Why is it so hard to “be where you are”? It sure sounds like it should be easy.
But our minds are busy with stresses and schedules. We’re connected to technology every hour of the day, which allows us to be distracted. There’s a fear that we’re always missing out on something that’s happening where we aren’t.
It’s frustrating that it’s so difficult to focus on the moment that’s happening right now.
All this “live in the moment” talk can get a little out there and high minded for me, so let’s get extra practical about what we can do today to live in the moment.
5 Simple Ways to Live in the Moment Today
1. Put Your Phone Down
I don’t swear very often but I feel very strongly about this, so I’m just going to say: Put Your *bleep* Phone Down!
I think cell phones are the #1 culprit for why we don’t live in the moment these days. We check our phones every spare second we get! We miss out on what is right in front of us.
When you’re with family, you’re texting your friends. When you’re with those friends, you’re texting other friends. It’s like you’re never happy with who you’re with and enjoying their company.
Plus, every possible second of boredom is filled with browsing social media or watching YouTube videos.
We miss so much of living in the moment by staring at a screen.
Austin and I didn’t get smart phones until early last year (waaaay late to the party), so I didn’t have this giant distraction connected to the end of my arm everyday. I went to restaurants and noticed people not connecting to the people they were out with. I sat in waiting rooms where no one ever looked up. It’s crazy! Now that I have a smart phone, I know that I can certainly be guilty of this too.
If you want to live in the moment, make a conscious effort (and it does take effort) to put your phone down. You don’t have to check it every time it dings at you. Let the people you’re with know that they are your priority in that moment.
2. Stop Researching and Start Experiencing
I’m a big-time researcher. It’s hard for me to jump into anything until I’ve looked up everything I can look up. I want to know the unknowable. I want to know exactly what’s going to happen before I do something.
You know what? Sometimes you can’t know what’s going to happen. And that’s good!
While I’m watching to see how other people do things and see what happens when they try, I could have been doing it myself.
Things like trying a new hobby, leaping to a new job, starting a blog, going to a new club or group… I have to remind myself to experience it instead of research it.
There comes a time when you need to stop researching and stop watching everyone else while thinking “I bet I could do that”, and do it! See what happens. No experience is ever wasted.
3. Use Your Inspiration Well
I used to be on Pinterest all the time pinning gorgeous room makeovers, delicious recipes, workout ideas, and more. It’s a fabulous place to look for inspiration!
While I still use Pinterest a lot for business purposes, my personal use of it has changed. I felt like I was spending all this time being inspired and spending zero time using that inspiration. That’s not living in the moment. It turns into watching instead of doing, if you know what I mean.
These days when I get on Pinterest, I’m usually searching for ideas for a project I’m actually going to do! I look up workout ideas and then incorporate them into an upcoming workout. I look for chicken marinades because I’m planning to marinate some chicken.
Looking at inspiration as a pastime became less and less inspiring when I never did anything about it. It kind of became depressing as I felt like other people were doing things with their lives that I wished I could do. But I could do those things if I got off my butt and started experiencing life!
Inspiration is great if you use it well.
4. Stop Watching Someone Else’s Greatest Hits
This is a tough one with how surrounded we are by social media 24/7. Back to point #1: Put Your *bleep* Phone Down!
Some people seem to have the most enchanted and interesting lives, right? It’s hard to remember that their Instagram pics or Facebook posts are only showing their “greatest hits”. It’s just the good stuff. You don’t see the sad and frustrating parts.
Watching other people’s best moment can easily make me start to feel like my life is boring, unfair, or just plain crappy. Not true at all!
Be busy out living your amazing life — living in the moment! You don’t have time to obsess about someone else’s fabulous-looking life (which I’m sure is far from perfect) when you’re enjoying your unique life.
By the way, I usually get sucked down the rabbit hole of looking at other people’s “greatest hits” when I’m tired, emotional, and should probably be sleeping. Be aware of getting sucked down the rabbit hole late at night and just go to bed!
5. Find a Mantra
I’ve been finding that repeating helpful reminders to myself can get me back on track to how I’d like to be thinking.
If you want to live in the moment, try thinking of a mantra that you can repeat to yourself throughout the day. It’ll remind you to enjoy exactly where you are.
Some ideas are:
- I am exactly where I need to be right now.
- Wherever you are, be all there. – Jim Elliot
- I will appreciate life as it happens.
- Enjoy right now.
- Be where you are. (my personal favorite)
Repeating phases like this have helped me put my phone down, take a deep breath, and engage in what’s happening around me.
I’ve found that the more I work at living in the moment, the better I get at it. It’s like developing a new habit or practicing a skill. Mindfulness is hard to develop, but so worth it.
I have meaningful conversations with loved ones, create fun memories, and make my life more what I want it to be when I live in the moment.
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