When we have goals or dreams of what we want our lives to look like, it can make it tough to make the most of the present moment. Here are 5 tips to help you live in the present moment.
Why Living In The Moment's Important
How many times have you thought to yourself, “Once ____ happens then I’ll ____.” This can be filled in with anything… Once I have the dream job, X amount of money, a relationship, a house, a baby, etc, then I’ll be happy, enjoy the present moment, have fun with friends, be ready for a relationship, etc.
The challenge with this type of thinking is we are conditioning ourselves to not enjoy the present moment and we miss so much of the journey.
Have you ever seen the movie Click with Adam Sandler? Adam Sandler’s character has an amazing family he loves — wife and kids — but is killing himself to get a promotion. He fast forwards through all life’s special moments and loses what means the most to him because he was more worried about the destination. The message is to enjoy the moments as they are happening because we can never get them back.
I’ll let you in on a little secret.. Or maybe not such a secret. No matter where we are in life things are always changing and progressing. Once we reach what we thought was our final destination to happiness, a new goal or curveball will come up and we will have new goals in mind and a new “Once this great thing happens then I’ll live life” thought.
5 Tips on How To Live In The Present Moment
So, are you asking yourself, “What are some tips to help me be in the present moment?” Here they are:
Practicing gratitude can give us a major mental shift. If you aren’t where you want to be in work, relationships, family, whatever, what is working? Practicing gratitude has been shown to reduce stress, shift our perspective, gives us hope, and can increase positive emotions for months to come. Practice writing a list of the things you are grateful for a couple days out of the week and incorporate this into your weekly routine.
Meditation, yoga, journaling, going for a walk, and deep breathing, are all great mindfulness activities that help retrain your mind to let go of the daily stressors we constantly worry about and be more in the moment. There are so many great (free and paid) guided meditations from apps, like calm or headspace, and or from my favorite Yoga Studio. Challenge yourself – try adding 2 or 3 mindfulness activities into your week and see how you feel.
If you are working towards a promotion, financial gains, making friends, a job transition, or any type of transition, we tend to get hyper focused on the things that are really important to us. However, we still need to find balance otherwise we run the risk of hitting burnout. Are you taking care of yourself throughout the day? List all of your daily responsibilities and activities and give them a percentage of how much time and energy you are putting into them and see where you can shift things around to find more balance. This can be life changing.
When we set intentions the night before and in the morning we are being more intentional with our time and our days. This can help us factor in little moments that will make our day and help us enjoy the journey. Getting your favorite coffee or smoothie in the morning, planning time with friends, going for a walk in the morning, or looking forward to winding down with a great movie at night helps give us something to look forward to each day.
Balance Past, Present, and Future
When we worry too much about the future or dwell too much in the past it makes it tough to be in the present moment. I know, it’s easier said than done. But, working on where our thoughts go is something we have control over and we can work on this. We can catch ourselves when we are worrying about dwelling and work on reframing our thoughts or changing what we are doing at the moment. This would be a great time to go for a walk, do a quick meditation, and ask yourself what you have control over and identify one thing you can accomplish today that you will feel proud of.