Anyone who’s ever had to deal with a failed relationship, financial problems, getting laid off, a serious health issue, or anything else that shook up your entire wellbeing knows how tough it can be to look on the bright side of things. But learning how to be mindful about the magic that life is can put it all in perspective.
Sometimes, there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to stay positive when life throws you a curve ball. But if you can open up your mind to become more aware of some of the very real and big miracles of being alive, that might be all that you really need. And remember: like everything in life, even your lowest moments will pass.
These extraordinarily interesting facts about life can help you to be mindful and to broaden your perspective:
1. Your brain generates enough energy to turn a light bulb on.
The human brain is truly an amazing organ. And even if you don’t think you’re very intelligent at all, science proves you wrong. On average, your brain generates about 10 to 23 watts of power, which may not seem like much, but it's enough to power a light bulb. Upon awakening, it can produce up to 30 to 35 watts.
Your brain can even process information as fast as 120 meters per second, or 268 miles per hour. So next time you feel embarrassed or stupid for making a mistake, remember that in the grand scheme of things, your brain is powerful enough to decode your mistake, extract a valuable lesson from it, and help you avoid falling victim to it again in the future.
2. People say that life is short, but you still get a whopping 2.21 billion heartbeats to use up over your lifetime.
As we get older, life can almost seem as if it’s just slipping by. But consider the fact that over the span of your lifetime, which is about 70 to 80 years for the average American, your heart will beat approximately 2.21 billion times. If that seems like a lot, you're right -- it is.
So instead of looking at your life as maybe halfway over already, think about how you still have around 1.1 billion heartbeats left. One billion is a huge number. Just remember to take care of your heart health, and you may even pass the average heartbeat figure.
3. If the entire history of the universe’s existence was condensed into one year, your life would be just 0.16 cosmic seconds.
Despite the fact that you may have more than a billion heart beats left, that shouldn’t give you the excuse to treat time as if it’s infinite. The Cosmic Calendar is a fascinating method used to look at the existence of the universe as if it were just one year old — from the Big Bang starting at January 1st, to the present moment resting at December 31st.
Using this method, the average 70- or 80-year-old human being would exist from birth until death in a mere blink of an eye. What a way to put into perspective the fact that all your problems eventually (and soon) won't matter at all.
4. The odds of you being born as exactly you are basically zero.
At some point or another during our lives, most of us get sick of ourselves and wish we could become another person. You might change your mind about that when you realize the fact that you ended up being you is quite literally a miracle.
Harvard published a fascinating infographic that lays out all the math required to calculate the probability of you becoming you. The numbers get pretty wild-- the researchers compare the probability of a person's unique existence to the probability of two million people getting together to play a game using a trillion-sided dice. The odds of you being born as exactly you is basically the same as the odds of all those two million people rolling that trillion-sided dice and all coming up with the exact same number. It's virtually impossible.
5. Consciousness is still a mystery, but without it, you wouldn’t get to experience anything.
That last point should’ve left you feeling pretty astounded, but to take it a step further, consider how much we take for granted the simpler things we’re able to sense and experience. Take color as a simple example. You can see it and experience its beauty when you place your awareness on it, but the distractions of modern day life rob us of fully sensing how blue the sky is, or how green the trees are.
Practicing mindfulness can help ground you and bring you back to experiencing everything from color and nature, to music and love. Take it as an opportunity to be present and embrace those things while you’re still here.
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