If you want to be happy, focus on the present, no matter how unpleasant it is. Most of us are very good at straying from the moment. That ability allows us to remember the past, plan for the future, and “even imagine things that never occur at all,” says Matthew Killingsworth, a doctoral student in psychology at Harvard University.

Do not worryJesus extolled the benefits of living in the moment, but it’s always interesting when scientific evidence reinforces that advice. “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? … Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?  (Matt 6: 25-27)

Happiness is found by living in the now, the study says. “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today”, Jesus says. (Matt 6:34)

Life unfolds in the present. But so often, we ignore the present, allowing precious moments to pass unnoticed, and wasting time as we worry about the future or about the past.  When we’re at work, we dream about being on holidays; on holidays, we worry about what’s happening at work. We dwell on failures of the past or worry about what may or may not happen in the future.

One of the greatest gifts we can give to those we love is to be truly present with them in their joys and sorrows. To be truly with them. I’m not against planning for the future, but worrying is not a strategy. Live in the now.

This is the Gospel and it is good news!

Click here to read more about the Harvard study