5 Ways to Live in the Moment

One of my ongoing practices is to live in the moment. This is a challenge for many people because we are constantly bombarded with messages such as "planning for the future" or "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Many of us are also playing scenes of the past in our head over and over, having regrets and thinking, If only I had done this....

What I have learned these past few years is that when you live consciously in the present moment, you're free from the stresses of life. It enables you to feel calm and think with astounding clarity.

Living in the moment is easier said that done. After all, with so much going on around us, it's easy to get distracted by fears, worries, frustrations, and stress. However, once you get into the groove of living in the moment, you'll wonder how you could have lived any other way!

So what can you do to make living in the moment your way of life?

Here are some tips to gain present-moment thinking:

1. Meditate. The very point of meditation is to live in the present moment and accept things just as they are. It's a practice that you'll get better at the more you do it. To help quiet your mind, the best thing you can do is focus on your breathing and keep striving to release your thoughts with each breath you take.

2. Accept the past. You'll feel better about yourself once you learn to accept past situations. There's nothing you can do to change the past. Bringing the past into your present only clouds your present thinking and makes it harder for you to concentrate on the present moment.

Of course, thoughts of the past will still arise, but when you learn to accept it for what it is, you'll be able to return to the present moment without regret or grief.

3. Accept the future. On the other side of the coin, you also need to accept the future. How much time do you waste in a day by sitting around thinking about what you're going to do? When you stop thinking, you have more time to actually do it!

I know that many people are constantly worrying about money, so make sure to read my past post, "How to Stop Worrying About Money".

4. Be mindful. When you're mindful, you pay close attention to what you're doing in the present. You may think it's just a mundane chore, but it's important to do it with an open mind. Open up your senses to what you're doing. You might be overwhelmed with positive feelings that you didn't know existed.

Flowers Dancing in the Wind5. Get in touch with nature. Take some time to get in touch with nature. You can go for a walk or just sit under a tree. There aren't many things that can open you up to the present moment like opening up to the vastness of nature.

Relax, Relax, Relax

As long as you maintain a relaxed attitude, you can achieve conscious living. It may help to think of yourself and your brain as separate entities. Your brain can be thinking thoughts all over the place while your "self" watches. When you maintain the wisdom to realize that your thoughts are out of control, the self can pull you back into the present.

Of course these goals are best achieved through meditative practice, but you can also try any activity that you find relaxing if meditation isn't for you. While you're relaxing, pay attention to your breathing and try to take deep breaths. Remind yourself that, in this moment, the past and the future don't matter in the least.

After you've successfully added present moment thinking to a relaxing part of your day, it's time to spread the awareness to other times of the day. The more time you can spend in the present, the better.

Live in the here and now, and enjoy a more fulfilling life!

Photo Credit (top of page): Jason Rogers

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