Learning to Live in the Moment
“Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed.”
What is the one secret to becoming a truly happy person?
You must learn how to live in the moment. Without it, you’ll never discover true happiness or feel like you are getting the most out of your life.
As a Christian Life Coach, I find many of my clients have trouble dealing with problems from their past. They ruminate over past hurts (whether real or imagined), wish certain things could have worked out differently for them, or are still angry at people for things that happened long ago.
The idea of clinging to the past brings nothing to you but sadness and regret if you let them take over your thoughts. Those that live in the past don’t know how to focus on what is happening right now. It’s all about experiencing life in the moment. The sights, the smells, and what you hear are powerful parts of the now experience.
If you only focus on the future, you end up overwhelmed with anxiety and stress. You are fearful of what might happen and you only look at the negativity associated with the bad aspects of life.
We, as humans, tend to live through time. You see, time moves through us and we follow where it takes us. It is what we do during this time that determines who we are and where WE go.
Baptist minister, Drew Smith puts it in perspective by stating. “It is the present, this moment, that is of utmost significance and urgency. This is why Jesus calls us to repent and believe. Now is the moment of salvation, and now is the opportune time to repent and believe.”
Our lives, in fact, our thoughts are not insignificant for they take us where we allow them to go. Living in the moment then, is important not only for our health but our salvation. You may pooh-pooh the idea but your focus plays an extremely important part in how you live.
So how do you put the past behind you while waiting for the future to come without circumventing the present?
Here’s what I tell my clients. Fix your mind, your heart and your soul on what God has given you today. Don’t worry about things you can’t control.
God tells us in Matthew 6:31-34, “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
This is why living in the moment has a more peaceful, calming effect on the mind and heart. Mindfulness allows you to fully experience what is going on right now. With mindfulness, you don’t worry about the future or concentrate on the past. You open your senses to the present because that is all you have.
If the world could practice living in the moment and be mindful of what is going on right now, we’d all be a lot happier, less stressful, and filled with more love.
Jon Kabat -Zinn, the founder of the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, writes, “The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness.”
Are You Paying Attention To Your Life?
“What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow. Our life is the creation of our mind.”
How often have you got yourself caught up in the day to day happenings of life but you still feel lost and abandoned? You go through your day like a robot without feelings and then crash at night overwhelmed and overburdened with the complexities of life. You ask yourself, “There’s got to be more to life than this?”
Well, there is but it’s not as easy as you might think. It isn’t like you just snap your fingers and everything changes. It comes from cultivating a peaceful existence where you are able to experience the moment and appreciate what is happening.
Most people rush through life and then look back with regret because they either worked too hard and didn’t play enough or allowed all the anxieties of the day to clog their minds and hearts. You cant get your youth back but you can experience what is happening right now because that is all you have.
Paying attention is an important idea for getting things done but what happens when you lose focus?
You wouldn’t want to go for a long drive and lose your attention would you? Our attention spans have deteriorated to the point where the average attention span lasts only about 7-9 seconds before something else grabs our awareness.
This is important because living in the moment has become an enigma among modern man. To stop and think about things wipes out our forward progress and society frowns upon that. Modern life is all about making money, getting things done, and pushing ourselves to be all we can be but that’s how we burn ourselves out.
Mindfulness helps us get back in touch with ourselves. It helps us calm down and get centered. What do you do when life gets out of hand? You step away and find peace.
You may be surprised to learn that most of the time you’re focused on either the past or the present. You may not even realize you’re doing it but without understanding why living in the moment is so important to your physical and mental health you’ll always be running around without knowing what going on.
Focusing the mind on the here and now does take much practice. However, you can do it by fully immersing yourself into whatever it is you’re doing. If you are eating, pay attention to each mouthful. How does it taste and what textures can you feel? Doing these types of exercises helps build up your focus in the present moment.
Remember, You Control Your Thoughts
One of the most powerful lessons you can learn in life is that you control every one of your thoughts. When you aren’t aware of your thoughts, those thoughts turn negative, causing you to spiral into a stressed or unhappy state.
Learning how to control your thoughts can make a huge difference in your state of happiness. It can ensure that by living in the moment your thoughts stay on the here and now and don’t fall into negativity
The next time a negative thought enters your mind, take control. Counteract it with a positive thought that uplifts you. Over time, you’ll find it easier to control what you think and also identify thoughts in the present moment.
Jon Kabat-Zinn writes that “Ordinary thoughts course through our mind like a deafening waterfall” but when you seek out mindfulness you will be able to appreciate what living in the moment can do for you.
Helpful Tips For Living In The Moment
“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is, and all there is.”
Below you’ll discover 7 tips you can follow to help you learn how to live in the moment free of distractions and appreciate all that God has given you.
Tip #1 – Focus Your Mind On The Here and Now
Your focus should stick to what you are doing right now. Allowing your mind to wander can spell doom to your positive nature. Learn to savour everything you experience. When you eat, enjoy the food. See the beauty that surrounds you and listen to the sounds that fill your ears. Relish the things that you often let pass by.
Tip #2 – Stop Worrying
What has worrying ever done for you? All it does it take time away from what’s really important. Instead, let it go. If you can’t control it don’t let it control you. Philippians 4:6-9 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Tip #3 – Avoid Living On Autopilot
Have you ever lost track of time? Ever read a book and thought to yourself, “I just read this but I don’t remember it.” When you live your life on autopilot, you miss everything that passes by. You end up existing instead of living. Start noticing your surroundings in these moments and you’ll be amazed at what you see and hear.
Tip #4 – Pause Periodically During The Day To Be Thankful
Because there is a negativity bias built into our brains, we must learn to take time out to be thankful for what we have been given. The only way to do that is to live in the moment. Cultivate gratitude and living in the moment puts everything back into focus.
Tip #5 – Get Into The Flow Of Life
Life has a different flow for everyone but if you are not in balance, life becomes overly stressful to the point where it makes you sick. Living in the moment is the state of total absorption. That absorption is your flow to life. Flow leads to awareness. Awareness comes during these moments.
Tip #6 – Live With Acceptance
One of the biggest obstacles to living in the moment comes from accepting those things that have happened to us in the past whether good or bad. The more we don’t accept things and ruminate about them, the more stress we invite into our lives. Louis Tomlinson says to “Live life for the moment because everything else is uncertain!” Accept things for what they are and go from there. Don’t try to control every aspect of life.
Tip #7 – Stop Multitasking
Humans love to multitask and are rewarded for it but multitasking takes far too much of our energy and we can never fully put our focus on what needs to be done. The more we multitask the further we push ourselves away from doing things right. Quality and craftsmanship give way to mistake-laden attempts at doing things. Being present is much easier when you can focus on what you are doing now.
To live in the moment can bring us closer to God. By opening your heart to Him, you bring His peace,His love, and His care in to your hectic life.
Tom Stuart writes, “To be present means to first and foremost ask God to be present in our lives and to focus on His presence. To fully be present in any situation or relationship we must begin there.”
I don’t care where you live or where you come from, you must learn how to live in the moment so you can find the inner peace that society cannot give you.
Tom goes on to say,“Being present requires a focused engagement of every aspect of our being including the physical, mental, emotional and even the spiritual.”
How do you want to spend your day? Stressed out and barely able to survive or taking time to be mindful of what you are doing and enjoy everything that surrounds you? However you answer this question that is where your focus remains. Change your focus and you change how you feel.