We all know that living in the past can drag a person down, but why? And what about living in the future? We need balance, but living in the moment is something we must focus on if we are to lead happy lives. Living in the moment has been shown to be the best way to become and stay happy. Here is why.
We Can’t Change the Past
Almost every one of us has regrets about something in our past, but there is nothing we can do to change it. Instead of wasting our moments and energy in lament over situations that are long gone and no longer in our control to change, we can use the energy to make our present situation better. Learn what you can from the past, and then move on.
The past is a great teacher. Take what you can learn from the past and use it to better your present.
We Can’t Predict What the Future Holds
Don’t worry about the future, because you cannot predict what it will bring. You can only prepare to a certain extent, and being fearful about what tomorrow holds will only cause stress that will contribute to health and mental problems.
The future can change unexpectedly and often without warning. What we once thought were sure things can change in a heartbeat. The rug gets pulled from under your feet and all of a sudden you feel as though you have lost direction. I don’t know about you, but I have had this happen multiple times over the years. Each time you have to pick yourself up and start again.
Starting over doesn’t have to be scary and it becomes less scary when we don’t put all our hopes and dreams on something that isn’t a sure thing. You have to be flexible in this wee thing called life. The more you can accept the unexpected and change, the better you are able to adapt.
Live in the moment and choose to make the present your focus. Instead of fearing what repercussions your choices will bring to your future, make decisions based on what is good in your life right now at this moment. This will reduce tendencies towards depression and fear.
It Forces You to Be Present
When we think more about the past or the future than the present, we drift away from what is right in front of our eyes. Maybe your present involves a work project that demands your full attention and energy. Maybe your present involves small children with runny noses who need lunch put on the table.
When you embrace your present fully, you will get more out of the life you have. You will finally be able to stop sabotaging your present joy with fear about what may come next, or the guilt of decisions that are now in the past.
Be thankful for the faces in front of you now, and for the opportunities that are knocking on your door at this very moment. The moments you learn to cherish will enhance your future with the warm memories you will carry there, and you will have no regrets over misplaced focus.
Having a Balanced Outlook
Living in the present is important. Having a balanced focus is important too. When you think about the future, make the plans that are necessary for you to enjoy that time later, because someday the future will be your “in the moment.” Don’t neglect your planning for the future, but don’t let it consume your life in an unhealthy way. Balance is key, and will help you not to feel stress due to too much focus on one area.
Living in the moment is one of the greatest things you can do for yourself. Happiness is achieved when we choose to live and enjoy where we are right now, instead of pining away for another time and place. By utilizing the time and the life you are given right here and now, you will know true happiness.
Some Resources to help you become more mindful
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- 10 Minute Mindfulness: 71 Habits for living in the Present Moment. Wall Street Journal bestselling authors S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport show how to anchor yourself in the present moment, even if it’s for just a few minutes at a time. This book is for anyone who recognizes the need to improve their focus, productivity, happiness, and peace of mind.
Living in the Moment: Don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future. Simply BE in the present with mindfulness meditations. Through simple mindfulness meditation, learn to live in the moment and enjoy a life that is more vivid, awake, connected, and true. Get it in ebook or paperback here.
- The Mindfulness Journal. With The Mindfulness Journal, you can build a stress-reducing habit that makes you appreciate every single day. With unique and actionable prompts, The Mindfulness Journal provides 365 daily writing prompts divided into 52 weekly mindfulness topics. This gives you seven days to fully immerse yourself in each topic. The prompts are unique enough so you’ll never feel bored while journaling.
You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment. Written by renowned Zen monk, Thich Nhat Hanh emphasises the power of using mindfulness to transform your life. “Mindfulness is not an evasion or an escape,” he explains. “It means being here, present, and totally alive. It is true freedom—and without this freedom, there is no happiness.”
Enjoying the Simple Pleasures in Life
Sometimes we make dramatic plans that are expected to bring happiness into our lives, whether it be a vacation, graduation or wedding. But the simple pleasures in life are what we can count on to give us continuous joy. When we appreciate and enjoy the simple things, the gratitude we feel will extend to other areas as well. Here are some of the simple pleasures that are worth making an effort to experience often.
Freshly Cut Grass
Freshly cut grass is enjoyable in every way. The smell and feel of it under your bare feet are fresh and invigorate the senses. Try to experience this at least a few times each year, as the weather allows it.
Giving and Receiving Smiles
What a better way to experience a simple pleasure for free? Give smiles not only to your friends but also to random strangers you pass on the street. You will be amazed at how good it feels to see first the surprise of others, and then their own smile in return.
The Endorphin Rush after Working Out
When you work out in a strenuous manner, you will get an endorphin rush as a reward. These natural, feel-good chemicals are sure to brighten your day. Work out in the morning in order to use this endorphin rush to help you be especially productive throughout the rest of your day.
Enjoying Your Favorite Food
Even if your favourite food is not especially healthy, allow yourself to have it every now and then. The feeling of your much-loved food will bring you a little boost of pleasure. Studies have shown that if you refrain from a particular food for a certain time, it will be even more enjoyable the next time you try it, so use this trick to make your favourite meal taste even better than usual.
Hot Cup of Coffee or Tea
Some of us survive on our daily coffee or tea. Even when it is a daily habit, it can bring much joy. As you sip on your beverage of choice, take some quiet time to enjoy every bit.
Making Snow Angels
This is not only for kids. Put on some warm clothes and simply fall into the snow. Feeling silly about this will not ruin the experience, just embrace the feeling of innocent fun that making snow angels can bring.
Laughing until It Hurts
Laughter is like medicine. Everyone should have an opportunity to laugh until it hurts at least once a day. Whether it is with a friend who could write comedy or watching a good movie, take some time to laugh away your stress.
Getting a Massage
If you have never had a massage, give it a try. This hour of total relaxation will make your troubles feel as though they are melting away. Many individuals are even entitled to massages through employee benefits.
Walking in the Rain
Walking in the rain is one of life’s amazing simple pleasures. Dress warm, and go outside with or without an umbrella. Let the rain splash over your face as you stroll along, and be sure to jump in at least one puddle for old time’s sake.
Expensive fun is great but can be hard to come by. Instead of waiting for your next vacation, indulge in one of these simple pleasures. By learning to appreciate the little things right next to you, you will find great fulfilment each and every day.
Living in the moment can be an acquired skill. One that takes a while to master. We all have a tendency to dwell on the past and worry about the future. That’s natural. When it starts interfering with your daily life, then it becomes a problem.
We can all learn to live more in the present moment. It is a great skill to have that takes a little time to develop. Becoming more aware of what we are doing right now, taking the time to actually look around and soak in our surroundings and getting off our phones is a great start.
You may also like
- 5 reasons you need to start a gratitude journal
- 15 easy ways to practice self-care
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