When we talk about living in the moment, it means that we live in our daily experience in the way of being aware of what is happening at this very moment
How many times have you heard someone say just live for the moment”? Is it as many times as you have seen or heard advertisements for funeral plans or saving for the future plans? Of course, those two scenarios are paradoxical. A present moment or a few moments of happiness can change your mood. You need to spend the present moment wisely and let go the past events.
In life, a percentage of both outlooks are doubtless important to lead a balanced existence but ‘living for the moment is a concept familiar to many cultures throughout history.
Present moment awareness can help you to get rid of negative emotions and spend time among happy moments. Usually, we don’t focus on present moment awareness without paying attention and without stopping worrying. Enjoying the present moment means stopping worrying about past memories and just thoughts and negative feelings.
You don’t have to be interested in religion to take on board ‘life’ teaching advice from the great spiritual leaders over time. If you wish to live in the moment, completely present moments should be your focus without going into as much detail as human being nature. Past successes and future events are important but focused attention on random acts can impact your goal to live in the moment.
Paraphrasing the biblical text Jesus is said to have advised listeners, “Don’t think about tomorrow. You’ve got enough to think about just getting through each day. What’s the point of worrying about what’s going to happen – you can’t change it!” As you have no control over the future or past, mindfulness exercise can help you to avoid worrying and help you to live life at the moment.
Jesus might well have been paraphrasing the Roman poet Horace who, 50 years earlier, wrote ‘carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero’ which means ‘pluck the day, trusting as little as possible in the future. This is more commonly quoted as ‘seize the day’ of course.
The 16th century English poet Robert Herrick echoed these same sentiments when he wrote ‘Gather ye rosebuds while you may. In effect, he is saying do what you can while you can.
The present moment is all we have. Yet, so many people have trouble living in the moment. Most of us are stuck with the past or keep thinking about the future. In this struggle, we tend to forget the most important thing, the present. We forget that our life is in the present. When we are stuck with the past, we have no idea what is happening in the present. We should focus on the present and live in it carefully by observing, savoring, and experiencing it for what it is.
If we give up working on the past or worrying about the future, we will be happy and have more space to enjoy each moment. We also have to accept that every day offers new opportunities that can lead to happiness or failure. That is why we should stop wasting time working on things that did not work well yesterday or even never happened at all.
Living for the day? So, should we or shouldn’t we?
Well, historical advice suggests it might be a good idea. After all, every generation seems to have a great man of words telling us to. A simple exercise can bring awareness and mindful activities can help to forget all the bad things about the past. Reducing stress can help you to get rid of heart disease. Instead of constantly checking mobile in yoga class, you need to live in the present. Psychology Today suggests if you want to live in the present, eat mindfully, start living in the present and control other emotions.
Our 21st century Western societies are becoming increasingly aware of everyday mental pressures and the time gets less and less between news stories of tragic suicides, although is there one that isn’t tragic, and new schemes to reduce levels of anxiety.
In that context being able to develop an attitude of mind that enables you to face each day as it comes and to approach each challenge, it presents with a fresh outlook can only bring peace of mind and a capacity for better decision making whether in the field of business or pleasure. If your mind is filled with ‘what if this? or what if that? how difficult is it to come to a firm conclusion on anything?
There are very practical reasons for living for the moment. Consider for a moment established sayings like ‘Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today or ‘Procrastination is the thief of time’ both of which focus on the need for immediacy in our lives in order to be productive and successful. Then there is the much more serious matter of coping with ill health.
Future can be Concerning
Faced with a terminal or even just a chronic illness the future will look very bleak. If you have a life-limiting illness it is vital to take each day as it comes and make that day the best it can possibly be to ease physical and emotional pain. Make the most of every minute and minimize the number of negative moments in that day. Happy moments and contentment should become the new goals in life.
This also applies to those suffering from a chronic illness, like arthritis for example, where the easing of symptoms is your best-case scenario. No one wants to dwell on physical difficulties that are not going to go away.
