Living the moment is a life strategy that can positively benefit your health, happiness, relationships and career. While so many of us linger between the past and future - thinking of what has happened and what could happen - the key to this process is engaging ourselves in the one moment that we can truly change... this one! The art of being present, attentively evolving and adapting as one moment flows in to the next, allows you to soak up each development as it unfolds, focused and aware. Whether you find yourself too often looking back, racing forward, or just simply not using each day to its fullest, here are 10 wonderful tips for living in the moment.
1. Notice Your Breathing
Honing in on your breathing is one of the easiest ways to begin living the moment immediately. When you find yourself moving too quickly through life, or wrapped up in the past, close your eyes and focus keenly on your inhaling and exhaling. The pattern of your breathing and the act of consciously noticing it will slow your heart rate, give you an opportunity to re-group and bring you back to the moment at hand.
2. Behave Thoughtfully
Putting thought and consideration in to your behaviors is an important step toward being present in your daily life. The more focused you are in each moment, carefully choosing your words, thoughts, actions and expressions, the more of yourself you will be dedicating to the living in the moment. From interacting with the people you know, to monitoring your own inner dialogue, behaving with consideration will prepare you to better recognize and remove the negatives from your life, as well as encourage the positive.
3. Manage Your Schedule Effectively
Balancing your days between work commitments, relationships and personal time can be challenging in our fast-paced, high pressure modern society, yet effective time management is an integral component of living in the moment. Not leaving enough time for our health and peace of mind, loading our schedules or racing from one activity to the next hinders our ability to be present in each experience. Ensure you are rooted in the now by creating a schedule for yourself that balances your responsibilities, priorities and commitments yet allows you appropriate rest and rejuvenation.
4. Let Go of the past
Learning how to live in the moment is in many ways, also a lesson in learning how to evaluate the errors and progress we have made, the triumphs and failures we have created, and the understanding available to us through hindsight as we apply it to the present. We are all bound by experiences from our pasts in some capacity, yet it is important to look back with a purpose, rather than waste unproductive time dwelling on what could have been. Letting go of the past will not only free up your attention for the present, it will also empower you to learn your lessons and focus those efforts on that which can still be changed.
5. Express Gratitude
Being thankful for what you have is one of the most effective and gratifying ways to live in the moment. We each have so many blessings in our lives - from our families and friends to our health, our homes, jobs and personal interests - and recognizing the gifts you have to celebrate encourages you to focus on the present with an open heart and an appreciative attitude.
6. Get Your Play on
Children engage the present differently than adults, primarily focused on looking for an opportunity - even in mundane moments - to be playful. As we age we lose that interest in maintaining an abundance of joy, laughter and fun in our lives - responsibilities tend to lead us toward a more serious approach to our day to day activities. Making time for play, from laughing at the lighter moments, signing along with the radio, running through the park or dancing around the living room, and encouraging a playful attitude in your routine can be a great tool for living in the moment and gaining a renewed sense of fun in your life.
Centering ourselves on an emotional and even spiritual level is one particularly healthy way to find a sense of connection with the moment. Being present comes, in large part, from being grounded and meditation in all its forms works to generate internal peace, focus on your breathing and encourage you to live in the moment. Whether it is at church, in a yoga class, or even laying in bed prior to getting up in the morning, making time to meditate and connect with yourself quietly can truly benefit you in this process.
8. Embrace Positivity
Negativity is a powerful force - eating away at our energy, ransacking our health and fostering unhappiness in our lives. By that same token, choosing to embrace a positive attitude is not only a method for living in the moment, it is also a way to feel happier, more at peace and more inspired. Ensure you are connecting with the present in a positive way by monitoring your self-talk, expressing gratitude for the good and removing any negative influences from your life.
9. Choose Healthy Nourishment
Being mindful of the food and drink we put in to our bodies is a vital part of being present in our lives. With so many processed foods, unhealthy diet schemes and generally poor nutritional habits plaguing our societies, there is no better time to overhaul your eating with healthy, fresh choices and give your body the nutrients it needs to best perform. Furthermore, what you choose to eat now is laying the groundwork for your future health - spending time cooking well and savoring your healthy food will not only prevent weight and stress issues later on, it is one of the best ways to connect with the present and actively live in the moment. Bon appetit!
10. Connect with Loved Ones
When it comes to living in the moment, the old adage «love is all you need» may hold more truth than you think. Having fun or sharing a close moment with someone we love - friend, family or partner - the world seems to slow down and we are truly focused on the present... we generally do not think about the past, or worry about tomorrow, or dwell on responsibilities - for most of us, we are absorbed in the company at that moment. Make it a priority to connect with the ones you enjoy - it is healthy mentally, emotionally and will encourage you to stay rooted in the present.
Living in the moment is a process that takes practice and regular reminders yet the truth is that the present is really the only gift of time we have in our possession - what we do with it, how we live and focus on the present is an entirely conscious choice. How do you best live in the moment, stalkers?
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