You may have heard mention of “Living in the Now” or “Living in the Present Moment”. What do those terms mean, and how can we use the concept to improve our daily lives? Let’s take a look at what it means to be “Living in the Now”.
Living In The Now
Living in the now is the state of ideal attention. It is a state of being where all that exists in your perception is the present moment, without any thought of the past or future. It is paying total attention to what you are doing, at the moment that you are doing it. If you are eating, for example, just eat. Concentrate on the taste and texture of each bite you put into your mouth. If you are eating and you are thinking about your bills, or what is on television tonight, then you are not in a state of living in the now. If you are reading, just read. If you are reading and you are not totally concentrating on the act of reading then again, you are not in the present moment. Regardless of what you happen to be doing, if you are thinking about something else, then you are not attentive and not in a state of living in the now.
When you are not attentive, not living in the now, your present peace of mind may be disturbed by some upcoming future event for no good reason. Let’s say that you are playing with your child when suddenly you start thinking about a bill coming due. Your thoughts distract you from the joy of spending time with your child. You are not focused on the child and your interaction with them. In this way, you are taking away from the experience of being with your child. By letting worry about a future event interfere with your enjoyment of your child, you are not able to experience the full joy and happiness of the moment you are spending with your child. This is just one example of how you rob yourself of joy by worrying about the past or thinking about a future event.
Many people live their lives in the future, or even in the past. You need to remember that the past is gone. You cannot change the past in any way. What you can do is change your present to create a better future. However, you can’t live in the future either, because the future is just a set of possibilities that may happen.
I can hear you now saying “Oh yeah, well my mortgage will still be due in the future”. You are correct. Some things happen like clockwork. Yes, your mortgage will be due, but how you pay your mortgage, and every other event that happens in your life, have infinite possibilities. The only limiting factor is the action you take or chose not to take in the present moment. The Universe can provide everything you need or could possibly want. You just have to ask for it and then take action when the opportunity arises.
Many people decide they will live in the future. Why? Most people have a future that doesn’t mirror their present, so they’d rather be in the future. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because the Law of Attraction states, “…that which you give your attention to will manifest in your life.” However, staying in the future means your present is passing you by. Focusing solely on the future means you won’t be aware when an opportunity presents itself in the present to allow you to have that future you are so focused on.
You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this. –Henry David Thoreau (1817-62) American writer, author, naturalist.
If I ask you how you feel, I’m not asking how you felt last week, or how you’ll fee tomorrow. I’m asking how you feel at this present moment. You need to realize that the present moment is all you can experience. You cannot go back and relive a moment from yesterday. You cannot live a moment from your future. All you can live and experience is this moment right now.
How do you spend your days? Do you practice living in the now? Or do you spend your days worrying about things that happened in the past? Maybe you spend your days dreaming of your future. Either way, you are robbing yourself of the joy of what is happening in this present moment. You are truly robbing yourself of the opportunities all around you by choosing not to live in the now.
Live each moment for the gift that it is. We all only have so many of those moments we are granted in this life. There will be no second chances for any of us. Are you letting life happen to you, or are you living life? The choice is totally yours. You need to take note of the things around you. Take the time to notice the beauty of a flower, or feel the cool wind on your face. Listen to the sounds going on and observe other people around you. Don’t miss out on what is happening in the world.
Be aware and act as though each day or moment might be your last. Treat everyone you meet with kindness, and have an attitude of gratitude for the things you have and the things you receive. Do everything you do to the best of your ability. Choose to practice the golden rule and treat others as you want to be treated. See every problem or challenge you face as an opportunity to learn and grow.
The following are some ways to help you live in the now and live a happy life without stress.
1. Don’t think about it.
Try to calm your mind and stop the random thoughts that spring up. Keep a notepad close by and whenever a random thought pops up to go write it down. Keep a notepad beside your bed so if you have a great idea during the night you can write it down. Then settle your mind again and come back to it later. Cross off the list any bad thoughts you may have had. This is a physical manifestation to tell you’re conscious mind to stop thinking about those things. Another way to train yourself to stop having bad thoughts is to commit to doing something every time they occur. You could commit to doing something like shaking you’re hearing really hard, or 10 pushups when these thoughts occur. This has the added benefit of training your mind to be joyful and helps you with living in the now.
2. Do Yoga and exercises.
Doing daily exercise will get you in shape and stop your mind from wandering. Practicing meditation is also a great way to train your mind to focus on being in the now. Meditation consists of focusing exercises which are useful for training your mind.
3. Avoid daily routine
You know you want to plan your day down to the minute. But the stubborn reliance on routine can actually make you more prone to avoid living in the moment by thinking about all the things you need to do today by a certain time. Instead, take a moment to appreciate a sunrise or a tree. Take some time for yourself and just meditate for a moment. Ground yourself in the fact that although you have things you must do today, you will focus on each one in turn, and give them 100% of your attention. Then do them to the best of your ability.
4. The past and future are a reflection of the present
The most important thing is to do good in the present. Future health and wealth can be created by what you do in this present moment. Find the good in what you are doing right now. Focus on what you are doing and train yourself to see an opportunity to do or be better when it presents itself.
5. If you don’t like the present, change it.
You can’t change the past but you can change the future. And that’s most important. If you’re not happy with something in your life currently then change it. Want to be an architect? Go study architecture. Feeling lonely? Go somewhere and meet new people. The only thing that is important is that you’re happy with the present. Only then will your future is as bright as it can possibly be.
Practice living in the now and know that by accessing the power of now, you can enjoy even more success than ever before.