Why is it so hard to live in the moment?

Journaling recognizes experiences and heightens self-awareness

Humans are naturally stressed about our careers, about our relationships, about our health, and about our families and friends. Worries for the future and nostalgia for the past make it difficult to live in the present. But awareness of each day’s opportunities and experiences is perhaps the best way to “live in the moment”. One of the key concepts of meditation is awareness of both the body and the mind, and awareness of experiences and accomplishments can help settle the mind and appreciate the present.

So why don’t more of us journal, heightening awareness of our thoughts, successes, ambitions, and failures? Maybe carrying around a notebook is cumbersome. Maybe writing in pen and paper is too old school for the digital age. Or maybe it’s just plain scary to imagine someone happening upon our most private thoughts and ideas.

In a recent piece for Thrive Global, Benjamin Hardy, a Ph.D. student in Organizational Psychology, considered how people invest their time: “Are the activities you spend your time doing moving you toward your ideal future?” he asks. “Is your time being wasted on things you don’t intrinsically enjoy?”

Writing down daily experiences reveals how time is spent and provides a basis for self-evaluation. Some of the most influential people in history kept journals. From Benjamin Franklin, to Tim Ferriss’ “Morning Pages”, to the New York Times recent recommendations for improving personal health and well-being, it’s not hard to find article after article detailing the benefits of journaling.

In the digital world, smartphones make journaling accessible to the masses and provide a convenient solution for many of these objections to journaling. They’re passcode protected, constantly in use, and simple to use and type on. Whydoo is a private journaling app that tracks activities using tags, locations, places and goals. By putting experiences in writing, it is easy to look back and see that days are in fact well-spent and purposeful, even if they may seem insignificant. Journaling provides a cathartic release and an assurance of working towards, as Paul Kalanithi brilliantly described, an “asymptote which you are ceaselessly striving.” It gives a peace of mind when active, and a gentle reminder when stagnant.

Journaling privately recognizes experiences in a safe place where they can be processed without worry or stress. It’s a nice way to quickly re-live events, experiences, and places, or to simply observe the pure number of things done in a given timeframe. It’s easy to notice trends in how time is spent and how it can be optimized. It all comes back to the simple yet complex concepts of awareness and time.

With a quick download, your life and your story is waiting to be chronicled on Whydoo. So why not?