Are you consumed by thinking about the past or worry about the future?
Being present and living in the now can be quite hard to keep up. It is in our human nature to slip up and get obsessed about things that happened in the past and go over all the coulda/shoulda/woulda even though we all know there is no point to this. The past is gone and we can’t change it. All we can do is learn from our experiences and apply them to our present moment.
The same goes for future-focused thinking. We worry about the uncertainty of what might happen instead of enjoying the present moment. Because reality is, the present is all we’ll ever have.
So what does it mean to be in the present and live in the now? Well, simply put it means that we are fully aware of what is going on right here, right now. We are in tune with our emotions, feelings, thoughts and behavior, we accept who we are and are fully immersed in what we are doing right this moment. The truth is, unless we are present in our life, we’ll be missing out big time. It is amazing… By simply changing our thinking and forgetting about the past as well as the future and just being in this very moment, our experience of life will be so much richer, we will be more successful and much happier.
We admit, living in the now can be difficult, but the more you have the experience of being present, the easier it gets. Some simple ticks to get into the present moment are:
– Look up into the sky
– Breathe deeply
– Drink water
– Wiggle your toes
– Move your body
– Belt out your favorite song
– Step away from all your gadgets
– Take a walk in nature
– Play with pets
– Call someone you care about
Any of those tips are a great way to get into the present moment, there are plenty more and if you have any go-to practice that gets you into the now, we’d love to hear about it and explore it, too.
So if getting into the present moment can be so simple, why aren’t we more present? If being present improves all areas of our lives, from our health, to performance, relationships, careers, and wellness to the quality of our life, why do we dwell on the past or worry about the future?
Let’s have a closer look at how we can truly benefit from living in the now, maybe that will change our MO and will finally get us to be more present. Here are our TOP 10 reasons to live in the now.
#1 Enrich Your Experience
A lot of people fear that if they let go of the past and the future they will become unemotional. Reality is that the opposite is true. If you let go of your attachment to the past and the future and fully connect with the present moment, you will actually feel your emotions a lot stronger. If you can be in the now without having your mind wander elsewhere, you will find that your experiences become a lot richer.
#2 Improve Social Skills
If you get shy or nervous in social settings and don’t know what to say, being in the present is a great step toward overcoming your social anxiety. When you are in the now, your mind is no longer filled with worry about what the other person might think when you say something, nor are you rehashing the meaning of what has just been said. Your internal chatter stops and you are completely engaged in what the other person is saying. You are just in the now, your attention is on the person you are interacting with and with that you can let things flow naturally.
#3 Be Happy
Living your life in the moment and being able to appreciate the day as it unfolds, you will be able to significantly increase your happiness. That doesn’t mean you should give up your long-term goals, it just means that you don’t crowd your mind with worries about the future and can just enjoy the journey in the present moment and are completely engrossed in the task at hand. If you do let your mind wander to other things, it can be very exhausting and you are a lot less productive. But if your attention is in the present and your sole focus is on right now, you give yourself the chance to enjoy whatever it is you are doing, hugely increasing your levels of happiness.
#4 Improve Creativity
Being in the present means to be fully immersed in whatever project you are working on right now. Distractions disappear and you forget time. If you can be fully present, you are able to initiate a flow state, which creates momentum and ideas have the space to flow without pressure or stress. Tuning out the outside world and being completely present in what you are doing right now will dramatically improve your creativity.
#5 Release Stress
When we are stressed out, we tend to worry and overthink and perpetuate the state of stress. But being present is the perfect antidote. Focus on your breath, focus on your body, observe an object, bring your full attention to something other than feeling stressed and you will be amazed how stress just melts away.
#6 Be More Open
This is one of our favorite benefits of being in the now. Being present removes the labels you put on things and people and opens you up to experience and see things without assumptions or judgment. Being in the now will make it a lot easier to ignore your mental barriers and open you up to experience new things as the person you are and you will find that things are a lot easier, giving you better results.
#7 Let Go of Self-Consciousness
Are you aware that you don’t actually see your face during most of your day? However, if you are in a self-conscious state of mind, it seems like you always see your face, which only reinforces your preoccupation with your appearance and wondering what others think. But when you are truly in the present moment, you can keep your attention outward. You can forget about your face for a while and instead focus on other people’s faces, which does wonders to your self-consciousness.
#8 Overcome Cravings
It doesn’t matter if we talk about quitting smoking or giving up cookies. Notice when you have a craving. And then respond to your craving by doing anything other than putting a cigarette or cookie in your mouth. It’s simple and in the now. The entirety of your goal is so small that it is achievable right now. If you loose sight of this, you misunderstand what it means to quit. It’s not some big abstract goal that can never be achieved in the present moment. But if you have control over your craving in the now, you can maintain control for the rest of your life.
#9 Taste Food More
Instead of mindlessly chowing down your breakfast on the run or lunch at your desk, pay full attention to the sensations of eating a bite of food. Take your time and really just focus on a single bite. Put your fork down between bites, so you are reminded that it’s just about this one bite. For most of us this is a whole new experience of eating that is much more involved and intimate. Food tastes a lot better, it takes longer and surprisingly it makes you satiated sooner. Taking your time makes it also a lot easier to decide the moment when you stop eating, because you are mentally on the bite in your mouth rather than leaning towards your next bite.
#10 Experience Better Sex
If you are in the present moment and can keep your attention in real-time, you will be able to truly experience the physical and emotional sensations of sex. You can let go of body image issues, your performance history, the name of your ex and breakfast possibilities. Being in the now is super sexy and putting your attention on the moment will positively impact your sex life in incredible ways.
Maybe right now you are someone who spends time thinking about the past and wishing it was different or worry whether or not the future will go according to plan. That’s okay, it’s the way our mind has been taught to operate. But let’s be clear… Learning to live in the now and being present is purely a shift in the way we think. If we can stop for a moment and really focus on what we are doing right now and on the person we are with in this moment, we will be much more productive, efficient and enjoyable. So commit right now to keep your attention in the moment and enjoy all the benefits this brings with it.
BE PRESENT. BE ENGAGED. BE MOTIVATED. BE SUCCESSFUL. BE HAPPY.
Joschi & Monika