With the millions of things we think about on a daily basis, it’s easy to get swept up in our thoughts about the future: what we’ll be doing, where we’ll be, who we’ll be with. Living in the moment is a state of active, open, and intentional attention to the present. Whenever I’m experiencing something enjoyable like a vacation or a relaxing lunch by the beach, I really take the time to realize what is happening. I notice my surroundings, smell the air, and truly recognize that I am present in this moment. But my goal is to ?live in the moment? every single day, and not just when I’m experiencing something enjoyable. Being able to live in the moment is a skill that can help us achieve greater happiness and contentment with our life just as it is. Here are 5 ways to accomplish it:
1. Work towards not thinking about what others think of you. Maintaining an ‘unselfconscious’ state of mind will take your focus off of others? opinion of what you?re doing and direct it back to your task at hand. Thinking too hard about what you’re doing and who’s watching you do it could have the opposite effect that you desire.
2. Appreciate what is happening in the present. Instead of seeing a beautiful painting or eating a delicious cookie and thinking into the future of when you will see or eat something that delicious again, focus on how great it is in that exact moment. Savor the good moments as they come.
3. Do one thing at a time. In this century, if you’re not doing a hundred things at once you may seem off your game. But doing single tasks, rather than multi-tasking, and paying attention to each specific task will help your mind to focus on the present.
4. Take a yoga class. The practice of living in the moment, also called mindfulness, is a core value in yoga-based exercises. Many of the mantras and movements that you do during yoga class help promote mindfulness and can carry on into your life outside the yoga studio.
5. Breathe. Sometimes the simplest explanations are the easiest to overlook. We forget to breathe. Not literally, of course, but focusing on our breath makes us realize we are alive in this moment, right now.
6. Lastly, let go of the ‘what ifs.’ More often than not, the things we worriedly think ‘what if’ about never actually happen. So do not to allow those thoughts to take you out of the moment.
So just keep breathing. In out, in out. Now smile. :)