7 Ways Thinking About The End Can Bring You Peace
There seems to be no shortage of depressing reports and news stories these days. From war to disease and endangered animals to natural disasters, it seems our world is slowly dying. Some may even believe we are to blame with our fossil fuels and urbanization. But, in the midst of all the chaos, one thing is certain — your life has an expiration date. While most of us would rather not dwell on that fact, there are actually some major benefits to keeping the end in mind.
1. Shifts Your Focus
For one, considering your own end on a regular basis can help to shift your focus from your own circumstances to the bigger picture, giving you a new perspective one life. When you think about your death, suddenly the traffic jam and cold coffee don’t bother you as much. With time, these petty issues that seemed to be roadblocks in your life are reduced to ant hills. So, the next time the waitress forgets to bring ketchup or your shower doesn’t warm up quickly enough, remember that these little annoyances are just that — little.
2. Slows You Down
Focusing on the end can also help you slow down and appreciate things you may not have noticed before. So, instead of focusing on the traffic jam, you notice the sunset. Or maybe you stop and take time to appreciate the flowers on your walk to work instead of noticing blaring car horns and buses. Slowing down like this is especially important in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world. Although taking the time to notice is a skill that comes with practice, thinking about death may expedite the process.
3. Helps You to Accept and Let Go
Now is now. So let the past be the past. When you consider the fact that everyone has a death date, arguments and unkind words suddenly seem to lose their weight. For instance, the misunderstanding between you and your mother-in-law or the sarcastic comment from your coworker doesn’t seem to matter as much. Learning to accept these incidents as part of the past and let them go is essential to living a peaceful life. And, you might even find you’re more willing to forgive others when you realize life is short.
4. Allows You to Better Communicate
Many times, when someone is on their deathbed, they tell loved ones things they often wish they’d said earlier. Maybe they forgive an enemy, admit regret or finally confess their love to a friend. But, essentially, they don’t wait any longer to speak their mind because they soon may not have the chance. Imagine how different your life would be if you decided to do the same thing, but before you begin to die. Tell people how you feel now and it might change your life.
5. Encourages Self-Examination
Too often, people turn to TV, music, exercise and other things to fill the silence and avoid spending time alone with themselves. However, time spent in quiet self-examination is incredibly important to personal growth and development. When you sit alone with yourself, you must face your demons, all the feelings and thoughts inside that you don’t let anyone see. You’re forced to come to terms with your regrets and your dreams so, in both life and death, you can rest content with yourself and your decisions.
6. Eliminates Time Wasters
Thinking about the end also makes you consider spending your time on this earth more wisely. Instead of binging on Netflix again, maybe you read a book instead or go for a walk in nature. And, instead of picking up your phone to scroll through social media, you call up a friend and catch up on each others’ lives. You choose to focus on more meaningful endeavors and relationships. Because, when you realize you really don’t have much time, you certainly don’t want to waste it.
7. Removes the Clutter
Ultimately, thinking about the end simplifies your life by removing all the unnecessary clutter, allowing you to live a more meaningful life. Arguments, inconveniences and unfortunate circumstances all pale in comparison to the fact that everyone has a death date. And time wasters like phones and TV don’t seem as enticing as before. You may even find that work and household duties aren’t as important as spending time with your family. Replacing those not-so-great moments with meaningful ones will allow you to truly value the people and things that matter.
So, before your family has to pick out your headstone, choose to live, really live. Spend time with people who matter, doing things that are important to you. Notice the bumblebee, gaze at the stars, smile at everyone who crosses your path and truly appreciate the life you’ve been given, no matter how short or long that life may be.
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