The thought of endless days, weeks, months, or years ahead with little prospect of the condition improving is unbearable. Indeed, there are those suffering in that way who have been known to take their own lives rather than face that situation.
For people in this situation, finding a way to live day by day, in some sort of contentment, is perhaps the most important challenge they could ever face in their lives.
Balance is Important in Life
As mentioned previously, most issues have a plus and minus element, and negotiating our way through life successfully entails the ability to strike a balance.
To live your life ignoring the possibility of pitfalls can only be regarded as reckless and a prospect for disaster. Pre-empting problems is the first step toward avoiding them.
If we have already decided on a life largely lived day by day can we live independently?
Looking at that question logically the answer has to be ‘No’ as we all live inter-dependently in some way. But, it depends on how we are using the word independently. Is it, by one definition, ‘in a way that is free from outside control or influence’, or ‘without outside help; unaided’, or ‘in a way that is not connected with another, individually’. All definitions are given in the Cambridge English Dictionary.
What do you mean by Live in the Moment?
When we talk about living in the moment, it means that we live in our daily experience in the way of being aware of what is happening at this very moment with an empty and pure mind. The present moment can get us a lot more happiness than moments when we are worried about the future or regretting what has happened to us.
Living Now is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. When you live Now, you shut out all distractions, worries, and fears. You drop everything else and simply focus on experiencing the present moment carefully by observing, savoring, and experiencing it for what it is. Being “in the now” helps you to notice things you would never have noticed before. It also allows you to notice your true feelings and thoughts.
Living in the Present Moment will help you to live a happier life.
Why should we live in the moment?
Being “in the moment” can give us a lot more happiness than worrying about what is going to happen or being worried about the future. When we are thinking about our past and future, we are more likely to get upset. Even if something happens in our life as good as it can be, it’s still not enough to make us happy. If something happens that is bad now, we might get angry or sad at the same time.
20 Tips to Enjoy Present Moment
It is not what happens at this exact moment that matters. You always have 100% control over your mind and body. You can choose how you think and how you act in this instant in any moment to come.
Firstly, let go of the past. If you keep thinking about your problems, no matter how bad they are, it will only make them worse for you now. So try to not think about those past issues anymore until they are solved by yourself or someone else. The past is gone forever and there’s nothing that can be done about it now.
Secondly, let go of the future. Future never comes and when it has come, it has gone forever. You can’t change what has happened in the past, but you can always change your future. Your future is created by yourself and others. What will you choose to do?
Thirdly, remember that nothing in life happens without a cause. Everything that happens has a purpose and meaning behind it. You should not regret things you have done or been through. It is good that it happened this way, just think of all the lessons you have learned from it now as well as later on when you have a chance to reflect on them again.
Fourthly, pay attention to the small details. You may miss the small details of a situation or event if your mind is busy with something else. Things like mindful breaths, time spent for more joy can help you to practice mindfulness meditation. Five senses can urge to perform random acts of kindness and stay present in the moment instead of worrying about past wasted. Mind wander can help you with in breath and out breath exercises and same token for staying present and take control of nervous system.
Now, let’s get into further details about how to live in the moment and enjoy the present moment:
1- Practice Mindfulness
It is actually easier to be mindful of the present moment than to be in the past or future. Mindfulness helps you to live in the moment.
2- Daily Wash and Rinse
The word “wash” means to clean a thing, but what you may think of as a “daily”. You should wash your mind with positive thoughts, dreams, and goals. And “Rinse” means that your mind will be refreshed and ready for new things because your desires will have been met.
3- Find Your Purpose of Life
Each day, ask yourself: What do I hope to accomplish today? Many of us hesitate thinking that we are too old or too crazy to even try this. But you are going to be judged by what you do, not what you plan to do or what has happened in the past.
4- Eat When You Are Hungry
If your body says it is hungry, let it be satisfied. If your body says “I’m full,” stop eating. Eat only when you are hungry. And stop eating when your body is full. Use chopsticks whenever possible and never eat any food till you feel satisfied.
