We hear phrases like “live in the moment”, or “be present” all the time, but it can often sound intimidatingly meditative. Is it possible to live a normal, functioning life without spending every fifteen minutes seeking enlightenment? Well, of course it is, and in fact by practicing regular techniques to keep you thinking in the moment, your appreciation for life, mental stability and overall happiness will always benefit. Simple day-to-day tweaks in your thought processes can make a profound difference even to our long-term productivity.
They’re easy to do, and you’ll start feeling the benefits quickly.
1. “Living in the moment” includes the hustle.
A common misconception is that living in the “now” involves ignoring responsibilities and spending your time “chilling”. That’s not exactly true, as it’s really more about making the most of the time you have right now, rather than living in the future or the past. That means that we still have to hustle right now, knowing that it will benefit us in the future, but keeping track of focusing on these everyday tasks with our full focus. Enjoy the work that you do, and enjoy spending your time every day doing it, rather than just waiting for it to be over later on. Don’t just live for the weekends.
2. Enjoy the little things every day.
Rather than slugging your way through one difficult week after another and saving all of your fun for the weekend, try find more little joys to relish every day. Find at least one thing a day, no matter how small to give your full enjoyment to. It can be as small as getting that first coffee in the morning. Take ten minutes while you truly savour that moment without distraction, and it can make all the difference to the rest of your day. Plan to make yourself a martini when you get home, then as you decompress from your day, enjoy every sip. It works like a reset button.
3. Quit planning so much.
Obviously, it’s important to have plans in life, and without them we will simply float from one point to another. The key is in having a solid plan, but to not obsess over all the ins and outs. If we get stressed out by things not going one hundred percent to plan, it will only increase our anxiety and make us question the plan overall. Remember, stay agile, roll with the punches while keeping your end goal in view.[/imgsrc]
4. Forgiveness is strength.
One of the worst anchors that can keep us attached to the past is holding a long lasting grudge. Remember, sometimes forgiving someone isn’t always something you do for the guilty person’s benefit. It can sometimes be the best thing for you personally to let go of the pain someone else has caused you and wipe the slate clean in your own mind. Negativity can poison a person over time, avoid holding onto it. You may get a friend back too.
5. Instant gratification ends instantly.
Remember that in our quest to enjoy the little things every day like that coffee or that martini, we’re not trying to replace genuine joy of life with instant gratification. Relying on pizza or beers to change your mood can work very effectively and quickly, but it’s all over as quickly as it begun. The difference is in enjoying the moment, rather than relying something too temporary to make a lasting difference to your moment by moment satisfaction.
6. Smiling is an exercise.
This is one of those exercises that sounds a little too good to be true. The things is, it does make a difference. Taking a little time every day to smile can improve your mood greatly and practice living in the moment. If you feel a little too goofy staring at yourself in the mirror to force a smile, take a little time out to enjoy something that will make you laugh authentically. Ten minutes of comedy a day can be a real mood-saver.
7. Failures should stay in the past.
Nobody benefits from obsessing over the failures in our past. The key is in learning the necessary lessons from each failure, then relinquishing the power that they can hold over us, telling us we’re incapable. Those who are able to transform their failures into building blocks, are those who will climb them to the top. When you’re trying to live in the present, carrying around extra baggage will only slow you down.
How do you practice staying in the present?
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