Living in the present is simply just being focused on whatever is happening in the present.
We often hear people talk about the importance of living in the moment and the different ways it will benefit us. It all sounds wonderful, especially the lower levels of stress and anxiety, but how exactly can we live in the present when our mind is constantly worrying about the past or planning for the future?
In this article, we are going to tell you some useful tips to help you practice living in the moment.
The benefits of living in the moment
While it can be difficult to live in the moment, it has innumerable benefits.
1. Better health
By reducing stress and anxiety, you avoid many of the associated health consequences, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and obesity. Studies have shown that being present in the moment can also improve psychological well-being.
2. Improve your relationships
Being with unavailable people is a struggle, and building relationships with them are extremely difficult. We enjoy being with someone who is fully present. Because we can make a much deeper connection.
By living in the moment, you can be that person other people enjoy being with, and you make relationships much easier.
3. Greater self-control
You have greater control over your mind, body, and emotions when you are living in the moment. You would certainly be more at peace, and much happier.
Why do we worry?
When we are concerned about something, we are more likely to deal with a real problem with real solutions. Then, once we do whatever we can to address the problem, we’re willing to live with the outcome.
Worrying, on the other hand, involves unrealistic thinking. We may worry about a problem that doesn’t exist or dwell on all the bad things that can happen as a result. Then, we feel unable to deal with the outcome. Either way, we have difficulty dealing with uncertainty, which is a normal part of life.
Certainly, some of our problems may not have desirable outcomes. Some problems may be beyond our control. In such cases, it can be hard to avoid worrying, but not impossible.
Reasons to live in the moment
We all desire genuine happiness, and to manifest this joy we have to live presently. Too much focus on the future often leads to stress and negative thinking.
Here’re 5 reasons why you should focus on living in the moment, rather than planning too much for the future:
1. The present moment is the only moment you have control over right now
No matter how much you plan. You never know for sure how life is going to play out. The only time you will know is when you are in that moment.
The moment you experience right now is the only moment you can control. You can choose to enjoy the moment or you can choose to loathe the moment. You can also choose to ignore the moment completely and waste it away, but either way, the present moment is yours to control.
2. Each moment is a gift
There is no guarantee on the number of moments you will get to experience. This is extremely important to realize. No one knows when the next moment of their life is going to be taken away from them.
You can’t live with this unique perspective if you are constantly planning for the next stage of your life. You can only experience this zest for life if you are living in the present moment. It may even sound corny and unrealistic, but it makes perfect sense.
3. Being present is a great stress reducer
Thinking too much about the future, and the past, are often causes of stress. Even though some stress can be beneficial, the stress caused by not living in the moment can be detrimental to one’s mental, physical, and emotional health.
Over-planning can lead to unnecessary stress when the planning prevents you from living in the moment. Invigorate your life with present living strategies that will enable you to stay more focused on each moment.
4. Plans often don’t manifest themselves the way you want or expect
Attempting to plan for every step of your life is not only impossible but it is probably not healthy for you. The more you plan, the more likely you are to become irritated or upset when those plans don’t come to fruition.
Go ahead and make plans if that is helpful for you but don’t lose sight of the present moment. If your plans don’t work out the way you want, then at least try to accept them.
5. Living in the present will make you happier
Living in the present is one of the sure-fire methods you can adopt to manifest genuine happiness in your life.
Without delving into all the data and research that is available, it is being discovered that present living is one of the most influential keys to well-being. Too much long-term planning is going to prevent you from enjoying the beauty of now.
Don’t impede yourself from experiencing contentment. Practice living presently, and observe how it makes you feel. Plan when you need to but don’t lose sight of what is currently happening. Find a balance between living in the moment and planning.
You are only going to be able to control the moment you have right now. The moment you have right now is a gift. Enjoy less stress by relishing the moment. Understand that plans don’t always turn out as expected. Accept the present for what it is and be happy.
Plan as you feel necessary. Save money for a family and house. That is what you are supposed to do. In this pursuit of planning, don’t forget about where you are in the present.
How to start living in the moment
Life is here and now. It’s the present. Our problem is we spend much of our time letting it slip away. We waste our moments worrying about the future or struggling to let go of the past.
We’re also always doing something. We don’t take as much time to just be still and experience calmness.
We don’t appreciate the present moment we’re experiencing. Rather than being aware of our thoughts, we allow ourselves to be controlled by our thoughts. It’s essential to take time to pause and just rest our minds and bodies. Not just in our sleeping moments, but in our waking moments as well.
Give yourself a time where you’re not focusing or doing. A time where you’re just being present. The idea of being present is often associated with mindfulness.
Follow these simple steps for more balance and clarity.
1. Overcome worrying
To overcome worrying, you need to do two things:
Calm your mind
When you calm your mind, you can see more clearly. The reason some problems seem so daunting is that our mind is racing so fast that we cannot see things as they truly are. Then, we make up a bunch of possible scenarios in our minds, most of which are unlikely to come true.
In addition to seeing more clearly, a calm mind will help us think more realistically. Calming your mind will reduce confusion and calm your emotions, allowing you to live in the present.
Focus on solutions instead of problems
Some people tend to be more solution-oriented, and others more problem-oriented. Some of the factors that may determine this are gender, upbringing, and education.
People with more education tend to be problem-solvers. That is what their years of education train them to do. In addition, their jobs probably reinforce this way of thinking.
