It’s Monday! Time for a new ‘be happy’ tip. I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for a month already – time goes by fast! This week, I want to focus on a tip that I have heard over and over again – Live in the moment.
Some of the questions I want to answer are:
- What are some techniques to live in the moment?
- Can you really live in the moment when you have deadlines, future plans, and expectations running through your head?
- How happy does living in the moment make you?
- Is there anyone who cannot live in the moment?
- What have others experienced through living in the moment?
- Are there certain behaviors that prevent you from living in the moment?
I’m sure some more questions will come up through the week as they always seem to.
Remember, if you have any comments about how to live in the moment or experiences you have had doing so, then please leave them in the comment section below!
- 1 Day 1 – Techniques To Live In The Moment
- 2 Day 2 – Can You Really Live In The Moment?
- 3 Day 3 – Where I First Learned About Living In The Moment
- 4 Day 4 and 5 – Busy…Living In The Moment
- 5 Day 6 and 7 – Depression and Living In The Moment
Day 1 – Techniques To Live In The Moment
When vacationing, living in the moment comes easy. You stop to smell the flowers; you take the time to really enjoy the view; you don’t rush to the next task or endeavour. But in every day life it is much harder to do that! So I looked for techniques to help us live in the moment and ‘stop and smell the roses’.
Be aware of your thoughts – Awareness is powerful. We can easily get caught up in our thoughts and emotions and drift away to the future or past. However, if we are aware that we are doing so, then it is much easier to bring our focus back to the present moment. Therefore, being aware of when you space out or are focusing on something not in the moment is crucial to living in the moment. It allows you to bring your attention back to the present moment and change your thoughts to something more appropriate.
Use your senses – Have you ever not heard your name being yelled? Have you ever missed seeing something incredible because you were spaced out? Do you really know what your pillow feels like or do you just go to bed and think yourself to sleep? Do you eat a whole meal without tasting it?
- Your senses are the ultimate way to bring yourself back into the present moment.
- Listen to the things going on around you.
- Take in the smells that we so often miss.
- Use your eyes to notice what is going on around you.
- Touch things and really experience their feeling against your hands, face, and body.
- Use your taste to really enjoy food and drink.
Let Things Be As They Are – Kids are great at this; I see it every time I see my niece. Animals are also great at this. This is why kids and animals are so great at living in the moment!
The truth is that whatever is happening right now is happening. If you try to change the moment into something else (when it’s not) then you are not really living in the moment; instead, you are living in what you wish was the moment.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t try to change the moment if it is going to really affect you negatively. But I am saying that if your mother in law is acting like a fool again, you can either get upset, and think about all the times she was a bitch to you and all the things you would like to do to her, or you can enjoy the time with your husband and other people who are there.
If you let things be as they are then you can enjoy your moments more and stop wasting time on anger, regret, and wishes.
Got any other techniques to live in the moment? Share them in the comment below!
Day 2 – Can You Really Live In The Moment?
I did something upsetting today. I don’t want to share…let’s just say it was one of those things that you can’t believe you did and wish you could take it back. (Don’t worry, it’s not that bad!)
Anywase, while I was kicking myself, I remembered that I was supposed to be living in the moment, not living in the past. Instantly, I transported myself from the negative thoughts and took a look around (used my senses). It was funny because I barely had noticed my surroundings before that point.
Did it help me become happier? Darn right it did! I realized that it was done, in the past, and no matter how much I sat thinking about it, I was not going to change what had happened. So, I got busy with the rest of my life and started moving forward.
Is It Impossible To Continuously Live In The Moment?
Of course, not long after that, I was dwelling in thoughts of tomorrow and the past and once again not living in the moment. This led me to the question – Is it impossible to live in the moment all the time?
Wouldn’t it be great to continuously live in the moment? But, if you could, then how would you make decisions. It is my understanding that decisions are based on past experiences and thoughts of what may happen. For instance, I always watch for potholes in the road because I know how hard they are on my car and I don’t want to have to go into the dealership and shell out a huge sum of money. So, am I really living in the moment at that time or am I living in the past and future?
