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Live in the Present: 4 Things for Living in the Moment to Keep in Mind

Do you need a mental vacation from the past? You spend half of your time with your head in the clouds focusing on the yesterdays and the tomorrows. What about the now?

Live in the present

Dwelling in the past, you observe that plans change, and things almost never seem to work out as planned anyways; but when you live in the present, you do not have to make plans for everything you do. So put that organizer away once in a while and clear your mind of everything that doesn't help you in the present moment.

girl catching leaves

Things to remember about living in the present

1. Enjoy the present

2. Don't dwell in the past

3. Take your time

4. Achieve inner peace

When You Live in the Present, Life is Exciting, Life is Unpredictable, Life is Worth Living. Spontaneity is the Spice of Life

Who you were yesterday is not the same person as who you are right now. Learn from your past experiences to mold yourself into the person you want to be by focusing on the here and now.

1. Live worry-free and stress-free

Keep in mind that when we live in the present, we are happier and more productive. The only stress we have is the healthy stress keeping us on our toes and teaching us new lessons. Living in the present, we don't carry around mental baggage with us everywhere we go. Therefore, every person we meet and every obstacle we encounter will be met with 100% attention, and every problem will be solved with the same motivation.
Ask the Dalai Lama. He could teach all of us a few things about how to live in the present.

girl outdoors

"Man surprised me most about humanity. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived." - the 14th Dalai Lama

Eliminate Clutter

When we live in the present, we have less time to overanalyze things that have no importance to our well-being. Keep yourself busy with a healthy work-life balance. With a busy schedule, you won't be sidetracked so easily. At work and at home, become a minimalist. Keep things simple and get rid of anything unused or unpractical to your well-being. When shopping, I only buy things I need when I need it. I don't buy a new chocolate bar until I finish the old one. That way I'm not tempted to eat both at once. When we fill our life with useless junk we don't need at the moment, we are only adding to our already long list of things to think about. The point of living in the moment is to think less.

A lighter life is a happier life

The less things we have, the less stress there is. Don't be afraid to live in now let dead weight in your life be rid of. There are only so many things we can think about without driving ourselves to burnout. The more things we own, the more that ties us down and makes us want more things to add to our collection of worthless junk. We should have the freedom to pick up our valuables and live in any place we want. But because we tether ourselves to our home, we feel trapped under the weight of clutter around. The stress is subconscious and constant from clutter. We could all improve our lives and make things simpler by saying goodbye to the items we no longer need or use.

7 day planning

If you have an important life event coming up, mark it down in your calendar. As for any plans or chores to do within the next week, take a mental note and write it down if necessary. I am the most forgetful person on the planet, so I write down anything on my to-do list within 7 days. If it doesn't fall within 7 days, I don't even bother.

pen and planner

When you make extensive plans, you start to create expectations for the future. And if your plans don't pan out, you are left disappointed. Next time, don't plan too far ahead.

Planning Time Off

Next time you schedule a vacation, do it last-minute. Spontaneous activities are always the most fun. If you find out your schedule has freed up and you have a week off from work next week, book a plane ticket somewhere. And don't be surprised if you find a good deal on the tickets! When you live in the present, you tend to become luckier.

Taking down-time

Are you taking down time seriously?

The importance of scheduling downtime is to get your mind in the right place. If you are distracted all the time, then you can't achieve the goals you set out to achieve.

Why does your brain need downtime?

It's important to have the things you want in your mind at all times, or you can lose focus. This is where taking a short vacation to somewhere new becomes necessary, maybe even a necessity. We need a tension release from the monotony of daily life. Even if you don't consider your life stressful, you never know about the subconscious worries you have to deal with on a daily basis. Everyone needs some time off in order to live for the now.

The upside of downtime is that everybody wins: you are getting the rest the brain needs and are more productive afterwards.

Focus on achieving an increasing number of short term goal

Learning to live in the present doesn't mean dropping all of your future aspirations. Are you a goal oriented person? Instead of making long-term goals, start making short-term goals in order to achieve those long-term goals. For example, do you often think about travelling and seeing more of the world? Think about how you will achieve this by starting out small. Travel domestically, experiencing other parts of your country. When you've saved up money and built more confidence, you can start thinking internationally.

Prioritize your time

Big ideas require big plans to accomplish big things. This is difficult to do when your mind is all over the place, thinking about too many things can be counterintuitive. To release stress and focus more on the important things we must prioritize our time more efficiently by letting go of unproductive thoughts.

2. The past is the past

Constantly looking in the rear-view mirror increases your chances of an accident. Take this metaphor to heart. If you look at the road instead, you increase your chances of living. Learn to let things go once in a while.

road coast and car

All of that past baggage you carry is weighing you down. When you travel, travel light to relieve pressure on your back. When you live, think less to relieve pressure on your mind.

Tunnel vision

It helps nobody to force the issue and bring up past failures. Not even past successes can do much about the present life. Instead your focus should be on what matter and what you are currently doing. Without your undivided attention and a wandering mind, you are missing vital information happening right in front of your eyes. That is the meaning of ‘tunnel vision'; when you are so caught up in unnecessary thoughts that you can't register information happening around you. This is dangerous for someone trying to improve themselves. Timing and your thoughts are what triggers you to make the correct or incorrect decisions.

3. Don't force anything

Do you sometimes feel like a fish, swimming against the current? Let things happen naturally, and the current won't feel so strong. Stop being the one to initiate conversation, let people come to you.

field of sheep

If your job requires from you to be a leader and it seems like too much pressure for you, maybe it's time for a change. Consider retiring from your position as a sheepherder, who's constantly trying to get everyone involved and deciding everyone's plans for them. Let them live their own lives, and try to focus on making your own choices. Decide to finally live in the present and enjoy having less pressure in your everyday life.

Take a breather

It never helps to force the issue on yourself when things look dire. We need to have fresh and positive minds. By living in the present moment, we eliminate all doubt of a troubled past or a worried future. The less we worry about things that only time can control, the more time we have to focus on what matters. See how much more simple life will be when you stop forcing things, and letting life come to you. Your relationships, work, and personal time will be more relaxing and rewarding.

4. Achieve peace of mind

Have you ever had that feeling where you were completely "in the zone"? Whether you were playing a sport, doing homework, or having a conversation. Everything you said and did was on point. You were living in the moment.

yoga girl

There were no concerns, nothing on your mind but the present. Don't you wish life you could live "in the zone" 24/7? It might not be as impossible as you think. You just have to be ready to step out of your comfort zone and embrace a completely different lifestyle. Give your full effort and dedication to living each and every moment as your last. Life is fragile and every day above ground is a blessing. When you start to live in the present, you take less things for granted and learn more about others and yourself in the process. Take a moment to reflect on how you are living your life right now. Make it a short moment though, as life is waiting for no one.

What about living in the past?

Conversely, instead of daydreaming about past events, learn important strategies for mindfulness and use your time more constructively. The past is meant for learning, not for dwelling on. Things you can't change are worth a moment's thought and that's it. All we have to look forward to is the future! So pave the way by learning to live in the present.

By Kacia Nall

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