2. Identify obstacles to living in the moment
In today’s busy world, it can be a challenge to live in the moment. The reasons revolve around how our mind works, as well as outside influences. Some obstacles are:
Many busy people have a racing mind that never seems to slow down. Their mind gets so agitated by too much sensory stimulation. You see, anything that stimulates any of our five senses will trigger a thought, and that thought leads to another, and then another, and so on.
If you have a busy life, all your activities will overstimulate your mind and make it seemingly impossible to slow it down.
Unpleasant situations and a troublesome past
None of us want to be in unpleasant situations or remember those of the past. They can bring up painful emotions, which we don’t want to feel. By doing whatever we can to avoid them, we can take our minds to another place and time where things are more pleasant.
In other words, we avoid living in the present moment.
Most of us are not fully aware of how our environment and social norms influence our thinking and behavior. People and institutions are constantly competing for our attention. The media draws our attention to the past, and advertising usually to the future
Many people around us who dwell on the past or future try to draw us to their way of thinking.
3. Practice mindfulness
Living a consistently mindful life takes effort. Mindfulness is the only intentional, systematic activity that is not about trying to improve yourself or get anywhere else. It is simply a matter of realizing where you already are.
You can become mindful at any moment just by paying attention to your immediate experience.
Think of yourself as an eternal witness, and just observe the moment. It doesn’t matter how it feels—pleasant or unpleasant, good or bad—you roll with it because it’s what’s present; you’re not judging it. And if you notice your mind wandering, bring yourself back. Just say to yourself, “now. Now. Now.”
Here’s the most fundamental paradox of all: mindfulness isn’t a goal, because goals are about the future, but you do have to set the intention of paying attention to what’s happening at the present moment.
Become aware of being alive. And breathe. As you draw your next breath, focus on the rise of your abdomen on the in-breath, and the stream of heat through your nostrils on the out-breath.
4. Real gratitude takes time
Gratitude is good medicine and is always time well spent. It helps relieve stress and build positive energy, and it gives us a great perspective on life. Every day, you should take some time out to be grateful for what you have.
5. Nature is our guiding light
In nature, things move with the sunlight and the seasons. Society artificially compresses time. Tapping into nature’s rhythms will connect us with life around us and
6. We need space to digest thoughts and emotions.
When you aren’t digesting your thoughts, you create a backlog of mental suffering that keeps you from being present with your friends and family. To fix this, allot time to process your feelings. A hike in nature is a great time to work through that emotional turbulence, in turn allowing you to be more present for the rest of your life.
7. Communication isn’t what it used to be
Today, a vast amount of our communication is electronic. But it’s important to interact face-to-face to connect. Wake up and pay more attention to your in-person communication, focusing on things like body language and eye contact.
8. Daydreams give you new insights
It’s healthy to daydream, but it can also become disruptive. Time debt has us constantly catching up on yesterday’s thoughts. Block off some time to think about a trip you’d like to take, and imagine the sights, sounds, and textures. Building positive and productive daydreaming into your life can be therapeutic and inspiring.
9. Five deep breaths can help you think more clearly
Set a timer for every 30 minutes. Whenever it pings, stop what you’re doing and take five deep breaths down to your lower abdomen. Focus on slowing the inhale and holding for a second at the top of the breath. Then make a long, deep exhale. When you train your body and mind to press pause and nourish your breath regularly, you feel calmer.
10. Give yourself a break
Take a 5-minute break once every 25 minutes. Get up and stretch, or do some squats—whatever gets your blood flowing. Listen to your body and let it decompress. Practicing this throughout the day will keep your oxygen pumping to give you more energy.
11. Sleep is crucial
In today’s busy world, there’s less time to build recovery into your schedule. But sleeplessness makes us tired, weary, moody, less enthusiastic, and unfocused. If you stay in this state for too long, you’ll start to see negative effects on your career, relationships, health, and mood.
12. Let go of unnecessary possessions
When you practice minimalism, it helps you to be present by getting rid of items associated with the past. You surround yourself more with what brings you joy right now, helping you stay more focused on the now.
13. Choose to smile more
Rather than letting your worries control your attitude, you can shape it by beginning your days with a smile.
14. Appreciate all of your sensory experience
We often forget how much of a blessing it is to see all the colors around us. We forget how beautiful it is to hear the birds outside.
Take moments throughout your day to take in what you’re experiencing. Everything from the good and even the bad.
15. Enjoy the job you do
We may not all be doing the dream job we’re doing yet, but it doesn’t mean we still can’t find something about our work to enjoy.
Instead of focusing on the weekend or your next vacation, practice finding little things to appreciate in your day-to-day grind.
16. Look for new solutions in life
It’s important not to stay stuck in the past by doing what you’ve always done to accomplish things. Be in the now by always adapting to the changes in society to find new ways to be successful in life.
17. Practice active listening
It’s something we all do when we’re listening to someone sometimes. We hear what they’re saying, but then we get lost in our thoughts. You can be more present by actively listening to the people you’re talking with.
18. Take time for laughter
Laughter has a way of taking us completely out of whatever thoughts we’re in. Take time for laughter by spending time with those closest to you that know how to get you to laugh. Watch something that you know you’ll find funny. This is a great way to take yourself out of focusing on your past and your future and just enjoy the moment.
In conclusion, the benefits of living in the moment are well within your reach, no matter how much your mind is racing. If you stick with these mindfulness practices, you too will learn how to live in the moment and stop worrying. When you do, a whole new world will open up for you.