How much time do you spend worrying about your future or pondering your past? Now that you have had a moment to think about it, let me ask you something I ask my clients. Can you control the future or change the past? Of course not, right? So, why is it that we spend so much time obsessing about what’s to come or mistakes gone by?
The only time we can control things is in the present moment. If you think about it, you’ll find that your anxious and sad moments occur mostly during times you are not living in the moment. Dwelling on bad moments from your past can cause you pain. And trying to predict the future is the best way to spike your anxiety level. Here’s why it’s better to focus on now.
Benefits of Living in the Moment
There is so much talk about being mindful and living in the moment, but why? Countless reasons! Here are a few:
- You’ll feel more peaceful. As I mentioned above, when you’re not worrying about past or future situations, you can see exactly what’s in front of you right then and deal with it. It’s very freeing to let go of anything bothering you that’s not actually in the present moment.
- You’ll be more productive. When you become more aware of what’s happening in the moment, you can slow down a bit and focus better. You’ll be amazed at how much more you can accomplish when you train your thoughts to stay present.
- You’ll increase your self-awareness. Self-awareness is essential for a happy, fulfilling life. Learn to live in the moment and you’ll increase your awareness of yourself and everything around you.
- You’ll become fully absorbed in your projects. When you’re fully focused on any task, you are completely absorbed. Your work will be even more fulfilling, whether it’s a hobby or an important project for work.
How to Live in the Moment
How do you know if you’re living in the moment? And if you aren’t, how do you bring yourself back to the present? Here are a few tips:
- In his book The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle offers up a trick. Ask yourself this simple question: Do I have a problem right now? If what you are worrying about or fretting over isn’t a problem in the here and now, you aren’t being present.
- Practicing mindfulness helps you become more self-aware, which leads to spending more time in the now. Mindfulness practices can be as simple as focusing your attention on one object for a few minutes. Notice its color, texture, shape and other attributes.
- Tune in to your body and surroundings. Sit quietly and focus on your breath for a few minutes. Or while completing an everyday task, pay attention to the sensations in your body. When doing the dishes, smell the soap, feel the warmth of the water on your hands and really watch as you dry items.
- So often we move through life so quickly, always multitasking and not tuned in to what we are doing. Try doing only one thing at a time. Finish each task completely before moving on to the next. Narrowing your focus to one thing at a time enhances your awareness.
These are difficult steps to take for many people. But don’t worry. You can go at your own pace by integrating one practice at a time.
For more tips on slowing down and living in the moment, contact me. Together we can help you appreciate your life to the fullest.
A nurse for more than 25 years, Karen David is a Certified Wellness Coach and Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist. She brings her passion for well living and calm presence to empower others in health and wellness. Karen is CEO of Live Life Well, LLC.
This article is for informational purposes only. Practices, services or products described are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please speak with a doctor before beginning any new health regimen.