Are you really living life to its fullest? All too often, we feel as if our lives lack splendor and beauty, which can leave us feeling sad, and in some cases, even angry. The issue isn’t a lack of splendor and beauty at all – it’s our failure to live in the present, where we can enjoy the things around us. Learning how to live in the moment and be mindful of the present can not only boost your mood, but it can even improve your overall quality of life.
Learning how to live in the moment requires some effort, and that effort comes in the form of mindfulness. You’ll need to teach your brain to let go of the past and the future to concentrate on the beauty that is right in front of you.
The best way to start practicing mindfulness involves finding a quiet, comfortable place to relax. It could be your bed, or the grass under the tree in your backyard, or any place that sooths you. Next, close your eyes, and start taking deep breaths. As you do this, clear your mind of any thoughts of the past or worries about the future. If you find your mind wandering, immediately bring it back to your breathing. This is called mindfulness, and the goal is to center your thoughts on the present moment. If you practice this activity at least once or twice per day, you’ll find your mind wandering far less often.
Why Is it Important to Live in the Moment?
Think back to a time when you’ve done something exciting, only to discover that you weren’t quite as happy or excited as you imagined you would be. For example, maybe you took a trip to the Grand Canyon, but the view didn’t really take your breath away as you’d expected. This didn’t happen because the Grand Canyon isn’t awe-inspiring; chances are good that you lacked excitement and joy because you weren’t fully living in the present. Learning how to live in the moment can change the way you see everything in life, which can improve your wellbeing and make you a happier, more patient person.
Simple Ways to Practice Mindfulness
Aside from deep breathing exercises, there are several ways you can practice mindfulness all throughout the day. Some of them take only a few minutes, but others are momentous, once-in-a-lifetime achievements.
- Talk to strangers. Meeting someone new, if only to introduce yourself, can help center you in the present. You can learn a lot from another person’s mannerisms, even if you’re complete strangers.
- Laugh. Laughing is another great way to learn how to live in the moment, especially if you laugh until the muscles in your face and stomach hurt from the strain. A funny movie, a chat with a humorous friend, or even the act of playing with your children or pets can stimulate laughter.
- Smell the flowers. Aromatherapy is a powerful tool for living in the present, so if you’re interested in practicing mindfulness, buy a bouquet and sniff away. Even better? Build yourself a flower garden in your own yard. As you work, pay attention to the texture of the soil and the size of the seeds. Visualize the seeds sprouting and growing into beautiful, aromatic flowers.
- Read about the universe. There’s something about realizing how small you really are in the grand scheme of things that can help you focus on the here and now. Magnificent Universe by Ken Croswell is a great choice. Conversely, you could also watch a documentary like The Age of Hubble or Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking.
At some point in our lives, we all feel as if we aren’t enjoying life to its fullest. This can cause depression, anger, and anxiety, and it can even impact your physical health. Learning how to live in the moment by practicing mindfulness can help re-center you in the here and now, allowing you to enjoy life again – every last beautiful moment of it.