Knowing how to live in the moment and actually living in the present is an art. But it doesn’t imply that learning how to live in the moment is difficult. Only a few steps and your love for the present will fill your life.
Before we begin easy steps to live in the moment, let’s enjoy a short story-
Because sometimes what scientific terms and technical words can’t teach, a simple story does. And until now you would be sure that if Dugdug is teaching something, it would be profound.
I love being in the present. When I was playing for my school, the only thing I wanted to do was get selected for the under-16 or the under-19 district teams. When I was selected for the district team, I would think about the next level, which was getting selected for the stateside. I always live in the moment – M.S Dhoni
How to Live in the Moment
1) Foster present like plants
Plants have some deep wisdom to share with you as they are an expert and live in the moment.
If you have a plant what would be your strategy of growing it?
Would you not water your plant today because you did yesterday or days before? Because you have cared for it in the past, will you ignore it today? Or would you neglect it today thinking that you will care about it in the future?
In both the cases if you become careless in the present your plant will die. Like plants, you too need to be cared, nurtured and loved in the present. You are important too. Forgetting to live in present is like a slow death.
Now assume two scenarios-
You plant a sapling, water it daily, shield it from harsh sunlight and freezing wind. After years of care, it breeds a fruit and you eat it. The other scenario is that you directly get the fruit and have it.
What do you do think, would the taste of same fruit differ?
The fruit with hard work attached to it will be more flavourful. You have to witness the journey to your goal to find fulfillment in the achievements. You have to shed sweat to smile at your success. And to be on the journey you have to live in the present, at the moment.
2) Breathe concisely
Breathing is more than just in taking the air and throwing it out. It is our breathing that gives us life and the way we breathe determines how and how long we are going to live.
– When you feel the need to come back to the moment, feel your breath. Notice how you are taking air in, is it fast, normal or slow? See the effect on the body, the abdomen, your mind and your feelings.
– You will be surprised to know that just by breathing consciously, you will return to your present. The anticipation of the future and the regret of past will be over. You would have the reality, the moment.
– Before stepping into sleep or whenever you feel like returning to present, lie on your back. With closed life feel how you breathe is welcomed into your body.
-Be grateful for every ounce of air because it gives life to you. You will feel the sudden explosion of energy in you and the energy will bring peace and the present.
3) See your surroundings
When your past and the future push you, indulge in visiting your surroundings to live in the moment.
– The moment fear of what would happen if your plan doesn’t work hits you, switch your eyes to surroundings. Look at the table, the pen, your house, the floor, ceiling and everything. See the texture on wood, the corners of your ceiling, the touch of your pen and the feeling of being involved in these things.
-Our mind can only focus on one thing at a time and when you switch to surroundings, you open the gate to your present.
– Also, while looking at the things be hopeful. The same table, pen, the house can help you to break from your past and realize your future. If you choose any drawback can serve to be your biggest advantage.
4) Pick out present pointers
Present pointer are the things that point your vision to the present, helping you to go back to live in the moment.
– All you have to do is prepare a list of your present pointers. And pick out those who work the best for you. A single present pointer is enough.
-A quote by your ideal pasted on the wall, an amulet, a good book, a plant or something that helps you re-love your life would be your present pointer.
Use the best present pointer:
The best pointer is the moment when you stop living in the present. The second you indulge in over thinking about the past or future you have a big opportunity to come back to the present. Use your lack of presence to make you present.
– The other good present pointers are your feelings. If you are not feeling good then it’s the right time to make you align with the present. Only when you feel good about yourself and life you would be in present.
– Make anger, yelling, irritation, ego, as your present pointers. When you feel them you know you have something to change.
5) Commit to focused engagement
Ever felt time flowing freely when you were engaged in doing something you love? You look at the watch and get surprised by finding out that you were doing that work continuously for hours without any distraction. This is when time flows, the time flow moment.
– The same time which crawls while you are attending a class or a board meeting, volatiles when you are in a movie theatre. It’s because, in front of the movie you only think about that, you are practicing to live in the moment.
– Increase your dosages of time flow moment. Ask yourself is the time flowing or spending? Start from 10 minutes a day and move to a life where your time is more than the tick-tock of the clock. Your time flows.
– Leave multitasking to your phone. To begin to live in the moment focus on one task at a time. You don’t have to do this whole day, just find some me time. You deserve this.
-When you focus on one thing, you live in the moment. It’s like running with both your legs to your destination, the present moment. Distractions rip you in half, you run with one leg to your destination and reach there later. And sometimes you don’t reach at all.
6) Do you really want that feeling?
Think. Do you like the feeling of anger, hopelessness, irritation? Deep within you, you know you don’t. Choose to cut from the undesired feelings.
– Ask and find how are you feeling at the moment? Raced breathes or calm ones, a smile on the face or furrowed brows, hands doing something good or shivering in fear.
– When you find the feelings you don’t want to experience, begin eliminating them. Switch to doing something productive, replace your negative attitude with positive. This will replace your past to present.
7) Switch from expecting to accepting
When you expect, something will be yours but when you accept, the whole world could be yours.
