10 WAYS TO TEACH YOURSELF HOW TO LIVE IN THE MOMENT
Does life seem to rush past you and you feel like you’re getting left behind? Do you feel like each day is a slog and life just isn’t what you want it to be? If you’re bored with life or too busy to enjoy it, this list of ways to live in the present will help you make the most of every day and live life to the full.
The older we get, it seems like each year flies quicker than the last and life gets more complicated. In our ‘mad world’ it can be hard to slow down and live in the present but we need to for our own emotional and physical health. Living in the present can extinguish stress and cultivate contentment. It can help us live a happier and more meaningful life where today is our focus. So let’s get rid of distractions, stop mourning the past and worrying about the future, and let’s live the best life we can right now.
1. Give every day your best
You know that cliché football players always say at the end of the game: “We’re just taking it one game at a time.” Well, we can learn from this mentality. It’s no good thinking about next week’s game because it stops a player from performing their best during the current game. It’s the same in life. The bible talks about not worrying about tomorrow because today needs your attention. Keep your head in the present moment and give today your best. If you do this, you actually give yourself the best preparation for the next day, and when that day comes around you can give it your best too.
2. Replace worry with perspective
Have you ever spent time worrying about all the terrible things that could happen? Maybe you visualize every worst-case scenario that might happen in the future. How many times do these terrible things actually happen? And if they did happen, did worrying help? It seems like a whole lot of worry for nothing. Worrying is a time waster and an opportunity crusher. It ties you us up in knots and stops us from making the most of the present. In times when you find yourself worrying, take a moment and remember all the good things in your life and remember that your worries rarely come true.
3. Stop procrastinating
When we procrastinate, we’re living in limbo, in the delayed present. That thing that you’re meant to be doing will always be waiting for you. It’s in front of you and it’s also hanging round in the back of your mind stopping you from fully engaging with the present moment. Do what you need to do straight away. Reply to that backlog of emails, send that letter, call that friend, get that assignment done. Whatever it is, give it your full attention and then you can move on to giving the things you want to do your full attention.
4. Use your time wisely
Are there better ways you can spend your time? Are you addicted to Facebook or Twitter? Do you check your email constantly? Are you always rushing from one thing to the next with no time to rest? Don’t forget to live and be present in your own life. If you’re bored, find things you enjoy doing and give it your all. If you’re busy, slow down and prioritize what is most important in your life. This might mean cutting some things out of your schedule. Spend time doing the things that are meaningful: do your work well, make time for your family, be there for your friends, and don’t forget to have fun.
5. Let go of the past
You know the saying: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery.” Don’t live today like it is yesterday, and don’t let your past control your present. People who hurt you in the past will keep on hurting you if you keep reliving it. You’ll think you’re a failure if you keep reliving that mistake you made. You’ll spend your time wishing things were different if you keep reliving the way things were. Let it go. Forgive those who did you wrong, learn from your mistakes and make today the best it can be. Stop reliving the past. Live now.
6. Listen to people
Have you ever talked to someone and they’re eyes glaze over or they keep looking around to see what else is happening? You can tell when someone is disinterested. How does it make you feel? Does it make you feel unimportant and does it make you feel like you may as not bother talking? Do you do this to other people? Live in the present moment by listening to people and engaging with what they say. When you meet someone, make the effort to remember their name. Ask questions about their interests and contribute to the conversation, but don’t take over the conversation. Make time for people and show them you care by listening to them.
7. Make time to be spontaneous
Spontaneous moments are moments lived in the present. They are often fun, a little bit wacky (or plain crazy), and make good stories to tell. They are moments that are out of the ordinary and they can’t be planned. If you don’t have many spontaneous moments, you’re probably thinking about the future and letting it restrict you. Sometimes it’s good to get out of your routine and make space in your day and your week for unplanned fun. See a movie, go on a weekend road trip with friends, do something random.
8. Live simply
Money, possessions and status can consume your life and stop you from enjoying it. Instead of living in the present moment you live in the ‘what if’ moment and the ‘if only’ moment. “What if I had more money?” "What if I lost my money?” “If only I had that car.” “If only I could get that promotion.” Learn to be content with what you have. Money, possessions and status don’t give us worth, so stop chasing after these things that don’t matter. Donate money, declutter your possessions, and stop worrying about what people think of you. Be yourself, do the things you love and spend time with the people you love. It’s that simple.
9. Make the most of every opportunity
If you’re not living in the present, you’re probably missing out on great opportunities because you don’t see them. You might be so caught up in your own world that you don’t realize someone needs to talk and you brush them aside. You might be too consumed by your own thoughts that you don’t think about the people around you. Every day is an opportunity to encourage someone. Every day is an opportunity to do a random act of kindness for someone. Be aware of your surroundings and be on the lookout for opportunities to brighten someone’s day.
10. Be still
Take some time to be still and appreciate the present moment. Close your mouth, just breathe and reflect. There is a time for work, a time for fun, a time to socialize and a time to rest. In all these times, there are moments when you can be still and you can savour the moment and the gift of life. Take notice of what’s around you. Lift your eyes to the stars, smile at the moon, watch a sunset, watch a baby sleep, sit around a campfire with friends, laugh till your stomach hurts. Life is full of simple pleasures; don’t forget to delight in them.
What are you going to do to make the most of this day?
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