Living in the moment definition: To be truly present, mentally and physically, in a moment with no lingering worry about the past or future. Living for today and enjoying each moment as it passes.
Living in the moment; a concept we can understand, yet many of us rarely experience. There are many methods that can help you reach this state, but there is certainly an art to this practice. Not to mention, there are endless benefits that can come from actively striving to live in the moment. After all, the only thing we truly have is the present moment. Although the past has happened and the future will happen eventually, they are simply just figments that reside in the mind. The past is just a collection of memories and the future only exists in the form of imagination.
One of the main sources of self-inflicted suffering is dwelling on the past and/or future. A lot of unnecessary pain comes from living outside of the current moment. The truth is, the present moment is all that truly exists, and all the ever will exist! This statement should speak volumes about the importance of living in the moment.
Using mindfulness as your #1 tool
Mindfulness is a vague term for a state where you are consciously aware of something or you do something with a conscious approach. This can be achieved with the help of various methods and can be practiced quite literally all day long. Every moment hosts a unique opportunity to be mindful! This can be done by simply thinking before you speak, or redirecting a negative train of thought. This is easier for some vs others, however, everyone has what it takes to become more naturally mindful if they are willing to put in a bit of work. So many people submit to their thoughts with the perspective that they are being controlled by their thoughts. Although thoughts come and go against our will, every single one of us makes the decision; to dwell on a thought, let it go, or change its direction.
When we truly settle into the power of ourselves and our control, then will mindfulness become more effortless. Practice does not make perfect, but it sure does make progress! When we become more mindful, we are more aware of what is happening in both our internal and external world. This is a great tool for enjoying the moment for what it is and being present. One of the most effective ways to practice a mindful and enhanced state of awareness is meditation. In fact, meditation can be referred to as a form of mindfulness. Meditation offers a space in your head to practice intense focus on an individual thing. For example, you can focus on your breathing or focus on a candle light to reach a meditative state. When you are in this state, you are unable to focus on anything except the single thing you are giving your attention to. When you reach a truly meditative state, you won’t even be trying any more… You will be simply existing in the present moment, with little to no effort involved! Not only will your sense of awareness increase, but meditation is scientifically proven to boost your mood and brain function as well.
If you often feel down and are in need of a mood boost to reduce general stress. then using mindfulness techniques may be your new best friend! Practicing things like yoga, meditation, art, etc, is like doing homework for those trying to learn how to live in the moment more often. Consistency is key!
The flow state
There is a lot of hype around this discussion nowadays, and for good reason, too! Essentially, the ‘flow state’ is a state of mind that allows you to be 100% engaged in the present moment via the help of flow. This is a state of mind that occurs whilst an individual is performing an activity where they are completely immersed in whatever it is they are doing. Everything outside of the activity you are performing seems to disappear out of existence and all that matters is you and what you are doing. You are fully in the moment.
To set an example, imagine you are on a rocky coast next to the ocean. You are alone and barefoot, walking along the rocks. You are carefully looking down and placing your feet exactly where they need to be so that you don’t fall between the rocks. As you become more comfortable, you begin to increase the speed at which you are moving. You begin to trust yourself more as your confidence grows and you continue to speed up. Before you know it, you are running along the rocks as the waves crash beside you. Absolutely nothing is going through your mind, you are simply flowing over the rocks. Feelings of pure bliss take over your whole being. You are in the flow state! You are in the moment! You are free!
Entering the flow state is scientifically healing and good for your brain health. You may lose track of time, feeling more lucid than usual. Doing this as often as you can will only increase your mindfulness and leave you feeling sharper during the surprisingly long after-glow that often follows. Science tells us that the brain releases an enormous cascade of positive hormones when we are in the flow state. This ‘magical’ state allows our brain to naturally release large quantities of dopamine, anandamide, norepinephrine, endorphins, and serotonin. These are all performance-enhancing and pleasure-inducing chemicals that positively impact the brain and your overall mood, dissolving stress. Having these happy and feel-good chemicals flood our system inevitable results in a more positive and controllable mind-state.
This state of mind may just be the best example of living in the moment as you cannot really dive deeper into a moment than when in the flow state. It seems as though it is impossible for humans to live in the moment more than the flow state allows us to!
Improving your quality of life
Living in a constant state of stress for the future or of the past causes a lot of negative effects on the brain. Being present in the moment and using mindfulness for anxiety is a great way to improve your quality of life. When you feel anxious, what usually causes those feelings? Overthinking about the past/future right? Allowing yourself to be absorbed by these moments outside of time will only cause you stress, anxiety, and sometimes even depression. Our brains have developed complexities that give us the ability to be concerned with the things that aren’t even happening… Thanks, evolution! Although we have evolved in many positive ways, there are definitely pros and cons to the human experience. Many highs, many lows, and unavoidable obstacles. Using mindfulness for anxiety and other pesky human emotions is the new and improved therapy. The best thing you can do with this experience is try to improve it where you can. We have a lot more choices than we may have been taught to believe. What we allow to happen in our head will inevitably leak out into every other aspect of our lives. You know what they say… As above, so below.
Our lives are so terrifyingly finite. This fact can either lead you to deep despair or supply you with the spark needed to make your life the best you possibly can. It is time for humans to use our power to navigate our destiny, using the tools we have been given in a positive matter. Everyone owes it to themselves to create the life they wish to live.
Living in the moment seems like a simple concept on the surface, however, it is a deep rooted necessity to living a long, happy, and healthy life. Are you ready to start truly living? Sink into the moment today; sink into your true self.
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