What is the best way to "live in the now"?
I often hear about this as a means of de-stressing and improving the quality of one's life, but I often find it hard to do. My OCD and Generalized Anxiety Disorder don't help either. If you are able to, what's your secret?
First you need to understand the nature of the mind. The mind is a continuous stream of thoughts, never ending. The mind wanders forever. An untrained mind is a mind that takes the owner through a journey of worry and despair, The mind leads the owner to regret the past, and worry about the future, never allowing the owner to live in the present moment. It is just a natural bad habit. The catchword is "mindfulness". We are always doing things unmindfully. When we do "A", we think about "B" which leads to "C", and the the journey goes on. It is not easy to be mindful and to live in the "now". It involves constant reminder to the mind to be alert and to be mindful, and not to wander. One traditional method is by constant meditation practise. When the mind is peaceful and alert, the owner will have better control over his thoughts and reduce stray thoughts, and to live in the "now" or present moment. Then he will experience inner peace and happiness.
This subject needs serious study and constant practise. If you are interested to know more, please visit my site and read the relevant articles.
Developing a combined mental, emotional, and physical regimen of healthy activity is the best bet. I sit in Zen meditation, write in my journal every day, and do healthy exercise (qigong, yoga, and walking or swimming).
I also stop many times a day, relax into natural breathing, and feel grateful for something. Please read many of my hubs for more tips.
What is the best way to "live in the now"? For me, is to try and enjoy life now and appreciate the things I got in life because I believe life is too short. No good worrying about tomorrow because it has not come yet. And don't worry about the past, it's gone. We can only move on and do things better for now.
In order to live in the here and now it is first necessary to learn how to quiet the mind. Experts estimate that the mind thinks between 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts a day. That’s an average of 2,500 – 3,300 thoughts per hour. This makes it difficult for us to totally focus on whats going on or happening around and to us without several thoughts on various things creeping in and causing our thoughts to go else where. I will use my daughter as a prime example. Like clock work while we are watching our favorite shows on TV or listening to our favorite music on a Sunday night, she never fails to say."Mom, I don't want to go to work on tomorrow!" My usual response is, "Don't worry about what's going to happen on tomorrow. The only time you have is NOW. Enjoy this moment and time with me. Focus on me and you and what we're doing right Now. When you worry about tomorrow, you're taking away from and missing out on what's here NOW. You're spoiling this time for yourself and me." The best way to learn to quiet the mind is to practice meditation and gratitude. You have to practice being MINDFUL of your breathing and to do each and every task and thing in a Mindful way. Practice putting your whole heart and mind into each moment. Be grateful for each moment. Even when you are washing dishes or mowing the lawn, do it in a mindful way. Give thanks that you are able to wash the dishes or mow the lawn and think about the benefits of doing these things for yourself and your family.
Wow! I thought it was only 10,000/day. Do you have a source on the higher figure? I'm down to about 300/day, and reducing. You write like you've read Thich Nhat Hanh. Have you? Wonderful friend and teacher.
Sidkemp, I follow Thich Nhat Hanh extensively. I truly love his writings and philosophy. Our # of thoughts are astronomical. We do not consciously or on our own think these thoughts. We simply observe them. http://www.loni.ucla.edu/About_Loni/ed
Thank you, ladydeonne. Excellent answer. I do like your suggestions
It took a lot of practice, I had to learn to quiet my mind, I used to lay awake at night worrying about things. Never being good at visualization, I learned to think of just black. Every time my mind started to wander, I would go back to black. Now I am able to shut things off and just deal with life as it comes. Letting go of drama and focusing on anything that brings peace also helps. I also had to learn how to be kind to myself and to take care of things instead of leaving them on the back shelf. Life is hard enough without letting things build up and it's too easy for our inner voice take over our peace of mind. Living in the now takes practice and focus, but once you can achieve it, it is well worth the effort. Always remember to appreciate the little things too, taking notice of your surroundings will bring your focus back to the now.
Just focus on right now. A second ago is gone.
Living in the now is not to worry about yesterday or even an hour ago
It's knowing that you know you only have this moment and then it's gone.
The geese fly south in the wintertime; snow falls delicately on the waiting bud.
Have you ever been on a roller coaster? If you have, then you know - you have no control over how fast the ride does or does not go. You do not have control where the coaster swerves and turns or goes up or down. All you have control over is enjoying the ride. Some people put their hands up in the air and say 'whee.' Some people white knuckle the safety bar in front and hang on for dear life. Some scream. Some panic and freak out. Some smile and laugh. And some just throw up. If we look at our life like a roller coaster, we can be sure that it is a ride and that yes, it will be over some day. We can guarantee that yes, life will have ups and downs and twists and turns.
The deal is... WE HAVE A CHOICE EVERY SINGLE DAY how we decide to be a passenger on this ride. And we get to decide how we deal with this ride called life. So living in the NOW is about the awareness and presence on the ride RIGHT NOW. We get to choose if we are happy about it or not. Since worry is a pointless emotion, there is no sense in worrying about the ride. After all, it's a ride. It is here, today. It may not be here tomorrow. And there is no reverse switch we can get our hands on.
So if we look at living in the now from this perspective, we are able to shift our ideas about it. The truth is there are things bigger than the ride. Meaning if we look outside of our own daily lives, we realize there is a whole big world out there, outside of our own personal theme parks. It gets dizzying if we dwell on the hydrolics of the coaster and analyze every nut and bolt of it, right?
Living in the now is about enjoying the fact we can ride this ride with a smile on our face, laugh and yes, even say 'whee.' We can take a look around and enjoy the scenery, appreciate and express gratitude for our surroundings and love the fact our coaster is different like a snowflake... there are no two coasters alike. We are unique in our own right and if we keep our wits about us as we are on this journey, the ride is really sweet. Don't worry. Don't stress. Remember the ride is exhilarating. Let go of fear - you are safely buckled in. Savor each moment, appreciate your heartbeats with excitement from the thrill and remember it's the ride of your life you can make beautiful right here and now.
Enjoy today. It's all we have.
Blessings to you!
Thank you, We Solved It. Awesome answer!! Have you ever heard Bill Hicks' comparison of life to a ride? This reminded me of that.
Ah, can't say that sounds familiar. This analogy actually comes from having worked at a local theme park, thus drawing from experience witnessing people embracing the present moment. LOL Enjoy the ride, SoundNFury - you are not alone!
Simply stated, just love what you are looking at
Be well - Lee @ Lee's Teas
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