Many of us are victims of letting our lives slip away through our fingers because we hold on too tightly to the past or future.
We are also too consumed by whatever it is we are busy with and we forget to live for the present.
Although investing in our future and reflecting on our past isn’t at all bad, we should also remember to value the current moment. After all, both our past and future are sculpted by the present time.
Perhaps you are still living in regret or in pain over something that has happened before. Or maybe you are too worried or scared about the uncertainty of the future.
Whichever situation you may be in, you are at risk of wasting the time you have now.
If you are reading this article, you may have noticed how much of your life is being eaten away all because we do not know how to live in the moment.
Mindfulness is all about learning to live in the moment. By being mindful of our current surroundings and conditions, we are actually prioritizing the present moment. This is very important if we would like to live a more fulfilling life.
But we all know that it isn’t easy – especially for those of us who have a difficult time letting go of the past and future.
So how do you start to live in the moment?
In order to live for the present, we first have to understand why it is important. This gives us the motivation to change the way we live our life.
Below are some reasons why living in the moment needs to be our goal.
Why It Is Important to Live In The Moment
It Builds Relationships
Our relationships with the people around us aren’t just built through time. It needs your attention and active participation as well.
It is possible to be friends with someone for many years, but that friendship won’t get stronger without some effort to bond.
And how would you be able to bond with someone by being mentally and spiritually absent?
When we are disconnected from the present time, we are also unconsciously cutting off our ties with other people.
Instead of giving them our undivided attention, some of us are guilty of being lost deep in our own thoughts. Living in the moment gives us the opportunity to build relationships with other people.
It Makes Us Aware of Our Opportunities
Good opportunities don’t come very often and so when one comes our way, we should be ready to take them.
There is nothing more regretful than missing out on a once in a lifetime opportunity.
It’s quite ironic that we miss out on a better future because of the problems we have had in the past. In order to break free from this cycle, we shouldn’t look to the future in order to create a fresh start for ourselves.
The solution is to make use of the present to change the future.
When we live in the moment, we also become more aware of how precious an opportunity is.
Once we realize the value of such opportunities, we are most likely to take them without waiting another moment to pass.
It Can Create Meaningful Memories
We don’t create memories by living in the past or future – they are created by our actions now.
If you would like to tell interesting stories to your grandchildren or even to other people someday, you must learn how to live in the present. It is only through living your life now that you can make great memories worth treasuring.
Most of us are guilty of waiting for something to happen in our lives before we take action. But in reality, we are the ones who decide what goes on in our daily lives.
If you have always been dreaming of going on a solo trip or if you’ve been wanting to learn a new language, why not start today?
Simply planning for these activities makes you one step closer to making meaningful memories already.
It Relieves Stress
As if stress-related work isn’t enough to keep our minds full, some of us are also guilty of carrying unnecessary baggage from the past.
When we aren’t living in the moment, we are lost either in our past or the future – both of which can be very stressful and overwhelming as well.
By just focusing on the present moment, you are also freeing yourself from hurt or worry. You’ll find that when your thoughts constantly drift to the past, it can be very tiring and limiting.
This is because we are no longer in control of the past. But instead, we allow it to control us.
Relieve yourself from such stressors by simply living in the moment.
It Allows Us to Live Our Lives
Have you ever felt as if you were a zombie simply going through life every day?
Maybe you are tired of your daily routine or you’ve lost your purpose in life. By living in the moment, you are allowing yourself to be passionate about the things that matter to you now.
Many of us are guilty of putting off our own hobbies and interests because something more important had to be done.
While it is important to accomplish our jobs, we shouldn’t forget to live our lives a little, too. Go ahead and indulge in the things you love – don’t let other areas of your life take away the things that mean most to you.
8 Practical Ways on How To Live In The Moment
Living in the moment is never easy, especially if you have been used to thinking back or thinking ahead. It’s a habit most of us have a difficult time recovering from.
But the good news is, there are a few simple ways which you can follow starting today if you’d like to live in the present.
Below are some ways you can learn how to live in the moment. Remember that these are not the only methods you can use, they are simply a guide for those who would like to start small and work into something bigger as they move forward.
1. Practice Mindfulness
As we’ve mentioned above, living in the moment is synonymous to practicing mindfulness. By becoming more aware of ourselves and our surroundings, we are giving ourselves a clearer view of the present time.
However, mindfulness isn’t always just about awareness – it is also about comprehending what the present is trying to tell us.
