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How To Live in The Now And Stay In The Moment
How To Live in The Now Was (And Is) My Quest
I personally think everyone should want to learn how to live in the now. It is the best place to be! It allows you to fully enjoy life and experience, rather than just go through the motion. It brings true happiness with it.
At the beginning of the year, I vowed to start living in the now more. This meant that I had to stop feeling bad over the past, and stop worrying about what was to come (and I was doing a lot of that).
I learned how to live in the now through a number of methods, that I will talk about in the article, but the important thing to note is that I found that the more I ‘practiced’ living in the now, the more it just became a natural way of living for me. I believe that it would be like this for anyone. It just takes consistent effort and desire.
The reason that “now” is where all of your power exists, is because “now” is the only time you can think new thoughts and feel new feelings. We cannot think thirty seconds from now, or feel something two hours ago. We can only think NOW. We can only feel NOW. And so this moment right now is your greatest point of power. ~ Day 281 of . The Secret Daily Teachings
It sounds like such a simple concept to pay attention, but it is quite hard to do. Our minds often wander to the 'what if's' of life or other information that has noting to do with what is going on right now.
Trust me, you would much rather be in the now than thinking about what is on TV later.
So how can we pay attention easier? I've found that using our 5 basic senses are really the best way to do so.
If you have ever been on vacation, you have probably felt like you were really living in the now. This is because you are looking at things around you, and noticing the noises and smells around you. Even food likely tastes better on vacation because you are really smelling and tasting it instead of mindlessly eating it.
Live like you are on vacation! Stop and smell the roses every second that you can.
Taste - Remove distractions while eating and really pay attention the smell, texture, and taste of your food. Your food will taste better and you will remember the moment very clearly.
Touch - We touch things all day, but only a few of those things (extremely fuzzy, soft, cold, or hot) really hit our awareness. Try to 'feel' everything you touch throughout the day - especially if it is another person or something beautiful and intriguing.
Smell - You may not always want to smell, but if you want to get an idea of the moment around you, then you will have to use your sense of smell to do so! This is where stopping to smell the roses can make a big difference in how much you really notice around you.
Hearing - We tune out things we do not want to hear easily. We can read while watching TV. We can daydream while someone is talking to us. But living in the now requires you to hear what is going on around you. For example, when someone talks to you, try listening to every word they are saying. Chances are it will feel weird because you are not used to doing it, but I'm sure you will also find yourself totally aware of the moment as well.
Sight - How often do you look at the clouds, watch the trees sway in the wind, or really look at the loving face of a friend. We take our sight for granted everyday and miss all the beautiful things around us. All it takes is focus - and you will start to notice all the little details that make this moment what it is.
Not only can using our 5 senses help you live in the now, but they can help you remember things better as well (i.e. they improve your memory). When you are truly aware of what is happening, then you will have a much harder time forgetting it. This is what life is all about, savoring the sweet, happy, and victorious moments in it.
I am not an expert on meditation by any means, but I can tell you that there are many benefits of meditation, and that it has helped me on many occasions to bring myself back into the moment, calm my mind, and allow me to experience right now in happiness instead of anger, sadness, or fear.
I cannot just sit, close my eyes, and meditate. I fall asleep if I do that. But I can listen to a guided meditation with voices or just music and allow myself to fall into a deeply relaxed and focused state. Directly after meditation I always feel focused and relaxed. I stop worrying or regretting, and just pay attention the now instead.
My usual point of focus is my breathing during meditation, and this is what brings me back to the moment when I am not meditating. I always have my breathing to focus on - and it always makes me acutely aware of myself and my surroundings when I focus on it.
Therefore, when my mother-in-law starts speaking to me in Italian (even though she knows I don't speak it), I find my breathing and focus on it instead of all the times she has tried to make me miserable. It's very easy to slip into the past with her if I don't.
When it comes to how to live in the now, meditation has been a big answer for me.
Update: I have found a meditation technique, called Mind Calm, that I LOVE. I can sit and be quiet now, without any guided meditation or even focus on my breath. Read my review of Mind Calm here.
Accept the Moment As Is
Want to really live in the now? Then you have to let things be as they are. I personally think animals and kids do this for the most part. I also think that they are experts at living in the now.
There are times that you can try to change the direction of the moment or the outcome of the situation, but you have to accept what is happening as real first.
Instead of saying "I wish this moment was this way", try saying "This is the only way this moment is, so how can I ensure my next moment is different." For example, when I sit and listen to my mother-in-law speaking Italian to me, I can think "I wish she would respect me more and talk to me in a language that she knows I understand" (to be honest it would probably be more offensive words), or I could say "I accept that she is not going to speak English, and I'm going to leave the room so she stops speaking Italian to me." This way I'm accepting the moment and not stressing out about it, and then moving on to a more favorable moment for myself.