“The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it is called the present.” – Alice Morse Earle
We all know that it’s important to live in the moment, but the problem is how? Often, we’re so trapped in thoughts of the future or the worries of past that we forget to experience, let alone enjoy, what’s happening right now – when we’re at work, we fantasize about being on vacation; on vacation, we worry about the work piling up on our desks…. and it never stops. Of course! It’s natural to spend moments of thought in the past or in the planning of the future. But when our lives become more dictated by thoughts and emotions attached to past events and potential future outcomes, it becomes increasingly arduous to live fully in the present moment.
Knowing the importance of living in the moment is actually great but taking action is quite difficult. It can be challenging to live in the now when now is tough or stressful. I will be sharing a few tips to help you stay focused on the moment—and enjoy every minute of your life.
1. Stop being physically present but mentally absent:
Living in the moment means, giving your full attention to the task you are working on, being sole with the people you are at that moment. If you are at work, just concentrate on your work commitments and meetings. Likewise, when you are with your family, friends or loved ones, just give them your full attention. If something important related to work or some future planning pops into your mind, try to make a note of it on your phone or your planner sheet and return to your present role. Also, try to avoid your indulgence in the phone, limit your technology use and focus on the people you are having a conversation with. There are few things that can wait without causing you any trouble. Wherever you are, enjoy being there, completely. Whatever you are doing, do it with full presence and engage in every moment as fully as you can!
2. Stop constantly planning about the things that are not currently happening:
People cannot help themselves when it comes to planning. It’s a good thing to have a plan and a set schedule for your day or goals for the future. But, then stressing over the plan and schedule you made, can get frustrating. You can think about the future and imagine how it will come about, but you can never truly ensure that everything will work out the way you want it to. Like, when you are on a vacation but your mind is constantly thinking about your to-do list and calculating how much time you will need to get each thing done when you get back home. In that case, you are failing to live in the moment. Living in the moments means, appreciating each moment of your day and focus on what you are doing at that particular time. When you start doing that, you may not have time to even think about other things that are yet to happen. Planning and achieving your goal is important but during that course don’t forget to enjoy the journey to achieving your goal. Don’t allow dreaming about tomorrow to replace living in today. Have faith that whatever happens in the future, you will find a way to deal with it.
3. Forget your bitter past for bright today:
It’s simply impractical to never plan or think of the past. Thinking and reflecting on the past allows us to learn from our mistakes. Learn from your past mistakes, get rid of your guilt, find a way to disconnect from everything that’s holding you back and move on with your life. You can’t fully enjoy your present life if you worry too much about your past. And since worry has never accomplished anything for anybody, redirect your mental energy to your present. When you catch yourself thinking about bad things from the past, look around and try to think about all good things going on right now and enjoy the beauty of today. Leave the past behind you, that has happened and you can’t change it. Focus now on the present moment and happiness.
“We spend precious hours fearing the inevitable. It would be wise to use that time to adore our families, cherishing our friends and living our lives.” ― Maya Angelou
When you live in the moment, you experience all the happiness life has to offer and you are more productive and focussed.
4. Pay attention to small things:
We’re busy. We’re multitasking. And we think this makes things better because we get more done – watching TV while you eat, checking your phone when with your friends or someone special, cooking and talking over the phone.. These habits could save your time but won’t help in living those times fully. Why not do one thing at a time, and don’t hurry through it. So learn to relax, where you can and enjoy where you are, appreciate the present. With time passing by, life feels like it is moving so much faster than it ever has before. However, despite how much we have to go on within our day, whether it is productive or not, we need to start taking the time to appreciate and enjoy the little things in our life. Pay your attention to those everyday things that are easy to be taken for granted or miss altogether. Your attention determines the experiences you have and the experiences you have determine the life you live. As the years pass, you will look back and realize that the little things… they become big things. No matter how fast you feel like your life is moving, choose to be present for now and learn to appreciate the little things, whatever that may be for you, and you’ll see a big difference!
“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.” ― Bill Watterson
Most of the time, we get to be more anxious about the future than our present situation. We tend to forget what can be controlled and think of what is uncontrollable at the moment. Leave the future aside and make the best out of the present situation.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep at night, it’s probably because your mind is still mulling over the stressful events of the day. Instead of thinking about the things you need to do tomorrow, try to enter the gratitude mode at bedtime. Think about the beautiful things that happened to you today.
“Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has yet to come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering” ― Ida Scott Taylor McKinney
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Stay happy, healthy and motivated..