I found this article that makes me believe it may be impossible to live in the moment for that very reason. In fact, it states that healthy humans are constantly taking into account our past and future in the moment.
So then, looking at my dogs, who I have always thought did a good job living in the moment, I started to wonder about the gray hair on Golioth’s (my miniature pinschers) chin and whether or not he really lived in the moment.
I would say that my schnauzer, rolling around on the floor in the background, is much more capable of being in the present than Golioth is.
Golioth is always worried about when he is going to eat or go for a walk. You can see the concern in his eyes!
I don’t have research or proof to back this up, but I believe that my dogs can absolutely live in the moment, just like we can. Sitting and watching a sunset for us is like enjoying a good back scratch for them. It is a time to sit, enjoy, and just ‘be’.
While writing that last little blurb, meditation came into my head. Shouldn’t meditation be a time where we are completely in the moment?
Mindful meditation is about paying attention to what you are doing. Trust me, I remember sitting around tasting strawberries with my group of friends and being mindful of the situation. It was living in the moment at its best – and weirdest.
I think being mindful can at least help to decrease our minds from wandering and pay attention to our bodies and the current moment around us.
I refuse to believe that we can’t actively live in the moment on occasion, and that we can’t make it a part of our every day life. I understand that we have to use our brains to make decisions, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be aware of what is going on in front of us right now.
Day 3 – Where I First Learned About Living In The Moment
About six years ago, I was working at a job I hated. During that time, I picked up a book by Eckhart Tolle called A New Earth. That book was ultimately what caused me to stop doing what I hated, but it also taught me to really understand the ‘now’.
So, I thought I would introduce him to anyone who has not read his books or seen his speeches yet. I think he is a gateway into all things good – and he is worth the read.
Day 4 and 5 – Busy…Living In The Moment
I’m not sure if it is coincidence, but as soon as I started this task to live in the moment, I started getting a lot of work to be done in the moment. I have had more requests for ghostwriting than I have ever had!
I seriously have to wonder if it is the law of attraction at work. Well, since I am a believer, I know that it is the law of attraction at work. I’m focusing on living in the moment and performing tasks right now, and so that’s what I’m getting. SO, living in the moment is actually paying off for me work-wise.
That is one damn good reason to live in the moment, and it was something that I didn’t even think about. In fact, the more I think about it, this may be the best reason to live in the moment. You are allowing the future to come as it will and you are focused on what you want now and your current happiness (because happiness is the dominant emotion while living in the moment.) You don’t feel regret, anger, fear, or anxiety in the moment; instead, you just feel calm and ‘in order’.
Love this week!
Some think I should just be funny. To them I say, “A good brain can do many things, especially if it’s still connected to your heart.”;^)
— Jim Carrey (@JimCarrey) February 9, 2013
Day 6 and 7 – Depression and Living In The Moment
This has been a rough couple of past days. My husband and I have decided that we need to put our oldest dog down. She is 14+ and she has incontinence. Recently she has given up on going pee outside and will only go inside our house. Even if we send her out twenty times in a day, she prefers to go on her blanket – I don’t know why.
She also has a sore on her leg that we cannot get rid of. A nurse thinks that her wound is eating itself from the inside out. She constantly holds her leg up in pain, but there is nothing we can do to help her.
She is losing weight, her hearing has gone, she seems confused a lot of time time, she falls often…the list goes on and on. Her quality of life is no longer there, and we can’t keep going on like this.
It has been a very hard few days for my husband and I, and until we do this it is going to continue to be hard.
It is very hard to picture her not here, and it is hard to picture her in the past full of life. This is why the ability to live in the moment helps out with the sadness. It is not the past or future that helps us decide what to do for her…it is the here and now.
Interestingly, on the same day that we started with this struggle, I got this answer about living in the moment. I can see how someone suffering from depression would focus on many different things and spiral in their thoughts, and living in the moment could be a great therapy for depression.
I searched through answers and discussions online and it seems that everyone agrees, live in the moment to be happier.
I know that this week, I was happier for living in the moment, and this is something that I will be incorporating into my life full-time.
How about you?