Do you take time to enjoy where you are at the moment?
I used to be very focused on my future. How and where will I live one day? What will I work? Will I have children?
Sure I do have dreams. But I learnt to live in the moment. I do not worry about my future anymore. No more pressure. Just go with the flow. Listen to my heart. My intuition.
I also learnt to enjoy not to know what I am going to experience. Getting surprised by the people I meet along my way.
How I learnt to live in the moment
One of my friends asked me how I learnt to live in the moment. Well…Since it rarely happens by accident I will try to answer this question below.
I think one part through travelling solo. That’s where I learnt what I really want, what is truly important to me in life, what gives me satisfaction, and what doesn’t. Independent from anybody else. I believe it is also good that bad things happen to you. If you master them it will only make you stronger. And you appreciate the good moments much more. Then working all kind of different jobs also helped me. Realising what are my abilities, talents and that I can actually live from that. This gives me peace and a feeling of freedom.
Follow your own values
Don’t get me wrong, it is definitely important to consider the future impacts for your present actions. It is important to follow your own values. If you want to stay healthy a healthy lifestyle is reasonable. If being sustainable is important to you start now. Do your best in the moment and don’t wait another day. Your future reflects the choices and actions you make in the present. You can be the person you want to be.
What would you like your loved ones to say about your character and contributions one day?
Be mindful to the moment
Living in the moment is not about ruminating on the past (but reflecting about the past allows us to learn from our mistakes) or worrying about the future. It is about being mindful to the moment. When you eat for example, look at the food, feel the texture, taste and smell the different flavour, and listen to the sound it makes when you chew it. Enjoy this bite of food and you live this moment to the fullest. The more you do it this way the more you will change your brain. You strengthen nerve pathways that make the habit of mindfulness easier and easier.
Little things that may help
There are times when living in the moment is just not possible or really hard. Sometimes our thoughts are overwhelmed by regrets about past events, anxiety about the future or we just experience a very stressful moment. There are little things that may help.
- Don’t judge. For example what other people do; that you have to get up early or the traffic. You can’t change it in that moment. Those judgments only increases stress and frustration.
- Show you feelings and don’t suppress and justify them. When you are sad, be sad! You are allowed to be sad. Emotions really aren’t bad. Plus it’s more authentical and people will know how you feel and can react appropriately.
- Focus on the sight, sound, smell, taste, and feel of your daily activities.
- Practice gratitude. Having to wait for something can be annoying. Start to think about waiting as a good thing. Take that time to observe your surroundings and think about what you are grateful for in that moment. For who you are, how you are feeling in that moment, and for loved ones. Write down one good thing that happened each day. Read your list regularly to appreciate your current life.
- Forgive. If there is someone in your past that hurt you, forgive. If not you will focuse on the past and suffer. Write the person a letter or talk to the person about her past actions. You don’t have to send the letter, but it will help you stop blaming this person and help you to move toward the present.
- Focus on happy things. Adapting an optimistic realistic lifestyle has a big influence. Living in the moment can be a challenge if you are in a bad mood.
- Meditate. Find a quiet spot and get comfortable. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. As you focus on your breathing, try not to get distracted by your thoughts. Just let them happen and pass by. Without opening your eyes, observe the world around you. Pay attention to how you feel as well. What do you hear? What do you smell? How do you feel? physically? emotionally?
- Start small. Start by incorporating new habits one at a time. Once you feel like you have mastered a habit, add something else. Make small goals towards a long term goal that is relevant to your future.
Fee free to add any other recommendations 🙂
photo: Martin Niederberger