Perhaps you’ve never noticed how your own actions or words could harm the feelings of others. If we do not notice their facial reactions or even their behavior, we would never have thought that they might receive our behavior in a negative way.
Through practicing mindfulness, you are not only being aware of what’s happening around you, you also gain a deeper understanding of it.
Meditation and mindfulness often go together, and with very good reason. When we meditate, we are also practicing mindfulness.
You might have already heard of the many benefits meditation can offer. Apart from becoming more spiritually healthy, you can also learn a thing or two about living in the moment.
Most meditation practices teach you how to notice or listen to your body and mind.
Sometimes we fail to recognize what is happening within ourselves. From physical pain to uncontrollable emotions, some of us are not aware of these because our focus is somewhere else.
Through meditation, you can bring back your focus to the things that are in need of your attention.
3. Remove Unnecessary Distractions
Did you know that even our material possessions rob us of our present?
Each of the things that we own requires our maintenance and time. Maybe you’ve purchased an exercise machine, but you haven’t been using it for a while.
In order to get your money’s worth, you force yourself to use it even though all you want to do is to enjoy your mornings without any stress. Perhaps it was a wiser decision to go out for a jog instead of buying expensive exercise gear.
However, this does not mean that you need to throw away everything that you own. Simply leave behind the things that you really love.
By doing so, it also means that you have more time to dedicate to honing those passions and interests you may have.
In order to live in the present, you also need to learn how to forgive past hurts. This is not an easy thing to do, especially if the wound is still quite fresh.
It is alright to take some of your time when trying to forgive the past. Whether you are trying to forgive what others did or even yourself, know that you are also setting yourself free from the chains of your suffering.
The decision is yours whether or not you would like to start living without the pain.
As they say, suffering is optional. And through forgiveness, you are giving yourself freedom and the promise of a better tomorrow. But first, you must decide to let go of your past today.
5. Notice the Good In Everything
In relation to becoming more mindful and aware of our surroundings, it is also beneficial to find the good in everything and everyone around us. It is one thing to observe things as they are and another to search for the positive things around us.
Some people might say that they don’t like the idea of living in the present. They feel that their current life is miserable and full of problems, which is why they tend to escape from it by using different forms of distraction.
But believe it or not, life doesn’t have to be full of bitterness and tears. It’s just all about changing our own perspective.
If we try to find the good things while we live in the present, we feel instantly happier and we also will start to feel that there is a purpose for living.
We are given a motive to live our life with passion and meaning – something most of us have forgotten to do.
6. Focus on The Present
If you find yourself constantly worrying about the future, you are unconsciously compromising yourself and your future.
Although some of us don’t like to admit it, the future isn’t something which we can control.
Of course, we can prepare for it but there is no guarantee that our plan will go the way we want it to – anything can happen.
Instead of worrying or fearing for what may come, why not welcome it with open arms instead?
Enjoy what the present offers you. Chances are, you have already been building towards the success of your future by making good decisions in the present.
7. Make Most of Your Time
Time is both a valuable and very limited resource, so why waste your time wallowing in the past?
By living in the moment, we become aware of how precious our time is. We only have the present in our own hands, which passes us by really quickly. Make every second count by devoting time to the people and the things that truly matter to us.
Perhaps some of us are very comfortable with the idea that there is still a tomorrow. This is the reason why many of us become lazy and procrastinate.
But the truth is, we are uncertain whether or not there may be a tomorrow. Even though it sounds pessimistic, it is true that anything can happen within the next 24 hours.
The only time we can ever work with is the present time, so why not make it count?
Accepting who we are and our surroundings can be very humbling. When we learn how to accept things as they are, we do not create any expectations or judgment on the present.
Even if something bad happens, we should simply accept that it has happened and move on to live for the present time. This is because we know that reacting negatively to it will only waste what we have today.
Accepting our own limitations and weaknesses is also a part of living in the moment.
Many of us are guilty of taking on too many responsibilities because we do not like to admit our limits. But actually, we are already setting ourselves up for a stressful future.
Learning how to Live in the moment may seem like a difficult task, especially if you have been too tied to your past or future.
Living in the present doesn’t mean making careless decisions; rather it is about giving importance to the things that really matter to you.
It isn’t very easy, and it might take some of your time. But take things slowly and try to follow the tips above and you’ll see how you can be happier by living for the present.
Allen Wei is someone who believes in living his best life, focusing on balance, happiness, and relaxation. He fosters a positive lifestyle in terms of his body, mind, and environment, and he is a huge proponent of learning to be balanced via relaxation techniques integrated into our busy lives.