-The pain of the past and the need to find solace in the future occurs because of our expectations. Lower your expectation level and increase the acceptance meter.
– Accept the things you can’t change. You can only make the best efforts. The result is beyond your control. When acceptance becomes your way of life, you begin to live in the moment.
– Don’t do what Dugdug did. Don’t ignore the flavours of the present. What if your future get sour and you keep neglecting the sweetness of the present?
-In all your love relations, love without expecting something in return. Love is not a satisfaction of ego, or a medium to fulfill your needs. Love is the essence of life, it has no room for ego and selfishness. Accept your partner and don’t expect him/her to change completely according to you. Acceptance will free you from their mistake of past and the burden of your expectations in the future.
Also Read: How to deal with Guilt and Past
8) Be the positive sieve
Negativity is a single step solution to distract you from your present. Increasing your time in the present is possible, just become the positive sieve.
-Like a sieve filter out the negativity and keep only the positivity for you. Positivity will help you in this because positivity is itself bigger and denser than negativity, it will not pass through the sieve. Be ready for filtering, positivity will do the rest.
-As in the book practicing the power of now, Eckhart Tolle said to ‘Be Transparent’. Gently pass anything undesired through you. Be transparent towards the negativity. Don’t get bothered by something you don’t like to hold in your mind. Grip the things you want, let go of the one you don’t. It’s simple.
Also Read: Positivity Rules
9) You are the master
Quite contrary to what we believe and the way we are molded, the only thing we can control is our thoughts. It seems tough but it is not when you decide to be the master not the slave of thoughts.
-Sometimes while being in a noisy crowd we feel contented and calm. And while being at our home alone we feel restless.
What is the same in both situations?
You. But one thing has changed is your thoughts. This is what happens when your inner world changes. And you do have the power to change it.
-Replace your thoughts, begin the use of affirmations, indulge in doing thoughtful things or read a good book. Do something to be a good thinker.
-Be more than your stagnant thoughts. Be the one who rules your thought instead of being framed by them.
Also Read: Easy ways to build a new habit
10) Look for patterns in thoughts
There are some typical patterns, sentences, situations and thoughts that prevent you from being at the present. Finding them is the first way to get rid of them.
-Look for the thoughts where you belittle yourself. When you say, “I know I am not capable of…” stop right there. When you assume that you are not capable, begin yelling that you can. Be so loud that doubts get scared. It all starts with the correct thoughts.
-How you complete saying I am____ determines how you will shape your life. Be careful, choose only the good for you.
-If some people are not allowing you to live in the moment because they always excavate your past, then it is better to be away from them. If someone is not helping you and blocking your life, decide to walk away from them.
-You are not here to suffer. Write a letter to your problems, anger, pain, and despondency. Write that you are freeing yourself from them. Bade your final goodbye to them and say hi to your life.
11) Have naps with nature
If you don’t want to churn your brain to find your present pointers then reach for nature. Nature has the best power nap to recharge you to live in the moment.
-While being on a beach in a lovely weather, basking sunlight and waves tickling your feet, you are most likely to think about the beach only. Nature’s beauty is for you, it keeps reminding you to live in the moment.
-Go into the woods for nature walks, sleep under the stars, see a sunrise, enjoy a beautiful sunset with your family. Be with nature and your loved ones, you will always be in the moment with them.
12) Fuse life to everything
Talking to the future looks appealing but it sabotages you. Conversions with the past could be an escape but its breaks you. Begin talking to the present, the one which grows you.
-Talk to your sofa, your bed, the table, kitchen’s knife and soap. No, they would not give you a solution but voicing your thoughts would help you to refocus on the present. It would be you helping yourself. The things are just a medium.
-You’ll always find something near you so, returning to your present is not impossible. There are plenty of things to talk to without getting fooled by the past and future.
-If you can talk to your doubts and fears, talking to things is not crazy. It helps.
13) Your thoughts are not your ID card
You rely on your thoughts and accept what they say about you. You agree that you are not good enough because they show you in a bad light. Remember thoughts are not your true identity proof. Thoughts are not always a truth.
-Acceptance is needed but do not accept everything. Do not settle for harmful thoughts. Disapprove the ones who doubt your potential.
-Your identity is what you believe not what your thoughts claim.
-Ignore negative mental commentary. Be the positive sieve again.
-Have creative and mental vacations from your thought’s trap. Revisit the place you love in your mind. Be you, not your thoughts.
14) Tough things are useful
The project on which an architect works hard and keeps sharp eyes gives buildings that are a marvel for the eyes. Beautiful buildings are a result of a big resilience of the architect. Living in the present is tough because it is useful. All important things demand hard work.
-If you play a game you would be most proud of you when you have defeated the toughest opponent. Past and future are those tough opponents but do not underestimate your present. It is invincible.
-Don’t waste your today while planning to improve your tomorrow and regretting what you could in the past. Do it now. Today is the thing you have, the only thing you have.
That’s a wrap for how to live in the moment. We are sure while reading this you had your time flow movement and started living in the present.