Living in the moment is all about living like there’s no tomorrow. It takes practice but in the end, you’ll lead a fuller life. To do this you must realize beauty in every moment, and in everyday activities. This is your life, now live!

Steps

  1. Take notice of the world around you. No matter what you’re doing, try to find something beautiful around you. Maybe on your way to work or school, you go over a beautiful bridge, or you get a view of the sunrise behind the city buildings. Realizing these small things can bring life and happiness even to the most boring or routine days. Be thankful for those little things.
  2. Focus on whatever you’re doing. Even if you’re just walking, or wiping the counter, or shuffling cards – how does it feel? There’s probably some kind of commentary spinning through your mind, and it probably has to do with something other than what you’re doing. Let those thoughts go and focus on what is (not what was, or what could be). In Buddhism, this is referred to as mindfulness. Pay attention to your senses – touch, sight, smell, sound, and taste. Pretend it’s the very last time you’ll ever experience whatever you’re experiencing. Have you ever been so engrossed in something that it seemed like the rest of the world just disappeared? Living in the moment is about creating that state of mind at any time. Slow down, and try to savor the present.
  3. Smile when you wake up. You can set the tone of appreciation and awareness for the next 24 hours by simply waking up and smiling.[1] Don’t wake up with a groan and a smash of your alarm clock. There’s scientific proof that the expressions that you make with your face can actually influence how you feel.[2] In particular, true happiness is most closely tied to a Duchenne smile which involves smiling with your eyes, as well as your mouth.[3]
  4. Commit random, spontaneous acts of kindness. Whether it’s donating 1 dollar to a fund at the pharmacy, picking up litter, or helping victims of natural disasters, keep alert in every moment of your day for some way in which you can make the world a better place. Even the smallest thing, like complimenting someone, can bring joy. It’s the most spontaneous and unexpected acts of kindness that produce the greatest impact, and you can’t be sensitive to those kinds of opportunities unless you’re living in the moment.
  5. Minimize activities that dull your awareness of the moment. What are you doing that tempts your mind to run away from the present? For most people, watching television puts you in a passive state of mind, and time slips right by. Daydreaming and getting lost in a good movie or book isn’t bad, but it’s not living in the moment because it places your concentration on something that isn’t right here, right now; it’s a form of escapism. Don’t zone out; zone in. Do things that are active, and that encourage you to look around and engage the world in that moment. Gardening, playing a game, knitting, and playing an instrument are all activities that lend themselves to mindfulness. So get off the computer after reading this article!

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Tips

  • Play with kids! Children don’t worry about the future; they play and enjoy every moment for what it is. They haven’t yet learned to think ahead, or mull over the past, so take the opportunity to learn from them.
  • Forgive. Many of us carry grudges with us that haunt us, and those grudges also prevent us from opening our hearts to others because we’re scared of getting hurt again.
  • Watch your breath, by noticing your breathing pattern your mind naturally quiets and pays more attention to the present moment.
  • Listen to music and enjoy it. Express your self by dancing to it or singing along.
  • Participate in active conversation and engage in the subject matter with another human.
  • Think about how happy your good deed could make someone!

Warnings

  • Living in the moment doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care about the future, or do reckless, irresponsible things. It means that when you make a choice to do something, you focus on actually doing it, rather than letting your mind dwell on the future (or past).
  • Do not let living in the moment be offensive, rude, uncaring, intrusive, or inconsiderate of others while focusing on living for yourself

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  1. “Present Moment Wonderful Moment” by Thich Nhat Hanh. ISBN 093807721X
  2. http://www.springerlink.com/content/y9575l5511111457/
  3. http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=16900751

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