For a class project at the University of Georgia, my niece was instructed to interview older people and see what advice they had for the younger generation. The resulting answers from my mom have formed the basis for this blog series, “Advice From Mom.”
“Don’t get so ‘busy’ that you forget to enjoy now. Goals are good and necessary, just don’t let them rob you of today’s happiness.”
How often are we worrying about things that have yet to come, how often do we beat ourselves up for mistakes that we’ve made, no matter how much time has passed? The answer is too much. Not only will living in the present have a dramatic effect on your emotional well-being, but it can also impact your physical health. It’s long been known that the amount of mental stress you carry can have a detrimental impact on your health.
Here are a few tips for living in the moment.
Smile. Each day is full of endless possibilities. Start it with a smile. You are in control of your attitude every morning, keep it optimistic and expectant.
Fully appreciate the moments of today. Soak in as much of today as you possibly can – the sights, the sounds, the smells, the emotions, the triumph, and the sorrow.
Forgive past hurts. If you are harboring resentment towards another human being because of past hurts, choose to forgive and move on. The harm was their fault. But allowing it to impact your mood today is yours.
Love your job. If you just “survive” the workweek constantly waiting for the next weekend “to get here,” you are wasting 71% of your life (5 out of 7 days). there are two solutions: 1) find a new job that you actually enjoy (it’s out there), or 2) find something that you appreciate about your current career and focus on that rather than the negatives.
Stop worrying. You can’t fully appreciate today if you worry too much about tomorrow. Realize that tomorrow is going to happen whether you worry about it or not. And since worry has never accomplished anything for anybody, redirect your mental energy elsewhere.
Conquer addictions. Addictions in your life hold you hostage. They keep you from living a completely free life today. Find some help. Take the steps. And remove their influence over your life.
Perform random acts of kindness. One of the easiest lessons for how to live in the moment is to do something for someone else without expecting anything in return. It not only helps you live in the moment, but improves that moment for you and someone else.
Give thanks. Be thankful. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But it isn’t always. It doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving for you to feel grateful and express that gratitude.
If you can only live one moment at a time, you might as well make it the present.