A sure fire way of living a peaceful, happy life is living presently in the current moment. I know, it’s easier said than done, but this moment right now is the only moment that truly matters. It sounds crazy, but it’s true. While I’ll agree that it’s important to make plans for the future and learn from the past, it’s also imperative to let go of what’s happened and of what is to come and just be, right now. Our minds like to take us on a roller-coaster ride of past regrets and future missteps. This leads to an array of unhappy emotions. Happiness is right now.
In each moment we have the ability to choose how we want the following moment to unfold. Do we want to be happy and free or do we want to be controlled by the mind and it’s incessant thoughts? It’s up to you! If you need some guidance on getting back to the present moment, see some pointers below. It certainly is a practice, and no one is ever perfect but I’m confident that if you start to live your life this way, you’ll feel better, be better and live better.
- Set intention to be in the present. Intention setting is powerful in itself. Make a promise to yourself that you will work to be in control of your mind. Awareness is key in the present moment living. Congratulations, you’ve already accomplished your first step! By simply knowing and wanting to live your life this way, you’ll be open and receptive to it.
- Allow yourself to do only one thing at a time. We’re multi-taskers by nature, I know, but really try to allow yourself to do one task at a time. If you’re going to surf the Internet, just do that. If you’re eating just give yourself time to eat and enjoy your food. Talking on the phone with a friend or loved one? Be present to everything they have to say. If you’re reading a blog (like this one), give it your full, undivided attention. My dear teacher Gabby Bernstein says, “Your presence is your power”, and that couldn’t be more true. Think about where you’re putting your presence in every moment.
- Meditate daily. We all know the benefits of meditation; we talk about it all the time! But truly, if you want to live life in the present moment and be happy, meditation is key. Starting each morning by stopping, closing your eyes, and focusing on your breath automatically puts you in the present moment. Essentially you’re cutting off your monkey mind from the get go, and placing it in the now.
- Use tools to help train your mind to stay present. Mantras and affirmations are a great way to bring your mind back when it begins to wander. They simply replace whatever road your mind is about to take you down. Use these tools often, and they will become habits when needed.
- Let everything you do, be done purposefully. A lot of times our minds wander when we are bored or not engaged. Make your actions and your thoughts meaningful, give them purpose. Be cognizant of how you spend your time and the power you give to your thoughts.
What do you do to bring your mind back to the present? I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at email@example.com