5- Turn Off the TV and Electronic Devices for 3 Hours a Day
Television puts us in the future with fear of the unknown. The more we think about those things that are to come, the more unhappy we become in our lives now. Turning off the TV, electronic devices, and other distractions is a very good exercise in the present moment.
6- Take a Break from All Technology
Some people think that technology will make their life easier. It can give us convenience, but this convenience has nothing to do with happiness and contentment. When we live our lives at the moment and pay attention to what is going on around us, we realize that we have more control over our own lives than we think.
7- Don’t Worry About Things That Have Already Happened
If you are not happy when something bad happens to you, then it’s too late now. And if something happens to you which is considered good by others, then it’s still all good.
8- Give Up Wasting Time on Facebook
People waste a lot of their time on Facebook by showing off their lives with many photos and status updates every single day. You should not care about that because it’s all just to fill up your mind and make your life look better than what it is in reality.
Facebook has become a huge distraction. It is the perfect example of using the internet to avoid reality and present moment happiness. You can easily see how many people are depressed because of Facebook addiction or how many people are wasting their time on Facebook thinking about what happened in the past and what will happen in the future.
9- Friend or Foe
You always have a choice to make. You can choose to make your own life happy. And you can choose to make your life unhappy. By spending more time with people who are doing something that makes them happy and less time with people who are not, how will you know how you will feel in the moment?
It’s good to do something that makes you happy, but it’s even better if everyone else is doing it too because it tends to raise the overall happiness of the world.
10- Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation is a way to live in the present moment. There are many ways to practice mindfulness. The best way is to get into the habit of turning off your devices and going outside at least three times a day to a quiet place where you can sit and watch nature or read a book.
11- Eat vegetable
Fruit is good, but fruits are not the only good things you can eat. Don’t limit yourself by thinking that fruits can’t give you anything more than what they already have.
If you choose not to eat fruits, then pick up something else that is colorful and tasty. Do your research before choosing something else for a healthier diet.
12- Focus on one thing at a time
Doing several things at the same time is considered multitasking. It may seem that you’re doing more than one thing at the same time, but if you’re focusing on multiple things, then you’re not really living in the moment. If you are doing something in the future, past or present, then what are you really doing?
13- The 6 Second Rule
This rule means to take only 6 seconds to do something. The 6-second rule applies to many different aspects of life and it’s an important reminder that we should not be so concerned about our daily activities.
14- Do One Thing at a time
This is another way of saying “focus on one thing at a time.” This rule might seem quite simple and easy, but you’ll see how it really will make you productive if you have been thinking about multiple things instead of focusing on one thing. You can also hear this in the phrase: “just one thing at a time.” It’s all about doing your best with one thing at a time.
15- Be Grateful for what you have
The things that you have can make you feel grateful. Count your blessings, tell yourself that you are thankful for what you have, and be thankful for the things that are given to you. Gratitude makes us appreciate the good things in our lives and more content with what we have.
At any given moment, if we feel like there is something we don’t want in our lives, we can put it down and pick up something else. The same is true when it comes to what we want to happen in the future or things that happened in the past – put them down when they no longer serve their purpose and pick up something else that will make your life happy instead.
16- Accept things as they are
When your mind creates a story of what you think should have been, accept the story as it is. Life doesn’t go as we think and we have to accept things as they are.
You can choose to think negatively and be upset with the things that don’t go the way you planned. But this will just make your life unhappy, not living it the way you want it to be. Instead, learn how to live in the moment and enjoy the good things that are going on in your life now.
17- Accept Yourself for who you are
Learn how to accept yourself for who you are instead of trying too hard to change yourself according to what others may think of you.
You can only change yourself by accepting yourself. If you’re not happy with yourself, then how will you be happy with the people and things around you? Accept yourself and there will be no need to change yourself.
Visualization can help bring your thoughts to life. If you want to do something that makes you unhappy, then visualize the way that you see it happening in your head over and over again.
The more you think about it, the more likely it is to happen because of visualization. If something makes us happy, it’s important to visualize the way we want it to play out.
