Wondering how to live in the present moment and live life to the fullest? Here are a few simple steps for beginners, who wish to embrace mindful living.
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” – Gautama Buddha.
While these words are true, we often struggle to live in the moment. In our daily lives, we think too much about the past – reliving the good times of a vacation or pondering over the thoughts of an old conflict.
Or we worry too much about the future – daydreaming or planning how life might look like, 10 years later!
Most of the times, we don’t have any control over our thoughts – but we tend to forget that ‘now’ is all that we have.
If you are wondering how to focus on the present, you’ll have to start with creating awareness. It’s all about paying attention to what’s going on around you, without trying to control it or attempting to change anything.
While it might appear to be easy, implementing this change in your daily life can be challenging in the beginning – but once to start following the simple steps that I’ve mentioned below, you’ll start enjoying the little things in life, more than ever.
7 Steps to live in the present:
1. Avoid multi-tasking.
Multi-tasking isn’t really a good idea. When you try to do a lot of things together, your mind is always distracted, shifting its focus from one thing to another.
But when you concentrate on doing one thing at a time, you’ll be able to manage it more effectively and also, fully immerse yourself in the task – which will eventually make you enjoy and soak in every bit of it.
I’ve noticed that if I’m single-tasking, I’m able to make the most of my day. It also helps me to live in the moment and perform better.
Have you ever wondered how important breathing is, for all of us? Yet, we never really pay enough attention while inhaling & exhaling.
Living consciously with alert interest has an immense effect on our interpersonal life. When we start focusing on our breath, we tend to live in the present moment and thus, we get to appreciate life.
As we breathe consciously, our mind becomes peaceful, allowing us to declutter our thoughts. Once you master the art of mindful breathing, you’ll automatically notice a lot of positive changes in your life, such as reduced anger, lesser impulsive decisions, so on and so forth.
3. Slow down.
On today’s date, we are all in a hurry! Everyone’s busy chasing their dreams and amidst all the chaos, we tend to forget living in the present. Thus, in order to enjoy the moment, we need to slow down.
Start your day with ten minutes of meditation (if possible) and then, try doing things at a more relaxed and calmer pace. Make a cup of coffee for yourself, stand by the window, and look out as you sip on the coffee.
Enjoy its aroma and taste, observe what’s happening outside. This practice will help to awaken all your sense organs, making you more alert.
As you get to work, make a list of things you need to finish in a day and progress slowly. Remember, the age-old proverb – ‘Slow but steady wins the race’.
4. Avoid thinking about the past or worrying about the future.
What has happened is past and you can’t change it. What will happen in the future is uncertain and you have no control over it.
While we are all aware of this, we tend to keep thinking about the past or worrying about the future, and thus, we forget to live in the moment. When we are sad, we keep thinking of the happy times in the past which eventually doubles our sadness.
We forget that not all days will be bright and sunny, and clouds are a part of life. Similarly, worrying is the first step towards anxiety and depression, as we ponder upon what might happen (or might not happen) in the future.
To put it aptly in the words of Mark Twain, “I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”
5. Go with the flow.
Although it might sound easy, we often tend to control things a bit too much that we curb the flow. We, millennials, have a tendency to pre-plan everything, and we keep focusing on ‘what next?’ – which makes us lose track of ‘now’ and thus, we miss the flow!
On the contrary, if you’re tremendously engrossed in something and you lose track of everything else – that’s when you go with the flow.
As your attention narrows down, you are able to focus on your goal and live every moment while you progress towards it. Also, make sure that you set smaller goals rather than one big goal – so that you can celebrate each step that you take.
6. Don’t seek answers for everything.
We often think that we are facing the most challenging situations in life while others are doing better. But we tend to forget that everyone has their own share of troubles.
Most of us are always looking for answers to our problems, immediately. There are times when we feel that we are unable to handle certain situations, which leads to self-doubt and inferiority complex.
In that struggle, we miss out living in the moment. Sometimes, it’s better to not seek answers and just believe that ‘this too shall pass’.
7. Keep your phone away.
As you eat you food while scrolling through your Instragram – you miss out savoring the taste of every bite that you take! We often don’t realize the importance of digital detox in our daily lives.
Read a book, build the habit of journaling, go for a walk or practice yoga – what I mean here is that you should spend some time daily doing things that doesn’t require a connection to the internet. This will help you to connect with yourself and live more mindfully.
Learning to live in the moment, slowing down, and focusing on a single task can be easily achieved by dedicating just a few minutes and practicing every day, to enjoy the moment.
Also, if you wish to dig deeper and embrace mindfulness, then you can read Eckhart Tolle’s famous book – ‘The Power of Now‘. In this book, Tolle leads readers on a journey to find peace in the present moment through discovering one’s truest self.