Living in the moment is something many of us aspire for. There are tons of inspirational written works about living in the moment. I can’t count the number of instagram and facebook posts I’ve seen about living in the moment. It’s so easy to live in the moment when we’re away on vacation, or listening to a great piece of music, or watching a really good film or laughing with friends. But what about living in the moment every single day?? How do we actually apply this ‘living in the moment’ status to our everyday life when it’s not so much fun?
I’m about to share with you the exact and practical steps you can start doing to live in the moment without having to change what you’re actually doing, and I’m going to include a cheat version as well. You can live in the moment when you’re at your job. You can live in the moment when you’re waiting in line or in traffic. But before I get to the nitty gritty of what you actually need to do to live in the moment, let’s go through some points of what living in the moment actually means:
- Living in the moment is a practice, something we must put effort to try on a daily basis. It’s just like exercise, as natural as our bodies are made to run or be active, it’s our natural state to be in the moment, but culturally, we lost these natural states from our daily routines, so initially, it does take trial and error again and again, until it becomes part of our habit. Do not be discouraged if it doesn’t come easily in the beginning.
- ‘Living in the moment’ means to be focused on what we’re doing at the moment. So there’s two components here: 1) To be focused, 2) on What we’re doing. Many people have the impression that to live in the moment, they have to change What they’re doing. This is certainly one way to be able to live in the moment, and this is actually an easier way to do it. So many believe that they have to change What they’re doing into something they enjoy, like going away on a vacation, or just taking a lazy day off doing nothing, so they can live in the moment. Although this is the easier way to approach the ‘live in the moment’ status, this is certainly not practical since we can’t do this everyday. Then if we get caught up too much that this is the only way to do it, this method transforms into a way of escaping our reality and everyday lives. Furthermore, some start to hate their everyday lives and just look forward to their days ‘off’.
- A more practical method of ‘living in the moment’ is being able to focus on what we’re doing at the moment, without having to change our actions but changing our state of mind. This method takes more practice, but it’s definitely worth the try since this can bring about a change that’ll transform our entire lives on an everyday basis.
With that said, here’s a simple 3 step guide on how to live in the moment:
- Take Awareness – this first step involves you being aware of your thoughts at every moment. It’s very important to be aware of our thoughts since we form our feelings and make decisions about certain actions based on our thoughts. Being aware of such thoughts circulating and separating ourselves from this busy tank of thoughts can be initially tricky since many of us will get swept away by certain thoughts, especially when they’re attached to strong feelings. For example, my husband has a hard time sleeping at night, thoughts about work constantly circulate in his head and he easily gets pulled by them into feelings of stress. The one thing he needs to do to ‘live in the moment’ is to actually sleep, but his thoughts are keeping him from doing so. Similarly, another good place to start practicing this first step is while waiting in line or in traffic. Practice watching all the thoughts that circulate during those moments and find yourself as a separate entity from the rest of those thoughts. You may be thinking, ‘traffic is horrendous’, ‘these people don’t know how to drive’, ‘this line is too long’, ‘these people stink’, etc! The first step is learning to be aware of such thoughts and separating yourself from them.
- Filter Your Thoughts – this next step now takes more practice as it requires you to be able to sieve through all those thoughts and pick only the ones that are powerful at the moment. What is a powerful thought? A powerful thought is one that only benefits and services you or those around you. A lot of the times, these thoughts are buried underneath the thoughts that can easily pull at our emotions and physical senses. For example, you’re on a bus stuck in traffic trying to get home and your thoughts are, ‘this traffic sucks and these people stink’, how does such thought benefit or service you or those around you? This thought is a huge disservice to yourself, even though you think it’s only stating the obvious, it’s taking a huge pull on your emotions, not to mention, there’s nothing you can do about such thought. A more powerful thought is, ‘I’m on this bus to get home, in the meantime, I’m learning lessons in tolerance and good wishes for others that they may take a shower as soon as we all get home (lol!)’. In this second step, you must practice to separate the powerful thoughts away from the waste thoughts that not only distract you, but weaken you as well.
- Focus only on the Powerful Thoughts – in this last step, focusing on only the powerful thoughts will also take some time. Oftentimes, the biggest barrier that keeps us from connecting to our powerful thoughts is self-doubt. For example, going back to the powerful thought while being stuck on the bus in traffic, the thought of learning tolerance and good wishes is very hard to connect to because firstly, it’s buried under heavier thoughts that are full of emotion, and secondly, because many of us may doubt that we’re capable of tolerance or good wishes at all. So this last step, is actually two fold: to be able to connect to our powerful thoughts, we must know that we are powerful beings worthy of such thoughts. To simplify this last step, I have the following script for you: I’m an invaluable jewel that only spends invaluable thoughts at every invaluable second.
Cheat Version (Yeyy!!!): Yes! I have a cheat version for you if the above steps seem too daunting. Although it’s worth knowing the process and what goes on in our heads, the easiest way to ‘live in the moment’ is remembering this script, I’m an invaluable jewel that only spends invaluable thoughts at every invaluable second. When you feel like you’re getting swept away by waste thoughts and not being able to focus at the present moment, remember this script and you will be able to know which powerful thoughts are worth connecting to at such moments. When you’re able to connect to only powerful thoughts at each moment, not only are you able to focus on such moments, but you’re also able to make the most out of every moment you are in.
Good luck!! We all need it 😉