If you are happy with your life and you are just feeling sad for whatever reason, then smile. Even if it’s fake at first and your emotions are not in agreement with what you do, the more you do it, the more your emotions and your mind will become more positive.
If it’s something to do with an unpleasant situation or problem in your life, then smile to make others feel better around you. Even if it’s fake at first, the more you smile, the more other people will enjoy being around you because of how positive they feel when they see a happy person smiling.
20- Keep Things Simple
By keeping things simple, we can easily focus on what we want to say or do at any moment. In this way, we help ourselves to be more focused, including our thoughts and decisions. The simpler you make things, the easier it is for your mind to have a different perspective and not get lost in the details of it.
Well, a person working for themselves from home is largely free from outside control or influence. You are still working under constraints set by customers’ needs and demands but you are free to make the decision on how to deliver your service or even whether to deliver it or not if you choose not to supply that customer for any reason.
Anyone Can Find Fun in his Life
If you are a sole trader as a carpenter, gardener, plumber, electrician, or internet trader, for example, you will find yourself unaided/without outside help and you may even choose to undertake an adventure like hill-climbing or a survival course in a way that is not connected with another individual. The latter also applies to someone who lives alone domestically of course.
But, is anyone truly independent. After all, we rely on fuel suppliers for heating and cooking and our electrical goods, like computers, telephones, TVs, heaters, and cookers, where the workers at the place those services are created all contribute to our living. While even the clothes we wear have been made by tailors, dressmakers, and footwear manufacturers.
Anyway, we’ve had a look at living independently but how do we go about living with people?
‘Living with people can take different forms. There are friendships, romantic relationships, social groups, competitive associations, and working relationships for example.
In each group, the way in which we interact will depend on our personality, socio-economic background, familial background, our interests, and no doubt our political, social, moral, and religious attitudes to a large extent.
However, the idea that ‘having things in common is the secret of good social interaction is far from being an exact science. You only have to look at party political infighting to realize that all being under the same broad banner is no recipe for harmonious living. The same can be said of members of a particular social club, football club, baseball club, and so on.
But, for all that, expressions like ‘strange bedfellows’ are an indication that people can get together and have positive and fruitful relationships, whatever the form, with people from totally different backgrounds whether in age, interests, ambitions, education, or whatever.
It is all down to the individuals and their capacity to interact well with others. The success of that interaction will largely depend on an individual’s ability to be able to focus on the things they share emotionally and ideologically together with an ability to communicate thoughts and feelings effectively. While at the same time having the flexibility to shelve their differences.
Relationships can also bring Happiness
In terms of romantic associations………..has anyone ever worked that one out?
Physical attraction is a very basic element of course but cultural pressures may dictate how that relationship develops and it is worth noting that arranged marriages have not been exclusive to specific cultures at any time in history. In Victorian England for example so-called ‘middle class’ marriage situations were very often the product of family business connections.
An analysis of why two people get on, irrespective of gender, is a subject way beyond the brief of this particular exercise. I think it is easiest to just put the reason down to being indefinable in this context. According to the Spark Notes website psychologists have suggested 5 factors of attraction, namely Proximity, Mere Exposure Effect, Reciprocity, Similarity and Familiarity, and Physical Attractiveness.
The subject of ‘Attraction’ is a study in itself
Living with people can be a burden for some and prove very stressful but the suggestion to ‘don’t live for others live for yourself is not a failsafe solution.
In team sport or a business relationship, the key to success lies primarily in the ability of those involved to forget personal differences and concentrate on working together to achieve a common goal.
The world of professional soccer is a perfect example of this. Having spoken to countless former players there are very few that have had friendships with teammates that exist outside their team situation.
Living with people can be an emotional burden for some, and prove very stressful, but the suggestion to don’t live for others, live for yourself is not a failsafe solution.
Leading figures in all walks of life have almost always had one particular characteristic – they are totally committed to their goal. Their focus in life is a dedication to whatever they are striving to achieve.
A sportsman or woman needs to maintain their physical fitness through diet and exercise and in the development stages, it is almost to the exclusion of the things other people take for granted. Things like relationships and dietary excesses occasionally.
