If you are like most people, it’s hard for you to live in the moment. But, when you aren’t taking the time to be fully aware of the present moment, it’s impossible to enjoy life to the fullest.
While most people are constantly living in the past or the future, life can only be lived here and now, in the present. If your mind is preoccupied with multiple things, none of which is happening right now, you will never be able to get the most from your life. .
Why is it so Hard to Live in the Moment?
Your mind is very active and is always moving. Instead of being present, your mind is constantly jumping from one thing to another, visiting the past, the future, and thinking about pure fantasy.
While it’s good to prepare for the future and learn from the past, when you learn to live in the moment, you will accomplish a lot more with the time you have here on earth. You’ll also have less stress and become calmer and more tranquil.
Simple ways to live in the moment
1. Let go of worry.
Why do we worry? We worry when we look with dread into the future. No matter how hard you try, you cannot do anything in the future. By keeping your thoughts on your current activity, what you are doing right now, you can make a better future. Leave the future to the future.
2. Let go of regret.
Where does all regret live? In the past. When you live in the present moment, there is no regret. Stop thinking about the past. The past is over and exists only in your memory. If you made a few mistakes, learn from them and move on.
3. Turn off electronic leashes, at least for a little while.
Today we have cell phones, computers, iPods, and gaming systems that distract us from the living in the present moment. While you do need to stay in touch, learn to turn these devices off for a certain amount of time, let’s say 30 minutes, each day. Live in the moment, enjoy the real world around you rather than living in an imaginary world or in social media. Being here and now will focus your mind on what’s important and real.
- Focus on one thing at a time.
There is a myth that we can multitask. Experts will tell you that this just doesn’t work very well. In fact, current research is overwhelmingly in favor of single-tasking.
Instead, do one task at a time. Focus on the one thing that will make a difference right now. You’ll find you perform the task faster and at a much higher level.
When you are multitasking you cannot live in the present moment because you are moving from one thing to another. Let go of multitasking. You’ll get more done while working in the present.
- Eliminate unnecessary items.
Marie Kondo has gone around the world spreading her methods of organizing and letting go of unnecessary possessions. Let’s face it, having too much stuff is more of a burden than an advantage. When you own too many things, you clutter up both your physical environment and your mind.
Take an inventory of the things you own. If you don’t need it, consider giving it away or selling it.
6. Let go of grudges
You can’t live in the present moment if you’re holding a grudge from the past. Even worse, the person you’re holding a grudge against is probably not even being affected. The only one suffering is you!
Let go of grudges. They only block you from enjoying the current moment.
7. Don’t rush
When working on a task, allow yourself to go slowly and deliberately. When you rush, you make yourself stressed and anxious. Instead, give yourself the time you need to work on or to enjoy the current activity. Remember to work on only one task at a time and give it your full attention.
8. Listen with intent.
Most people pay little if no attention to another person speaking. If they listen at all, it is with the intent of breaking in as soon as possible to make their point.
Instead, listen with the intent of understanding the other person as they speak to you. Give them your full attention. Clarify things you don’t understand. Do your best to fully participate in the conversation and get the most from the communication.
9. Mindfully take in 5 minutes each hour.
If you want to live in the moment take 5 minutes every hour to mindfully be here and now. Take this time to describe everything you see, hear, smell, and feel to yourself. This mindfulness exercise is an easy way to bring your mind back to the present moment and keep it there. You cannot do this exercise without bringing you mind to the here and now.
10. Chew your food slowly
Most people eat their food without thinking. They just gobble it down. Instead, eat slowly and enjoy your food. Eating slower allows you to enjoy your food more. An added benefit is that you’ll also eat less.
An excellent exercise to start is to eat an entire orange one piece at a time. Chew each piece slowly, focus on the fragrance and flavor of each bite.
11. Leave room in your schedule.
Many people have so many meetings and tasks in their schedule that they hardly have time to go to the restroom. This type of crowded schedule makes it hard to focus on the task at hand and fills your mind with anxiety. You cannot live in the moment when you fill your schedule to brim.
Give yourself some space between obligations. This will allow you time to reflect, regroup and restart the next activity with the energy it deserves.
Start to Live in the Moment Today
Spending time in the past or the future wastes the time you have today. This is time that you will never get back.
Instead of wallowing in worry and regret, learn to live in the moment. It’s a skill anyone can learn and a habit that will completely change your life.