How to live in the moment
I often find myself living in the future. When I’m done with this, then I’ll finally do that, when I’m working full time, then I’ll be happy, when I finish this task, then I’ll let myself relax, if only I get good grades, then I’ll take my time to enjoy life a little bit more. It goes on and on and on. I have finally realized that this is keeping me from being happy now. I really want to do something about this and learn to live every day .Step one, is to realize that this is how you think. Step two is to learn to live more in the moment. Here is some very simple advice that I’ve been trying to live by recently:
1. Breathe. Breath is the very essence of our living. We don’t really have to breathe, it just happens. This is not where I tell you what happens to your body when you take a deep breath. No need to know that stuff, really. Just do it! Right now when you read this. Take a moment and close your eyes. Then take a deep breath with as much air as you can possibly get in there at once. Try inhaling through your nose. And then exhale slowly through your mouth. Feel your body relax and your energy to rise. Repeat frequently!
2. Slow down. Don’t move so fast! It feels sometimes like the world is moving too fast, and so are you. You don’t have to participate in this, though. Maybe you can let go of some commitments? Learn to say no? You’ll have more time to do what really matters to you. Try not to stress too much, if you realize that you are stressed, slow down! Your life won’t pass you by, if you lose this opportunity, there will be another. I recommend the lyrics from Billy Joel’s Vienna:
Slow down you’re doing fine
You can’t be everything you want to be
Before your time
3. See. Try to really see the world around you. Do you see something you haven’t noticed before? Do you see the beauty in the small things around you? A good way of practicing to really see is to carry a camera around with you at all times. When you are trying to find something to shoot, you are also training yourself to see the world differently. Look around you right now. What do you see that is interesting? An unusual color combination? Try to repeat this all through your day and it will soon become a habit!
4. Smell. Try to appreciate the moment through smelling. Smell is really closely connected to memory and it happens often that you suddenly remembers something if you smell a certain smell. Like the way lilies remind me of work and the smell of vanilla scented candles remind me of a place I used to live. Try to smell things that don’t really have a scent too. How does the rain smell like? Or your home when you enter it?
5. Taste. When you eat, try to really taste every bit that you take. It’s so easy to forget! To enjoy life in the small moments, it’s essential to enjoy every bit of food that you eat! Don’t forget to try new tastes though! Try a new vegetable, spice or fruit the next time you go shopping, I’m sure you can find something you have never tasted before. How is it like? Another great way to least to use your taste buds is to learn more about wine, tea or coffee. Can you taste the smoke in that wine? or the berries in the coffee? You won’t know until you try!
6. Touch. To really enjoy all the small moments in life, practice to touch. Touch everything from the softest mohair to the hardest rock. Feel the warmth of your lover’s skin. Be present when you touch something, and you’ll soon learn to enjoy the smallest little changes in texture.
7. Listen. Can you hear the raindrops fall outside? Can you hear the wind in the trees? Or your refrigerator? Try to listen carefully and with all your body. Put on your favorite song,what do you like about it? Try to listen through it carefully. Maybe you’ll notice something new in the melody. A little motif that is repeated? I believe that quality of life is in the small things. Like waking up to your favorite song. Or walking to work with loud happy music on your ipod. If you want to listen to something exciting, open this website and put on your favorite song simultaneously.
8. Be creative. Create something that is unique to you. You don’t have to be an artist to appreciate being creative and it will really help you to live in the moment. Be passionate about what you make or what you do. If you haven’t found your way of being creative yet, don’t worry. Just try some different things and who knows? Suddenly you might find your destiny.. ;) Personally, I like being creative with writing and photographing. And I love creating music even though I’m not good at it at all! If you want to create something, remember to live in the moment and appreciate what you do right now, not long for the future where you’ll be better at what you do… (This is where I often fail..) Being creative doesn’t mean you have to create something though. Maybe there’s something you can improve at work or in your home, a new way of doing things perhaps? Or you can be creative and walk a different path from the one you walk every day.
9. Be impulsive. I believe that this is the most important lesson if you want to learn how to enjoy life right now. No one loves to do the same routines day after day. It won’t help you to see if you only see the same things again and again. Be impulsive! Don’t think too much, try something new, something a little out of your comfort zone. Is there something you would like to learn, but haven’t yet? No excuses, do it today! Sign up for a class or do some research! Yes, right now!
10. Quiet your mind. To be able to use your senses to their full capacity, we sometimes need to quiet our minds. I really see the need for this after getting a lot of inspiration online. Sometimes there’s just too much information at once! This is where I turn off my computer, the tv, the music, my phone (and sometimes even the light) and just relax. I prefer to sit on the floor and just breathe (like you just did on number 1 up there). I don’t know if you can call this to meditate, I have never been good at it really. But I find that it helps me relax and calm down and afterwards I feel lighter and more focused. If you can meditate properly, do that, and if it’s not your thing, then find your own way of calming down. The important part is to turn off all sources of media and just give yourself a break!
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