The academic or business entrepreneur is similarly focussed, the writer and the musician likewise. Study and practice form the main theme of their existence in the absence of that streak of genius which marks but a few of us in our lifetime.
This kind of achievement invariably involves the principle of ‘living for yourself. Here comes another ‘however’! However, sometimes that focus can spill over into obsession, and getting to the top of anything is not the same as staying at the top. The pressure of maintaining excellence has, throughout history, thrown up cases of self-destructive excess and misjudgments.
There is no shortage of examples. Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Paul Gascoigne, George Best, Alex Higgins, Dylan Thomas, Kurt Cobain, Freddie Mercury, Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, River Phoenix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, and so on. The list seems endless. In fact on one Wikipedia page alone, under deaths from overdose and intoxication, there are no fewer than 620 notable people listed.
Living for yourself clearly has drawbacks
Of course, most ordinary people don’t have the finance to live a life of excess but it is still a warning of the problems just living for yourself can bring.
At the end of Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK, the Action Mental Health organization said ‘Giving is one of the five ways to Well Being. According to the Public Health Agency, giving to others stimulates the reward areas in the brain, creating positive feelings.
Giving in all its forms, not only benefits those you help but also instills feelings of improved well-being/ Studies have shown that giving is beneficial for combating stress, depression, and anxiety and also serves to keep you mentally stimulated, improve your self-confidence and provide you with a sense of purpose’.
So, I think the message here is ‘don’t live for others, live for yourself ‘if you are striving for a specific goal but ‘live for others and not yourself’ if you are striving for a sense of wellbeing and sound Mental Health.
What are the Benefits of Living in the Moment?
Your daily routine can be calmer and you can anticipate troubles before they impact your life. Paying attention to daily routine and little things in your life can change your life for good. Here are some benefits of living in the moment:
1- Mindfulness brings a sense of calmness
By living in the moment, we can experience peace and calmness. Focusing on things that make us happy will be easier if we can be mindful of our current situation.
2- Less Worrying
If you’re not living in the moment, then you are worried about different things that could go wrong. With more worries, your mind might attack itself with negative thoughts and get into a negative state where it fears the worst will happen.
If you’re able to focus on being mindful, then what’s happening in this very moment won’t matter as much because you’ll be focused on other things that make you happy.
3- We can make better decisions
When we’re living in the moment, we can make better decisions for ourselves and for our lives. If what you are doing makes you happy and content, then you won’t feel like it’s a waste of time to do that one thing.
4- It helps us to be more appreciative
If we’re not living in the moment, then we lose appreciation for small things in our life. By being more appreciative, we will be able to live happier lives.
5- We can experience the present moment joyfully and with gratitude
We can experience the goodness in our lives when we live in the moment. If we can live in the moment, then we can experience the joy and goodness in each moment.
6- Connection to the present moment
If we can live in the moment, then it will help us to develop a connection to our life and with everything that happens now. When we know what’s happening here and now, then we can feel more connected to ourselves and others.
7- We won’t take things for granted anymore
By living in the moment, you won’t take things for granted anymore. You shouldn’t be so focused on life that you’re worried about what could go wrong instead of focusing on what’s happening right now.
The “present moment” is when you could be at any place and time. The present moment is a single moment in time. This “instant” never changes, but we can change the way we experience it by doing the following:
Firstly, it is not what happens at this exact moment that matters. You always have 100% control over your mind and body. You can choose how you think and how you act in this instant in any moment to come. Experiences happen now and will continue to happen infinitely into the future. The experiences are created by our thoughts and feelings, which are deeply rooted within our consciousness.
Secondly, the present moment is never finished. It always continues forever. The present moment often ends, but it never ends. However, what you have done in the past and will do in the future is another story entirely. What has happened before becomes a part of your past. Whereas what you will do in the future creates your future that never meets up with your presence at any point in time.
Thirdly, “the Present Moment” of our life we call “NOW.” The word “NOW” has two meanings, one is referring to the present time and another one defines it as a powerful concept that makes sense to everyone all over the world.