how they can see their future together just in the way they smile, literally nothing else mattered in that moment.
Sitting there watching all this, I wasn’t thinking about how I was going to get through all my emails, or how much paperwork I had to do, or if there was going to be time to fit in all my writing sessions for this week.
That day in my life, watching them start a new life, was simply…carefree.
It wasn’t so much that I didn’t have any care in the world. But it was more about what I chose to focus on in that moment.
All that other stuff just didn’t make the cut that day. Not even close.
And I liked feeling carefree very much.
I don’t know that I’ve given the idea of carefree living too much attention before now.
When I think of carefree I think of someone running through a field of tulips or something, maybe letting your hair run wild and free. I was a teenager in the 80s and there were a lot of hair commercials back then so maybe that’s where that came from.
If you’re a taskmaster like me, being carefree sounds slightly horrifying because it means something else is probably not getting done while you’re running through all those tulips.
It took me a while to even put that word on what I was feeling.
I guess I equate being carefree with fun and they’re really not the same thing, are they?
When I think of fun I think Disney World or a trip to New York or watching the Yankees win (and that is soooo happening this year, my friends, mark my words).
But these fun things are wrapped up in specific events. I can’t do fun things like that very often unless I win the lottery.
But carefree, well, I think I can live like that.
Because being carefree is just focusing on letting go of what’s pulling on me.
Do you ever feel like this? Like everything’s just pulling on you all at the same time?
Wouldn’t it be nice to just not feel that pressure for a nanosecond?
You can actually make that happen for yourself.
Feeling carefree is less about not having any cares at all but caring more about what’s important to you.
There’s no magic formula or mantra for being carefree. When I decide to focus and give my attention to one thing that matters to me, everything else seems to kind of fall away on its own.
I feel room and space around me to breathe a bit.
So carefree is a place I can choose to go anytime I want.
What are some benefits of choosing to live in a carefree state of mind?
Well for starters, it takes you out of that “just existing” mode.
I know you know what I’m talking about.
It’s not hard to fill your life up with so much stuff to do that you feel like you’re just checking the boxes and doing it all again tomorrow.
Same time, same station, same snacks.
Choosing to be more carefree means maybe you leave a few boxes unchecked today.
Stop the hamster wheel for a minute and experience just one different thing, something that’s not on your list.
Sometimes this is enough to help you feel like you can breathe again.
Second, being carefree is a slam dunk when it comes to staying in the present moment.
You can’t be carefree and be thinking about next Tuesday’s meeting or stewing over how your mechanic ripped you off last week.
Most of our stress and anxiety is wrapped up in the moments we’re not currently living in.
I mean, your life is happening right now.
Choosing to give yourself a carefree moment gives you a shot at actually experiencing that.
Last, finding carefree moments helps you let go of your stress.
You’ve probably had that experience on vacation when you finally let go of your to do list and then you’re like, what was I thinking? Why do I let that stuff bother me?
I’m totally gonna stop doing that.
You get clarity in that moment because it’s so obvious what is giving you energy and strength. But honestly you can have that realization on a smaller level every day.
When you stop and make the choice to experience where you are in any given moment, you take your stress down a notch.
I wish I could give you a recipe for carefree but honestly you have to define this one for yourself.
What’s carefree for me may seem ridiculous to you.
The truth is that we are trying to do too much. And much of what we do on any given day is just not that important, if we’re honest.
Life isn’t just about getting stuff done and achieving goals.
There’s such a rich tapestry of experiences that we’re missing out on because we’re bound up by our task centered existence.
Choose to find a few random carefree moments in your days and see if it doesn’t change your outlook on your stress.
You can catch episodes of Mental Health Moment by visiting mymentalhealthmoment.com. Don’t forget to subscribe to Mental Health Moment on Amazon Alexa, Apple podcast, Google podcast and Spotify. Just search for “Mental Health Moment with Lori Miller.”
If you want Mental Health Moment delivered right to your inbox, visit mymentalhealthmoment.com to sign up to get these delivered to your email every day.
You can find other articles and videos about stress and mental health by visiting my website at LoriMiller.me.
Thanks for listening!
I’d love to hear what you think!
Leave a note below or ask me a question in the comment section below.