Live in the moment & be truly present – it sounds so simple and so desirable. Yet few people actually manage to remain truly present. If you look around, you’ll quickly discover that the happiest people on earth are the ones who have discovered the secrets to living in the present. Read on to learn the five steps that you can follow to join the happy people and remain truly present in 2019.
Why Is it Important to Be Present?
What you may not realize from the outside looking in is that living in the present places you in a much better state of mind. This new attitude might even make you more creative and productive at work, it will certainly help you in the following ways:
- Relieves stress
- Allows you to be happier
- Returns playfulness to your life
- Helps you build better relationships
- Reduces the worry in your life
- Diminishes anxiety
- Encourages you to be more open to new things, ideas, and people
- Helps you take yourself less seriously
- Forces you to focus on the task at hand rather than getting caught up in the details of another project before completing the first one
In other words, living in the moment and being truly present are good things —for your physical health, your emotional well-being, and your overall quality of life.
Now, it’s time to focus on how you can begin living in the moment today, so you can enjoy these benefits right away.
- Mind Your Thoughts
A wandering mind is one that is unproductive and decidedly not in the moment. Whatever task is at hand, you must make it the focus of all your thoughts. If you have difficulty doing this, consider taking a quick break to focus on breathing.
For 20 breaths.
Think about nothing else until you’ve taken in and expelled 20 breaths. Once you do, return to your initial tasks with a clear head and renewed focus.
- Control What You Can; Let Go of What You Cannot
This one is truly difficult for many people in society today. We’ve been taught that if we plan carefully enough, work hard enough, etc. that we can have anything we want.
It sounds great on a Hallmark greeting card. But in the real world, there are circumstances beyond our control. Just think of all the things that happen in a day that you have absolutely zero control over.
- The weather
- The words and actions of other people
- The price of gasoline
- The way other people feel or think
- The past
All of these things are beyond your control. They may affect you, profoundly. But, you have no control over them. You can’t change them. You can’t undo them. Worrying over them will not make these things better. It simply removes your focus from the things you can control, and to the changes you can accomplish.
On the other hand, there are some of the things you can control that will help you live more fully in the moment. These are your:
Getting these things under control gives you the tools you need to cope with whatever the universe places in your path, while living decidedly in the moment.
- Be Still
Meditation is a tool that has been used for millennia to help people shift their focus to the present, and remain in the present. Some people make a continuous practice of meditation their entire lives to help them be more aware of the here and now.
Some people call it mindfulness meditation, while others call it living presently. Whatever you prefer to call it, the result is the same. Being still allows you to receive greater joy from the world around you by taking it in.
- Feed Your Five Senses
You have five senses:
Each one contributes greatly to the way you experience everything you encounter in a day. Use as many of your five senses as possible to ground you in the present.
- Notice the way the flowers smell
- Take in the vividness of their colors
- Feel how soft their petals are against your skin
- Listen for the sounds the flowers make when someone walks by quickly or a breeze ruffles their leaves
While you may not want to taste the flowers, I’m sure you can see how using the remaining four senses enhances your pleasure in the flowers, and helps you live more fully in that moment.
As a mom, when you brush your daughter’s hair, are you thinking about the grocery list? Or are you savoring the aroma of her strawberry shampoo, relishing in the touch of her soft, undamaged hair, and intently listening to her talk about her art teacher?
- Keep a Journal
There is something about recording a moment in writing that forces you to live that moment more fully. Consider every moment as one you’d like to record in writing. It makes the little things feel more poetic and the big things more monumental.
When you write things down, you are essentially recording the moments that shape your day. This means you can review them later to see how your future was affected by these moments.
It also means you can focus on enjoying these moments more fully as they occur – even when the moments bring sadness.
The other benefit of writing your thoughts down, for living in the moment, is that it gives you an opportunity to clear out the cobwebs, and focus on the present rather than the past. Some people use their journals at bedtime to recap and reflect on their day. These “sleep diaries” can help you drift off to sleep more easily as you’ve placed all your worries down on paper.
Practice these five things and you, too, can enjoy the benefits of being present, and living a life that is truly in the moment.
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