Living in the moment is about becoming aware of your thoughts here and now. Not rendering in the past or worrying about the future. With daily practice, when you live in the moment, you will began to find life more enriched, be able to tune out many of life’s stressors, discover that your days last longer (because you are savoring each moment) while enjoying the things you love to do and your mood will be calm, non-judging and at peace with those around you. It also tends to increase compassion and love in your self.
With daily stressors like traffic, noise pollution, telephones ringing, children clamoring, alarms ringing, computers beeping, schedules to keep, people requesting stuff, our minds always racing with thoughts, political events to worry about, self catastrophizing (are you stressed out already just reading this sentence?) its important to find a way to relax the mind. Not to mention women up to the age of 50 are twice as likely than men to suffer from anxiety.
There might also be times when your life seems like its in limbo. No solid goals. Maybe at a loss for ‘what’s next?’. I take this as an internal queue to sit in the quiet (which at first, is quite uncomfortable to do). Be still. Live in the moment. And begin to (re) discover… ah-ha, the things that bring joy to your true self.
Learn how to tune out the the external stressors and find peace by living in the present moment. I personally use these tips in my daily life ::
- Yoga :: When practicing yoga you are engaging your body and mind to align with your heart. You do not dwell on the past or future when practicing yoga. You focus on the present moment while finding balance in each move. With each breath.
And with practice you find your self skillfully embracing and strengthening each move. Not only with your body, but with you mind. In peace and harmony. Ten to fifteen minutes a day. I really enjoy Ekhart Yoga videos on YouTube.
- Smile upon Waking Up:: Every morning, I intentionally thank the Universe and God for the morning (I picked up this habit from Dr. Maya Angelou). I wake up relishing the good things that are in front of me (watching the sunrise, a hot cup of coffee to drink, and running). Sometimes, I will read 10 minutes of a good book before rolling out of bed. And then, purposely smile and thank God and the Universe for all that I have in my life now and the people I get to love unconditionally.
In addition, I’ve learned to wake up by my body’s internal alarm clock. I simply tell myself what time I want to wake up. Give or take a few minutes, I’m usually right on time. So there is no beeping in my morning to start out a crank in the mood.
- Do Something Enjoyable :: Have you ever noticed when you are engrossed with the something enjoyable, you lose track of time? Like when reading a good book, landscaping the yard, crafting a project – that time just slips by un-noticed. And you realize just how good of a day you’ve been having. For me its coding, building websites, hiking and camping.
Some of you – because you’re so caught up in the hustle & bustle of life’s daily stressors – might be wondering what you enjoy to do. Start by making a list of the things you used to love doing in your youth. It was neat to rediscover some of my passions. I’ve recently took up journaling again and find great joy in it. Last weekend, I took time to learn German via free iTunes podcasts.
- Take Notice :: Just get up and go for a walk. Really look at the trees swaying in the breeze, the flower in bloom, listen to the water trickle, the birds chirp. It might sound kind of cheesy. But you begin to realize just how much beauty is in front of you. I like to stop and be still, noticing my friends talking. I discover how lucky I am to have such great friends in my life. It really is the little things.
The same goes with running. I love when my feet hit the dirt. I pass by the horses. The sense of calmness it brings me. What are the little things you enjoy?
- Pause :: You are not your thoughts. You are not your past. Yet we often react to situations on impulse and in ways that are embedded in us by habit. And later we sit in wonderment, why things always result in the same outcome (I’m sure you’ve probably said to yourself – moms with children, ‘I sounded just like my mother’. Aka, by habit).
When you start living in the moment, you learn to take a pause before reacting or responding to a situation. Then you begin to respond with intention. And even times you discover that its better not to say anything at all.
Watch the Dalai Lama speak. You will notice he pauses often before he speaks.
Pausing before reacting teaches you to think mindfully, instead of automatically. And you’ll began to realize, as I have, that this practice actually has a profound effect on your relationships with people around you. Not to mention, helps to seed new, purposeful habits in your life.
Question: What is something you’ve been wanting to do but keep putting off? Tip: stop putting it off and start working on it.
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