Wouldn’t it be nice to stop agonising over tomorrow, or wishing for it to come more quickly? Our entire lives happen in the present, so whatever time it is, it’s now. Yet we live as if the opposite were true, chasing the good things yet to come, fearing future problems, longing for the past. It’s no way to live.
Living in the now doesn’t mean you should start forgoing paying your bills so you can experience a moment of joy, or do anything that might put your future in jeopardy. Rather, this is simply a reminder that NOW is the only time you truly have, so it’s important to enjoy it, and to give in to the experience rather than have your head in the clouds dreaming of something better or dreading that hypothetical problem with a future event.
In the coming days, try these five tips to nourish your now and enjoy every second as it happens.
1. Practice Mindfulness
Become attuned to your senses, the physical sensations; touch, sight, smell, taste, sound. Can you feel the breeze against your skin? What do you hear? How does your body feel – Are you hot, cold, comfortable, are you aware of your breath? Practicing mindfulness techniques helps to bring awareness to the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations.
By becoming attuned to your senses you can shift your mind from there to now.
2. Write Your Problems Down.
Each day, set aside ten minutes to allow yourself to focus on what is worrying you, on future fears or old issues – write it down, and then move on to what is happening right now.
” If danger arises in the present moment, there may be an emotion. There may even be pain. But that’s a challenge, not a problem. For a problem to exist, you need time and repetitive mind activity “
– Eckhart Tolle
3. Create Tech Free Time.
Schedule in some time as often as you can to put your phone away, sign out of your emails and enjoy your life gadget free. Creating a daily cut-off time can be a great way to implement this at home.
The urge to take photos of every little beautiful thing means we miss out on actually seeing it while it’s happening. Next time you’re out with friends or enjoying time in nature, ditch your phone and capture your surroundings with your attention in the present moment.
4. Declutter To Remove Distractions.
We live in a culture of more. Bigger houses, fast fashion, faster cars, newer tech. We’re encouraged to consume on an unprecedented scale, and living with all this stuff can make it hard to think.
By simplifying our spaces we can remove distractions and focus on what is truly important. Clean your desk – file or recycle old paperwork, get rid of the junk in your drawers and wipe down all your surfaces (especially your keyboard!). Remove unused smartphone apps, and reorganise the remaining ones. Clear your digital desktop – create folders and organise your files in a clear and precise manner. Clean out your car, your handbag, your wardrobe and your home.
Practice these tips and you’ll find it much easier to focus on the task at hand.
5. Listen Intently
Having a conversation with someone while multi-tasking on your phone or thinking about something entirely different isn’t just disrespectful to the other party, it does you a disservice too. If you’re constantly allowing yourself to be distracted by other things you miss out on vital information and experiences. This can create inefficiencies at work, and deficiencies in your personal life and relationships.
Try putting your phone away or turning away from your desktop to face the person you’re speaking to. Practice active listening by mirroring what has been said to you with clarifying questions “so you’re saying that…” . Not only will you gain more respect from those around you, you will become more efficient, retain information more easily and manage stress better.