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Have you been mindful of what you are doing today? Paying attention to the task you are doing at each specific moment? Are you living in the moment? Intentionally living and doing things with a purpose and putting the multitude of thoughts on hold can have a major impact on our lives.
Many people often spend much of their time multitasking, worrying about what’s on our to do list, and planning the next task before the first is complete. We spend time with our children, friends and family, but our minds are often in other places. For some it’s a rare occurrence to give anyone or anything one hundred percent of our full attention.
There is a time and place for thoughts of the past or dreams of the future. However, there also needs to be a place for living in the moment and being present mentally.
In a fast paced world it’s not always easy to slow down and appreciate each moment as it passes. I have some tips to help you find more time and space in your life for living in the moment.
Tips to Live in the Moment
Reflect on the things you are grateful for in your life. Think about and consider things you have that make your life good rather than thinking about the things you wish you had. Tell people thank you immediately when they do things for you. Appreciate what you have and what you are doing at this very moment.
2. Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation is perfect for helping you to be present. Stress reduction techniques can be used for relaxation and can bring you back to the moment. When we are stressed it’s often because we’re overwhelmed or worried about something in the future.
One thing I try to use every day to help manage stress is a thirty minute wellness routine. It keeps me focused on being present, plus it gives me a chance to recharge for my day.
There are many ways to meditate, some take more practice than others. I have a zafu to keep me seated comfortably during some meditations. Going on walks, having a good laughing session, or relaxing in bed are also great meditation techniques I’ve used. Amazingly, cooking and cleaning have also become meditative for me.
Breathing techniques learned from Dr. Belisa Vranich have found their way into my routine as well. I’ve had the opportunity to attend her sessions at a couple of different conferences. Her book, Breathe, details breathing techniques and how to use breath to make positive changes in your life.
Journaling is another way I calm the mind. Sometimes getting it all down on paper helps me release the racing thoughts and brings me back to the now.
Changing your attitude can give you a headstart for living in the moment. Work on training your brain to have a positive outlook and reframe experiences as a positive instead of a negative. Recognize that our thoughts are not reality, they are creations in our head regarding our own perspective, memories and often worry. Sometimes stepping back and evaluating a situation from an outsider’s perspective can help us keep focus when making decisions.
Don’t Focus on the Future
Remind yourself when you worry that the event hasn’t occurred and you can’t predict the future. While being prepared for things in the future is important, it’s also important not to dwell on those things. Once you have everything in line to prepare for that future event, return to the present and focus on the task at hand.
Recognize Hidden Opportunity
If you’re waiting in a long line, use it as an opportunity to catch up on emails or social media if you have a smartphone. Use it as an opportunity to take a breather and do a standing meditation or breathing practice. If you’re the social type, this is the perfect time to get to know someone else standing next to you, which can also work as another chance to be present while talking to another person.
Enjoy the Process
Sometimes we have to do things we don’t like. Cleaning. Paying bills. Working. Just because we don’t like a task doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the process. It may not be a pleasant process, but if we can find the positive in it, it can make the experience a little better.
Social media makes it easy to compare our lives to the lives of others. Don’t play into the comparison game. Remember a glimpse of something on social media isn’t the reality. There are a lot of things going on behind the scenes.
4. Savor the moment
Stop and smell the roses is the cliche I often hear, but hey, it’s a good one. It’s important to stop and notice the details of what’s going on around you. I like to pay attention to what’s around me, especially when on a nature walk. There is so much to see in our world, and too often we aren’t paying attention so we miss some good things.
Notice Small Things
In addition to the details there are also the small things. Of course when something big happens everyone takes notice, but do you notice the small things too? Are you appreciative of the hundredth picture your child has created just for you today? What about the small gesture of kindness someone offered when they held the door open for you at the gas station. In addition to the details of things around you, make sure to notice the other small things as well.
Be Present with Others
I don’t just mean be social. I mean really pay attention to what other people are saying. Enjoy their company and don’t focus on what other people are doing, what you need to get done, or your phone.
Take the time to savor your food, savor the moment, savor life! Be conscious of the sensations you experience with everything you do.
Sometimes in life we need to just sit back and do nothing. Take some time to be alone. Just sit and do nothing. You don’t need to spend a lot of time doing nothing. Just five minutes a day would be enough.
5. Be Deliberate
One Thing at a Time
When you have a to do list, do just one thing at a time. This will allow you be focused on what you’re doing while you’re doing it instead of letting your mind wander to other tasks. I often prided myself in the ability to multitask, but I recognize that no matter how productive I felt while doing this, I wasn’t giving each task my all.
Do things Slowly and Purposefully
Doing something slowly does not mean go at turtle pace just because. It just means don’t speed through your work. Take care and be intentional in your actions. It will help you produce quality work and recognize the things in life that are worth your time and effort.
I’ve been known to take on more obligations than I can handle. Somehow I do manage to handle them and get everything done, but while I’m doing that something must be sacrificed. In these cases what I’ve sacrificed is my own me time. Be selective in the tasks you take on.
Space Things Out
Give yourself time to complete a task without hurrying. Leaving space between tasks gives the opportunity to deal with any road bumps or delays in the process. When you give yourself sufficient time to finish tasks you can reduce the overwhelm and give yourself a better platform to live in the moment.
Own Only What You Need
One of the best things I’ve ever done is to purge. I went through my basement getting rid of items I no longer needed, projects I knew deep down I’d never complete and old things that no longer had meaning. When you have less, there is less to clean, less to organize in your mind, and it can give an all around feeling of content.
What do you do to live in the moment? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share them in the comments below.