Living in the Moment
How many times have we been somewhere, and we’ve observed people looking through their camera or phone as they take photos or videos. They’re too busy looking at the framing/sizing etc to truly be living in the moment. They’re thinking about how they will post it on social media later, and what they’re going to say, rather than really appreciating the unique opportunity to be in the moment.
At big events like concerts, so many people are looking at their phones instead of committing what they’re seeing to memory. Let’s be honest once we’ve taken that video or photo, how often do we look at them again? Could we simply feel pleasure because we’re somewhere we feel truly happy and part of something?
Once we’ve missed a moment it will never be recaptured and sadly, we often don’t even know what we’ve missed.
Being present with the autumn leaves
At the end of last year, I was walking home and having fun crunching leaves because it was the start of autumn and there were lots of leaves about. There’s a feeling of pure joy to get a good crunch out of a leaf and I even went out of my way to step on them. It made me realise this small action was being in the moment and I felt really aware of my surroundings.
Then I started to think about the actual method I was using and I tended to step on them with my left foot even though I’m right footed. In fact, just that one observation made me want to be even more aware, so I made the conscious choice to find three things I hadn’t noticed before in my surroundings.
Focusing on the here and now can be a challenge, however it helps us to feel alive and vibrant. Observing those small things can make our lives more meaningful as we feel part of the world around us, rather than moving through it.
What can we do differently to live more in the moment?
So, what can we do to be more in the moment, to really feel aware, present and appreciating being alive, here and now. (This is even more important if we’re struggling with stress and feeling overwhelmed with all those things we need to do in our everyday lives!)
Of course, our mind wanders all the time and we think about the past and the future which is completely natural. It’s fun to look back and think about all the fun experiences we have had or things we’re looking forward to doing. The trick to being more in the moment is to think about these in small doses and not dwell too much on the negative times.
Spend time in nature
Being out in nature is a good way to be in the moment, especially when we follow the same path regularly and we can notice how it changes from day to day through the season. Every year I grow a veggie patch and I love it because it grows so quickly and changes every day. In the height of summer, I have to harvest beans or courgettes every day, and I always wonder at how amazing nature is.
Multitasking is one of those things we do without even thinking. When we’re in the middle of writing a sentence and the phone beeps with a notification, or whilst we’re having a sip of coffee and trying to ignore the children squabbling.
Focusing on one thing at a time and giving it your full attention is one of the best ways to feel in the moment. It also helps us to focus on our priorities and feel productive. More productive than all of those interruptions!
Take a pause
Simply stop and take a pause. In a world where everything is so fast paced and any information is at your fingertips, just stop, breathe deeply and notice your surroundings. We look, but do we really see?
Notice what’s been good
I often suggest to my clients to write down the good things that happen to them each day. It’s not the big things because they don’t happen every day, it’s the small things we notice that make us feel grateful. It might be seeing a beautiful flower or enjoying a cup of tea. These are the simple joys of life that can help us to live more in the moment. And knowing we need to write these things down at the end of the day helps us to spot and create more opportunities for being in the moment and to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
Focus on your senses
Another thing I often suggest to clients (particularly those that experience high anxiety or panic attacks), is to stop and look about and find all the things they can see in a certain colour. For example, looking around the room they’re in and looking for all the blue things. Other people might prefer to focus on their different senses and think about what they can see, hear, or feel.
Breathing is a great way of thinking about the present moment because it’s one of our life forces and one of the few things we can control in our bodies. We can’t control how many toxins our liver is filtering for example, but we can teach ourselves to breath more slowly and think about how we’re breathing.
How does living in the moment help our mental health?
Being present and living in the moment can help with anxiety and stress because when we concentrate on the present it helps us to stop the worrying thoughts. This is because we’re not allowing ourselves to ruminate and wallow in those things which are worrying us. It helps us to feel grounded and realise the only true reality is now, because both the past and the future are our imagination.
So, what are you going to do to live in the moment and make life feel more meaningful?
About the Author: Carmen Harrington practices from her therapy room in Market Harborough, Leicestershire. As someone who has struggled with confidence and anxiety in the past, she knows how positive and lifechanging hypnotherapy can be. Carmen’s specialties include: Anxiety, Confidence, Addictions, Teenagers, and Phobias.
If you’d like to find out how solution focused hypnotherapy could help you to reduce anxiety and cope with stress, why not get in touch to book your FREE initial consultation with one of our Inspired to Change hypnotherapists?
Inspired to Change Hypnotherapists are based across the UK in Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, County Durham, Devon, Essex, Kent, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Shropshire and Somerset.
Inspired to Change Hypnotherapists are all recognised by the National Council for Hypnotherapy, the UK’s leading not-for-profit hypnotherapy professional association.
To find out how you can train as a solution focused hypnotherapist click here for our hypnotherapy school information.