How to| Live in the Now

Our minds are focused on existing - a lot of the time - everywhere but the present. We may be doing something thinking of what someone told us to do in the past, or because we’re thinking of how it might affect the future. It’s being done because we think it’s what we should be doing. Anything from ‘they told me to have this done by 4pm’ or ‘why aren’t you revising? You’ve got an exam tomorrow morning’, to waiting till retirement to finally take up that hobby you currently ‘don’t have time for’.

  Of course I’m not saying we shouldn’t cherish memories, follow instructions, or spend the night before an exam revising – though I’m not saying we should either, nor am I saying that there’s anything wrong with planning ahead – heck, I’m a huge plan every last thing down to a T – kinda gal. It’s just, sometimes I think we get into the habit of thinking so much of the future or of the past that we forget where we are now! We do so much based on what we think we should be doing, that we forget how to listen to what we feel like doing.
And maybe it's time to re-address that balance.

The past was just a previous ‘now’. The future will be another ‘now’. They’re all just different ‘nows’, one after another. We can only ever 'live in the now'!
But we can't fully appreciate the beauty of that if we don't bring our wandering minds back to the present, get back in touch with our feelings, with our instincts and focus on existing where we currently are, even if just for a little bit.

Here are a few tips I’ve found very useful…

Becoming aware of your current surroundings

What you can smell, hear, feel, see, taste even – can really help to clear your mind and bring it fully back to the present. A great time to try this is when washing up, the feel of the suds, the smell of the soap... it's a great form of meditation. You can also use this as a way to get back in touch with your current feelings to therefore help you decide what you want to do now. I sometimes get so distracted by the future that whether I'm enjoying what I'm currently doing gets ignored. This method often comes into practising gratitude too as you are acknowledging what you have now and where you are now as opposed to focusing on the lack in your life.

Don't plan...not too much anyway

- as in, don’t let plans consume your life, even listing things to do in your head. Planning and to-do lists are a great way to keep yourself organised and make sure you don't forget anything. However it can mean we force ourselves to do things we don't feel like doing yet or we feel bad if we don't do everything on the list. If I write myself a to-do list everyday, by the fourth day, I end up feeling pressured and constrained. A great way to help this is to forget the concept of time; cover all your clocks, set alarms if you have appointments to keep. This gives you flexibility, to spend as long as you feel doing one thing, without worrying that you won't have time to do something else or without distractingly reminding yourself of what else you need to do.When my attention is completely focused like this, i.e. without the worry of running out of time, I actually tend to get more done more quickly!

Don't do things because you think you 'should'

I often found that if there was something I had to do, after letting myself do something I felt like doing, I ended up feeling like tackling that pile of homework I’d been neglecting anyway. Plus, it was actually enjoyable seeing as I wasn’t forcing myself to do it, I wanted to! On the other hand, if you don’t feel like doing anything productive, that’s okay too, don’t feel guilty for it. I often had to stop myself feeling guilty if there was a day where I wasn’t as productive as I could’ve been, which is silly because doing something I feel like doing, makes me happy, I'm giving myself what I want - how can I feel guilty for making myself happy? Soon, trusting your instincts will be second nature!

Make everything enjoyable

If there’s something you have to do now but don’t really want to, find something enjoyable about it and focus on that. Think of Yin and Yang, there is always something good in the bad. If you really can’t think of anything good, then distract yourself with something else that feels good without stopping you from being present. Take washing up for example again, pop on your favourite tunes and sing while you do it!

It does take some practise to listen to your feelings but by following these steps, I've become more in touch with them as well as more easily accepting whatever they may be.
I worry less and I trust myself more.

Your instincts are there for a reason, and that reason is always in your favour.



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    1. Great tips, especially the last one about becoming aware of your surroundings. Thanks for sharing! :)


      Posted by Eden Mint to Purely at 6 April 2015 at 21:32

    2. I'm glad you liked it! :)

      Sorry, accidentally all my comments