“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” ~ Buddha.
Life is always unfolding in the present moment.
…In each breath you take… each memory you create… each moment you experience…
Yet, we often forget this. You move through time without realizing the precious minutes passing. You forget to observe all that is around you. So many valuable moments go unseized.
Why is it so hard to live in the moment?
The answer often has to do with which time frame you’re living in. Instead of living day by day, you’re stuck in the past. And present circumstances have you feeling worried and anxious about the uncertain future.
But the past has already happened. And the future is yet to come. It’s time to shift your focus and learn how to live in the present moment.
“Time is a precious commodity,” wrote Dr. Elyssa Barbash in Psychology Today. “Don’t mentally rush through it or wish it away. Savor the moments”. Here are a few tips to help you cherish the fleeting, but beautiful moments you live every day.
Ease Your Worry and Anxiety and Learn How to Live in the Present Moment With These 5 Tips
#1 Let Go of the PastHow can you turn the page when you’re flipping through the previous chapters? Click To Tweet
How can you turn the page when you’re flipping through the previous chapters?
When you’re stuck on what has already passed, you deny yourself of the possibilities in this present moment.
If there’s a memory you’re holding onto, let go.
If you’re holding onto resentment because of an unhappy childhood, let go.
If you’re holding onto anger because a close friend wronged you, let go.
If you’re holding onto fear because you made a terrible mistake, let go.
If you’re holding onto doubt because you tried and failed, let go.
Letting go is key to accepting what has passed so that your focus can arrive at the present moment.
#2 Choose to Forgive
If you feel that someone has hurt you, forgiveness can seem nearly impossible. How can you forgive when you’re experiencing deep hurt, anger, and even resentment? And you have every right to feel this way.
Yet, remember that holding onto the past might lead you to miss incredible opportunities in the present moment. Opportunities that could manifest more beauty and love and compassion in your life today.
But how do you do it? How do you forgive somebody when the memory feels fresh and your heart still aches?
With a pen and paper, find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted. In this safe space, write a letter to the person who hurt you. Share your emotions. Explain how they hurt you and why you feel this way. Don’t hold back. At the end of the letter, write “I forgive you.”
Once you’ve finished, you can make the choice to send the letter or not.
Whether you send the letter doesn’t matter because forgiveness does not have to involve the other person. Forgiveness is a decision you make.
And you may not feel like you’ve moved on the first time; you may need to write another letter. Forgiveness is a process. Yet, each letter you write permits negative emotions to flow out of your heart and to ink on paper.
Eventually, you release yourself from the overwhelm of those negative emotions. You liberate yourself, so you can appreciate what is happening in the here and now.
#3 Plan for the Future, But Live Day by Day
No matter how well you prepare, the future is never guaranteed. Especially in these present times, much of the future holds uncertainty. This realization might leave you feeling helpless… hopeless, even.
But constant worrying about the future can blind you from the countless blessings touching your life today. Right now, you’re still breathing. You still have your loved ones. And you can still cultivate a sanctuary of love and compassion within yourself.
The future is yet to come. However, these things are within your power at this very moment.
So, plan for the future. And also practice daily habits that keep you grounded in the present.
For example, you can create long-term goals that stretch months or even years into the future. Yet, there are rituals you can practice each day that will shift your attention back to the present:
- Spending time with loved ones
- Enjoying a hobby
- Strolling outside in the sunshine
These small, daily habits are a reminder that the present is unfolding now — don’t let these moments go uncherished.
#4 Treasure Your Relationships
You’re born, and then you die. In the middle is where the magic happens. In the middle, you and your loved ones forge powerful bonds and create unforgettable memories. These memories remind you of the beauty and temporal nature of life.
Show gratitude for the support systems you’ve cultivated by sharing your time. Especially now with physical distancing, a video call where you can see each other’s faces and hear each other’s laughter can feel like you’re in the same room. Having your loved ones with you is a blessing. Treasure them and they will keep you grounded in the beauty of the present moment.
#5 Fully Immerse Yourself in Creative Flow
One of the best ways to root yourself in the present moment is tapping into your creative flow.
Think about it.
Have you ever thrown yourself into a passion project, looked up, and it’s already dark outside? You lost track of time because you were so immersed in your endeavor.
Your mind was neither stuck in the past nor projected into the future. You were focused entirely on the here and now.
If you find yourself revisiting the past or worrying about the future, nurture a hobby. Expressing your creativity may be what you need to help you live in the moment.
What is something you practice in your life to help you feel more present? Share it in the comments below.
Shift Your Attention to the Here and Now
When you shift your attention to the present, beautiful things happen.
You begin to appreciate the moment fully. You can pause, take stock of your life, and realize the number of blessings that touch your life every day.
You have your health. You have your loved ones. And you have a beautiful voice inside you proclaiming how strong, wise, and powerful you are.
Living in the present moment lets you practice daily gratitude and love yourself as you are.
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I really enjoyed reading this article Whitney, it was a great reminder to stay present. Thank you❤️
I’m so happy that you enjoyed the article, Cinthya! Best wishes with your intention to stay present!! <3