Living in the moment

03. December 2019 / general
resilience

Do you remember exactly how your coffee tasted this morning or what the water felt like when you showered? In our hectic everyday lives, we sometimes forget that it is really important to live in the moment now and again. We are usually one step ahead of life: When drinking our coffee, we are already thinking about our first meeting, or during lunch, we remember that we still have to arrange some repairs at home, etc. It is unfortunate because focusing on the here and now has many advantages. That includes making us more efficient and content.

After this introduction, you may be thinking: Yes, of course. It would be nice to lie around lazily all day and watch the birds – but I don’t have time for that! But I am not urging you to be lazy. Living in the moment means something different: It is about switching from being on ‘autopilot’ in terms of your thoughts to consciously perceiving the things around you. What am I doing right now? How am I doing it? And how do I feel about it? And importantly: It is about simply sensing those things without judging them.

There is no point in dwelling on the past and having regrets: “If I had only…” or “Why didn’t I…?”. It is too late to change those things anyway. However, it is equally pointless placing yourself in the future and worrying about what could still happen if… The fact is that these worst-case scenarios do not usually materialize. In his brief and therefore all the more brilliant video ‘Why worry?’, the Indian monk Gaur Gopal shows us why worrying doesn’t help us at all: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8neMEh72fgY. Do you still have questions???

 

Happier and more efficient

We often don’t even appreciate what we have (more about this topic: https://www.stressandbalance.ch/en/2019/07/02/is-the-glass-half-full-or-half-empty/) and ‘postpone’ feelings of happiness until later: “If I get promoted, then…” or “If I find my dream partner, then…” But that is an illusion because “life only happens here and now. In the future, there is also only one ‘now’” (www.dubistgenug.de). Having a goal is meaningful but if our entire attention is focused on reaching that goal and then immediately embarking on a new initiative, we do not see the beauty of the path we take as we work towards our objectives – and we do not enjoy our success. Live your life today – tomorrow may be too late.

So how do we benefit if we manage to live in the moment now and again?

 

 

Tips

Here are some tips on how you can learn to live more in the here and now:

 

 

Clearly no one lives constantly in the moment – I can’t do it either. It is a question of learning to do it more often and for longer. This is because attention is like a muscle: You have to train it. As a final point, I would like to quote Albert Einstein, who once said: “Enjoy your time because you only live now and today. You can’t make up for yesterday tomorrow and later comes sooner than you think.”

 

© Claudia Kraaz

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