How to live in the moment

4 12 2009

Living in the moment is all about living like there’s no tomorrow. It takes practice but in the end, you’ll lead a fuller life. To do this you must realise beauty in every moment, and in everyday activities. Here are some tips on doing this better in today’s busy world – adapted from an article on wikihow.com.

This is your life, now live!

Quinton

**

Take notice of the world around you. No matter what you’re doing, try to find something beautiful around you. Maybe on your way to work you go over a bridge, or you get a view of the sunrise behind the city buildings. Realizing these small things can bring life and happiness even to the most boring or routine days. Be thankful for those things.

Focus on whatever you’re doing. Even if you’re just walking, or wiping the benchtop, or having a shower – how does it feel? There’s probably some kind of commentary spinning through your mind, and it probably has to do with something other than what you’re doing. Let those thoughts go and focus on what is (not what was, or what could be). Pay attention to your senses – touch, sight, smell, sound, and taste. Pretend it’s the very last time you’ll ever experience whatever you’re experiencing. Have you ever been so engrossed in something that it seemed like the rest of the world just disappeared? Living in the moment is about creating that state of mind at any time. Slow down, and take in the present.

Start your day well. How you start the day can set the tone of appreciation and awareness for the next 24 hours. Don’t wake up with a groan and a smash of your alarm clock. Give yourself time to enjoy breakfast at your own pace – listen to music, sit on the balcony, read the paper. Try giving yourself an extra 30-60 minutes in the morning to ease into the day, rather than flying from bed to door in 17 minutes.

Practice random acts of kindness. Whether it’s donating 1 dollar to a fund at the pharmacy, picking up litter, or helping victims of natural disasters, keep alert in every moment of your day for some way in which you can make the world a better place. Even the smallest thing, like complimenting someone, can make a massive difference to your day (and others). It’s the most spontaneous and unexpected acts of kindness that yield the greatest impact, and you can’t be aware of those opportunities unless you’re living in the moment.

Minimize activities that dull your awareness of the moment. What are you doing that tempts your mind to escape the present? For most people, watching TV or surfing the net puts you in a passive state of mind, and time slips right by. Daydreaming and getting lost in a good movie or book isn’t bad, but it’s not living in the moment because it places your concentration on something that isn’t right here, right now; it’s a form of escapism. Don’t zone out; zone in. Do things that are active, and that encourage you to look around and engage the world in that moment. Going for a walk (without your mobile phone/ipod), working on the car, playing sport or an instrument, or just sitting on the balcony with music, are all activities that lend themselves to mindfulness. So get off the computer after reading this article!

Be thankful for your life. When you find yourself wishing for something you don’t have, or wishing your life would be different, start your quest for your wish by being thankful for what is already in your life. This will bring you back to the present moment. Make a list of what you are thankful for right now even if all you can think of is that you are alive and can breathe. It’s easy to miss what’s right in front of you by always looking beyond to what once was or what might be. If you are thankful for what is, you’ll be happy to be in the moment instead of somewhere else.

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