A Beginner’s Guide to Living in the Moment

“What day is it?”

“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.

“My favourite day,” said Pooh.

– A.A. Milne

Living in the moment is something that we as adults forget to do. It’s difficult when you need to balance responsibilities with the joy of the present. Watching children, one can witness their ability to take each moment as it comes: Play-time is intense, there is little outside of it. Living in the moment as an adult takes a mature mindfulness to dominate stress, depression, anxiety, anger and hurt.

Here are several tips to staying mindful and living in the present:

Breathe

Could it be that simple? In some ways, yes it can! When one is aware of one’s breath, it’s easier to remove distractions from the mind, decrease anxiety and depression. Breathing mindfully allows us to gain perspective.

Think about your thinking – be present

We have the tendency to think in the future (or dwell in the past). If we are doing something, we think it will gain x y or z later. This futuristic reasoning creates a cacophony of what if-s and maybe-s. It leads us to view happiness as constantly just around the corner. By becoming aware of this thinking and attempting to focus on the present moment, we reduce the stress and the unhappiness of never being within reach of what we desire.

Hear negatives without panicking

It’s easy to take criticism or negative feedback from co-workers, partners, or friends with despair or anger. Mindfulness allows us to see that one piece of criticism doesn’t sum up a person’s thoughts about our entire person. We can take it in with open arms. It doesn’t threaten us. It’s one small piece of a very big puzzle.

Make time for time

Throughout the day take 30 second to 5 minute mindfulness breaks. View what’s around you. Notice your feelings, feel your senses. Pull away from your distractions. Get in the habit of taking time for time. It’s this little habit that can give you the greater clarity that you desire.