We grow up believing we are supposed to find happiness in life. Unfortunately, we aren’t really sure always what happiness looks like. We have all had that moment when we look around, and everything seems to be going our way, we are riding the cloud, and things couldn’t be better. If you learn how to live in the moment, the good and the hard are easier to tolerate.
Life is predictable in the sense that what goes up, must always eventually come down. That leads you to feel as if life isn’t as great as you had hoped it would be. When people look for a general “happiness” to their life, they often spend a lifetime chasing an impossible goal. No one, and I mean no one, can be happy all the time. Life is a series of peaks and valleys.
How to live in the moment – 20 ways to live in the now
So, how do you find overall pleasure in life and not left feeling like it is more of a roller coaster than a wonderful ride? The key to a fulfilling life is knowing how to live in the moment. Living in the moment means you take things as they come. You enjoy each moment be it good or bad, and you live your life without regrets, baggage, or any tainting of the past into your future.
I hold onto things from the past. What I find is when you take too much of yesterday into today, you can’t fully ever grow or live. If you want to know how to live in the moment and in the now, it is about always being present, not passive, and, definitely not a spectator in your own life.
A worry wart by nature, this feature called out to me because I know if I could learn to live in the moment, I could let go of all the fear, anxiety, and trepidation holding me back from achieving my dreams. [Read: Positive vibes – 17 ways to welcome positive energy into your life]
#1 Don’t hold grudges. One of the worst ways we bring too much of yesterday to take up today is by holding grudges. Grudges are like carrying luggage of wrongdoings around with us everywhere.
Not only are they exhausting, they do us no good. If someone wronged you, let it go. The only person it hurts is you. It stops you from fully living in the here and now.
#2 Forgive. There are times when we say we forgive. But we don’t really, you know what I mean? When you truly forgive, it means you put it behind you never to be thought of again.
One of the hardest things in life to do, forgiving is one of the best things you do for yourself. Forgiving someone isn’t about letting them off the hook. but letting yourself off the hook from holding onto anger. If you want to live in the now, you can’t hold onto the past. That includes anger from things that have come before. [Read: How to forgive someone: 15 positive ways to unburden your mind]
#3 Look at every experience as a learning curve. To truly understand how to live in the moment, view everything as a continuum, not an ending. If you mess up, then you pick up and keep moving forward. There is no way to get through this life without making a little mess.
But, don’t let it get in your way. Consider it a part of living and learning so you continue to be present and let go of any remorse or guilt holding you in the past. [Read: 8 daily reminders to help keep you going forward]
#4 Let go of fear. Fear is one of the most powerful emotions people possess. The worst part about fear is that we typically don’t even recognize it for what it is. Fear stops us from loving, leaving, creating, moving on, achieving our goals, being vulnerable, and, it can be one of the reasons that you aren’t fully present in your own life.
If you want to live in the moment, let go of fear. After all, what is the worst thing that can happen from trying something? It is far worse never to try, than to fail while giving it a go.
#5 Don’t anticipate the future. Along with fear comes anticipation. We all learn from our past what to anticipate in new situations, but that only taints new experiences and gives us a different perspective on our lives and actions.
If you want to live in the moment, you can’t continually be thinking about the future and what might happen. You always live in the future and that isn’t really living at all.
#6 Think positively. Living in the moment involves seeing the positive side of life. If you are always Eeyore, going around thinking everything is awful, then you aren’t really living in the moment. You live in in your own head.
If you have a positive outlook on life, then you won’t ever stop yourself from seeing it for what it is or enjoying it to the fullest. [Read: How to master negative self talk and banish negativity]
#7 Love like crazy. Stop holding yourself back from love to live in the now. Being vulnerable and putting yourself out for rejection are two very scary things. But, I would argue that if you don’t ever let your guard down to be the real you and take a chance at leaving yourself open for love, you can’t ever experience it.
Love is one of the things that makes the world go around. And, if you want to live in the moment, let yourself be vulnerable, love like crazy, and stop fearing rejection from putting your heart on your sleeve.
#8 Consider each day your last. What would you do if today were your last day? You certainly wouldn’t view it the way that you do day to day. Try to live each day like it is the last one you have.
