Our generation faces numerous challenges. One of them is the inability to live in the present moment. We prefer to take images to remember the moment, but we never fully enjoy it. So, how do we enjoy life?
The obvious first step consists of shutting off all your electronics. When taking a walk, shut your phone off and keep it in a bag or purse to avoid the need to check your notifications. Only once you resist the temptation of checking your device can you start living in the present.
So, do we just turn off our cellphones and hope for the best? Well, here is some advice on how to live in the moment. Hopefully, by the end of this, you will understand more about how you can love living your life.
Be Aware of Your Environment
One way of living in the moment is by noticing your surroundings. If you sit outside to eat your lunch, take a while to just look. Take a deep breath and glance at everything around you. Take everything in.
Are there flowers on the nearest tree you see? If so, can you recognize what kind they are?
What patterns can you notice on the walls of the buildings near you?
How many people are also eating their lunch around you?
How many cars have passed by since you sat down?
Simple things such as these can help with one's struggle to live in the moment. That's because you are taking the time to see your surroundings rather than being stuck in your head with your thoughts and anxieties.
That being said, don't only observe what is familiar to you; is there anything particular that catches your eye? If everything around you is becoming too recognizable, go to another spot. For example, take a new route when walking back home from school, one that you don't regularly go on.
Always make sure that you remain safe, but when you break your routine, you are more likely to pay attention to the things around you. This extra attention will make you less focused on the things that are stressing you out.
Pay Attention to Small Details
Pay close attention to the small things that make you smile throughout the day. May it be seeing a butterfly or getting an A on a school paper, take some time to soak in your happiness.
It is easy to get distracted by the big and important things, such as exams and problems between friends and relationships. This makes us get lost in our thoughts, and our life passes by very quickly. How many times have you thought to yourself: What did I eat today? Did I even make my bed this morning?
We don't think details matter in our busy lives because we're so overcharged with work and deadlines. But the aftermath is us not remembering much about our day or forgetting about what we did on Monday once it's Friday.
Therefore, be attentive to everything as you go throughout your day, no matter how small it may seem at the moment. You can even pick up journaling. Before going to bed, you can write down all the emotions, scents, and interesting things you have noticed and felt. Journaling is a nice way to express your feelings on paper and it will allow you to remember small details from your day, thus allowing you to live in the present.
Our society has become a very productive one. Everyone multitasks, it's just second nature nowadays. While it is an effective way to get things done quickly, it does not allow for happiness or much enjoyment.
By juggling so many tasks, you are pushing your mind away from the present. So, try focusing on one thing at a time.
For instance, most of us eat our meals while doing something else, like watching TV. This doesn't allow us to live in the moment since our attention isn't on the task itself. Instead, try focusing on your meal as you eat. Try asking yourself these questions and paying attention to your answers:
How does your meal taste?
How does it smell?
Are you enjoying it?
By putting your attention on a single task, you are giving 100 percent of your energy to complete it. On the other hand, multitasking involves spreading your energy across many tasks. While there will always be times when juggling tasks is necessary (like in school), it is important to attempt to focus on one task when possible.
Don't Focus on the Past
Forgetting the past is easier said than done. But here are a few steps to help you achieve it.
Start by letting go of any resentment that you have against others. The harm may have been their fault, but the negative feelings don't allow you to live in the present. You must forgive and move on. Don't let it still affect you every time you remember the moment.
Once the negative emotions are out of the way, forget about your past accomplishments. You had your proud moment, but focus on what you can accomplish today. Of course, you can still cherish those moments, but allow room for the future-you to have new memories and accomplishments to cherish.
Finally, be grateful for what you currently have. Don't focus on the things you don't have or the ones you once had. Nothing will change if you only think about missed opportunities. Rather, focus your energy and attention on everything you do have.
Accept Things for What They Are
You cannot control everything, no matter how much you try. Life is going to do its own thing sometimes, and you must let it. So, you have to learn to accept things as they are.
Follow the well-known phrase "it is what it is" and realize that there is nothing you can do to change. It is normal to have emotions and reactions, but don't obsess too much over the problem. Here are a few tips on how to accept things for what they are:
Don't try to deny that the problem hasn't happened. Stay away from complaints such as:
Why is the universe doing this to me?
This is so unfair!
Why is it always me?
Allow yourself to feel sad and angry (it is normal to have feelings)! Remind yourself "it is what it is" and once your emotions have passed, try to realize you can't change what has already happened.
Most importantly, seek help from your friends and family! They are there for you and would be happy to give you a hand. This will allow you to cope with your difficult emotions and it might also bring a smile to your face.
Not only will this let you live in the moment, but it will allow you not to be alarmed if things don't go according to plan.
Learning to live in the moment is a long and hard process, but it will be worth it! Your anxieties will melt away and you'll feel more joy in your life. Most importantly, you will not have regrets in the future, since you paid attention to your life and didn't focus on the past. Once you fall in love with living in the present, you won't want to go back!