Back in 2010-2011 — before I lived in Korea, before I moved to California — I had a lot of internal distress. I couldn’t, for the life of me, seem to ever live in the present moment.
Why can’t I ever just enjoy things when its actually happening? I would think to myself. Why am I so focused on what is yet to come rather than simply enjoy what I’m experiencing now?
Needless to say, a lot has happened between now and then. And I’m not anywhere near as distressed as I was back then. While I’m far from an enlightened being that can live in the present moment at all times, it’s certainly something that I struggle with much less than I did years ago.
I managed to make shifts so I can live more in the present, and I know with complete confidence that you can to. So here are 5 ways you can start living in the present moment:
#1 – Get off your cell phone
Stop playing Candy Crush, solitaire, Words with Friends, or whatever other game you play on your phone. Stop constantly texting your friend or boyfriend throughout the day. Stop checking Facebook 50 times a day to catch all the latest news trends.
All of these things make us disconnected from our present moment experience. When our eyes are glued to our phones, we are disconnected from all of what is going on around us. We are unable to connect with our colleague at work. We are unable to really connect with our partner after work. We are unable to really be present with our friend who is sharing a difficult story.
It’s okay to have a phone, but be mindful about it. If you see catch yourself mindlessly looking on Facebook, checking e-mail or doing Candy Crush put it away and look at all that is around you. Put the phone down, and take in the beauty of your present experience.
#2 – Declutter… often!
Do you have a stack of books and notebooks from high school piled up in your closet? Or how about a stack of CDs that you haven’t listened to a good 10 years? Or maybe that one top hanging in your closet that your just waiting will be back in style someday?
Well, I’m gonna tell you right now. If you want to really start living in the present moment, then it’s time to throw it out.
While it’s okay to have a few keepsakes, having too much “old stuff” only weighs us down. It’s almost like the piles of old stuff that we keep is merely a reflection of all the old emotional baggage that we haven’t quite let go of yet.
Seriously — have you ever walked into the house of someone who has piles and piles of old stuff? How did you feel walking in there? I doubt it felt light, free, or gave any sense of renewal.
So let go of the old — both internally and externally — it’ll make it much easier to be in the present.
#3 – Be grateful for what you have right now
One of our habits as humans is that we have a tendency to either live in the past or the future. We may be nostalgic about the “good ol’ days”, while, on the flip side, we may be caught up in dreaming about how everything is going to be great for us in the future.
Both of these ways of thinking are distortions created by our ego, and all it does is keep us out of the present moment.
So rather than be wishing that things were as they were 10 years ago or how they could be 10 years from now, be grateful for what you have in your life right now. Be grateful for that job that’s helping you make ends meet. Be grateful for that apartment that you’re living in even though it may be smaller than you’d like.
Gratitude brings us back into the present moment quickly and easily, so start bringing gratitude into your daily practice.
#4 – Let go of worry
Many of us get so caught up in worrying about things that we can never enjoy what we are experiencing. We worry about getting bills paid, our love life, our career, and so on.
So when you catch yourself being a worry-wart, stop and take a deep breath. Take a moment to notice how your body feels. By getting connected how we feel in our bodies, it helps bring us back into the present moment.
#5 – Meditate… every single day!
If there was only one thing that you could take away from this article and start implementing today it would be this: Start meditating! It is the easiest tool to help you live more in the present moment and can be the foundation for so many other miraculous changes that can happen in your life.
Take action now!
Out of the 5 listed above, what are you going to start doing this week to better live in the present moment? Share your thoughts in the comments below!