Living in the moment may seem like a dream come true and an impossible goal at the same time. The good news is you can learn how to live in the moment with a bit of practice.
Why Focus on Living in the Moment?
Life is just a series of moments, one after another – here for a second, then gone the next. When we are children, every moment seems exciting and full of wonderful possibilities. We might fall down trying to ride a bike, or hate spinach, but in general, we are full of joy as we watch things unfold.
However, by the time we get to school age, our days start to become determined more and more by a fixed timetable of where we should be and what we should be doing. The time for spontaneity decreases as stress increases. We worry about working hard so we can get good grades and have a bright future.
We sometimes dwell on things that were difficult in our lives. In fact, we might focus on them so much that it holds us back from the success we deserve. For example, if you kept failing math tests, you would think you were bad at math and that would hold you back. You would be nervous at every test and this could make you almost sabotage yourself because of your expectations of failure.
As adults, the tendency to worry about the future and dwell on the past can become even more pronounced, preventing us from enjoying the good things in life. We get a job, have a family, and start to live on autopilot, while all the time feeling that there has to be more to life. Well, there is. It’s called living in the moment.
Enjoying the Here and Now
Living in the moment might sound “new age” or irresponsible, but it is actually a valuable life skill that can help you in your career, with your relationships, and more. It improves concentration because you are focusing on one thing, not trying to multitask.
It improves relationships because you are truly paying attention to what your family, friends and loved ones are saying, without an automatic, “Uh hunh.”
We still set priorities and go for our goals, but living in the moment, and what is termed mindfulness meditation, now become part of our daily routine. For a few minutes each day, we tune into our thoughts and observe them without judging or getting caught up in them. This is usually best done sitting down, in the morning and evening.
Throughout the day, whenever we wish, we can also become mindful of an action we are doing, such as washing the dishes. We enjoy the experience by noting what each of our senses is telling us. This makes us more focused and less stressed. We can recharge and renew. We let go of the past we can’t change and the future we can’t control, and allow ourselves to be a human being – not a “human doing” racing from one task to the next.
This allows you to feel more enjoyment from life, grounding you and making you feel more peaceful and alive. You will feel less anxious and fearful and more in command of your own life. You can give yourself permission to play and have fun.
Living in the moment through mindfulness can transform your outlook and relationships. Try it and see what a difference it can make to your life.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Do you “live in the moment?” How do you practice that? Share your thoughts in the comments. Let’s chat!