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How to Live in The Moment: 24 Positive Ways to Live in The Now

Learn how to live in the moment is something most people could do with learning. Forget the past and focus on the now – you’re missing the good stuff!

how to live in the moment

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” in 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.

It’s true that when you spend your time looking backward at the past, you live in regret. When you spend all your time thinking about the future, you’re missing out on the here and now and probably causing yourself a world of anxiety in the process. [Read: How to be present – The guide to find your zone of calm perfection]

The benefits of learning to live in the present

When you learn to live in the here and now you open yourself up to many benefits. We’ve already mentioned that constantly looking backward and forward is stress-inducing and causes misery. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan for the future in some way. There is a big difference between doing what you need to do to reach your goals, and becoming so fixated that your eyes are always forward.

By learning how to live in the moment, you open your eyes to the possibilities around you. Your relationships become deeper and more enriching. You see the beauty in the small things and overall, your life will be calmer and more fulfilling. [Read: How to stop ruminating – 18 ways to leave your past and be present]

How many times have you sat in a fancy restaurant and had a nice meal, yet you can’t actually remember the experience? Probably once or twice. Why? Because you were on your phone the entire time and you weren’t actually present. How many times have you done the same thing when your friend has been talking to you? Your relationships are suffering!

Learning to live in the moment means that you get the best out of every second. So, you can learn from the past and plan for the future, while still enjoying the present. [Read: How to enjoy life and make it memorable]

How to live in the moment – 20 ways to live in the now

So, how do you find overall pleasure in life and not be 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.

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. [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 into today is by holding grudges. Grudges are like carrying luggage of wrongdoings around with you everywhere.

Not only are they exhausting, they do you 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 we 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. [Read: How to be fearless – 13 ways to set aside fear and live your life]

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. [Read: 12 life questions to help you visualize your future]

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 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, we 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. Draw inspiration from how children view new situations with wonder and curiosity. 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 reserve 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. [Read: Good friends are like stars – 18 ways to build lasting friendships]

14. Recognize that life isn’t perfect and be glad that it’s not

Often we don’t live fully in the moment because we want things to be perfect. We are going to let you in on a little secret – there is no such thing as perfection.

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 limit 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 you shouldn’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 setting unattainable goals

When you make unattainable goals, you aren’t living your purpose because you assume you have something better waiting for you. It’s 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 only leaves you looking back. In the end, you’ll wish you had enjoyed the journey more. [Read: 19 unrealistic expectations in love we want to believe but shouldn’t]

18. Learn to say “no”

It is hard to live in the moment when you have too many obligations or you’re 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

Never 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.

Learning to live in the now means changing what you believe and not limiting yourself to things you think you “know” or are “known.”

21. Set goals but don’t become obsessed

You should certainly set goals to help you achieve what you want in life, but avoid becoming totally obsessed with them. Make small steps towards achieving them but be sure to focus on living your life in the meantime too. You can still drive your future towards where you want it to go, without becoming so preoccupied that you don’t enjoy where you’re at. [Read: 13 inspiring ways to bring out the best in yourself]

22. Practice gratitude

Practicing gratitude makes you far more content and able to stay in the moment. Every night, sit down and think about two or three things you’re grateful for during that day. It could be something small, like a delicious coffee, or it could be something big, like meeting up with a lost friend again. It doesn’t matter about the size of it, it’s the fact you’re grateful that really counts.

23. Try mindfulness

Mindfulness meditation is a great way to learn how to live in the moment. It’s also fantastic for regulating emotions and allowing yourself to feel calmer and more satisfied with life. While some meditation is a little difficult to master at first, mindfulness is literally about focusing your mind on the moment you’re in and taking in all the tiny details. Give it a try! [Read: How to live a good life you’ll love and cherish]

24. Focus on experiences rather than material items

We all have a habit of becoming a little preoccupied with material items. It might be the latest model of cell phone or a new piece of fashion. However, these things don’t bring us joy and often leave us wanting more. To help you to stay in the moment and be happier overall, focus on spending time with people and having experiences instead.

[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. By skating by too quickly, you might miss the good stuff.

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Julie_Keating
Julie Keating

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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