When you have the perspective that life isn’t ever ending but a series of moments that aren’t indefinite, you learn to appreciate never taking a moment for granted. That keeps you living in the present and taking all life has to offer. [Read: The real meaning of YOLO – 15 ways to life your life to the fullest]
#9 Try to bring back naivety. To live in the now, let go of your past experiences and meet each new day as if it was your first. Drawing inspiration from watching children’s wondrous nature, it means approaching even the most seemingly mundane thing with enthusiasm and the ability to see something new every time.
#10 Don’t hold back. Living in the moment means not reserving yourself or holding back. Have you ever stopped yourself from smiling too much or from singing too loud? Those are all self-control measures that prevent us from living in the moment.
If you want to live wholly, then let go of the boundaries that hold you back from going overboard and letting the moment take you. [Read: How to be a good person: 10 small changes to transform your world]
#11 Stop worrying. Worrying is one of the most unproductive behaviors that humans have. Worry is an emotion that is supposed to stop us from doing things with consequences, but some worry is only self-imposed and does nothing to help you survive.
It only stops you from thriving. To live in the moment, stop worrying about where it may end, when the good times will end, and reserving yourself for when the ride is over. Just go with it!
#12 Follow your dreams wherever they take you. Living in the moment involves following each dream you have, both big and small. It isn’t just about living up to your potential, it is about having boundless and endless potential. If you have a dream, follow it to the end of wherever it goes. Then keep going! [Read: Bored with life? 20 ways to bring the spark back to life]
#13 Surround yourself with positive people who make you feel good. There is nothing to hold you back from being present in your life more than people who are negative or stop you from believing anything is possible.
If you surround yourself with limiting people, you will always be limited. Find those individuals who enjoy life as much as you do, and you won’t ever sit on the sidelines waiting for your turn. Life doesn’t have turns; it is meant for everyone to join in at once.
#14 Recognize that life isn’t perfect and be glad that it is not. Often we don’t live fully in the moment because we want things to be perfect. I am going to let you in on a little secret; there is no such thing as perfection the way that we think about it.
Perfect is being the result of imperfection being perfectly orchestrated. Stop being so cautious and just enjoy the ride.
#15 Don’t have expectations. If you expect the way that things will go or the twists and turns that life may hold, then you won’t be able to experience them for what they are. Preconceived notions about what comes your way only limits the experience. Stop overthinking it and just let it be. [Read: 18 ways to become more spontaneous in life]
#16 Live without intention and judgment. If you want to live in the now, stop thinking about the intentions of things and assume there are none. That means don’t always look for why something happens or try to figure out how it ends. Always trying to ascribe intention or judgments about something distracts you from living the experience in totality.
#17 Stop making unattainable goals. When you make unattainable goals, you aren’t living your purpose because you assume you have something better waiting for you, like not eating your dinner because you wait for the dessert. Thinking that something better is about to come and negating the here and now, it only leaves you looking back, in the end, wishing you had enjoyed the journey more.
#18 Learn to say no. It is hard to live in the moment when you have too many obligations or are so busy that you don’t have time to smell the roses.
Learning to say no allows you to not do as many things, but when you do something, it means much more because you have the time to put all that you are and your true spirit into it. Saying no to more, lets you enjoy much more of life.
#19 Think outside the box. Don’t ever limit yourself by what you think is out there or what you think can exist. If you want to be present in your own life, believe that there are such things as miracles. When you see an easy path, go around it, and take the course that is bumpy, messy, and full of obstacles. Remember, it is about the ride, not getting to the end. [Read: 19 life quotes to motivate you to live a better life]
#20 Bury your head less and look around more. Unplug and start living! Living in the moment is something we rarely do. Overscheduled, occupied, and overstimulated, we are always distracted by the things around us and never wholly living in the world.
If you want to live in the now, change what you believe, believe in what you believe, and stop limiting yourself to things you think you “know” or are “known.”
[Read: The rules of life: 22 secrets to never be unhappy again]
If you truly want to learn how to live in the moment, remember that happiness is incremental, fleeting, and found in the little moments in life. If you skate by too quickly, you just might miss the greatest things to experience.
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A writer isn’t born, but created out of experiences. No lack of subject matter, my life reads more like fiction than anything that could have been imagined...
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