The holiday season has always been a time of reflection for me. I look back on the year gone by (way too quickly) and think about what I want to achieve in the upcoming year. That’s great and all, but paying too much attention to the past or the future can be stressful and sometimes upsetting. So it makes sense that living in the moment is something that should be practised more often in order to live a happier life.
1. Savour those little moments
Put your phone away and be present in a conversation. Take a moment to admire your surroundings. Give something or someone your full attention. Making memories normally requires some sort of focus on your part – most memories aren’t made by you paying more attention to your Facebook notifications rather than what is going on around you. There is something in our minds that can tell when something is going to memorable (do you get that feeling too?), so pay attention to that feeling.
2. Slow down a little
We live in a world full of to-do lists, deadlines and schedules. Our responsibilities and hobbies fill up our days completely, which is why those Sunday morning lie-ins are so important to us. So why not take your time with something for a change? By slowing things down you can make a task more enjoyable, more memorable – even things that feel routine to you. It’ll also give your body and mind a little more rest, making you feel a little less frazzled and a little more relaxed.
3. Think less about how others see you
I know, this one seems like a particularly hard one, so let me explain. When I’m feeling particularly excited or silly or just generally happy, I become a bouncing ball of energy. This gift (it’s probably my favourite trait about myself) enables me to let go of worry and to enjoy being myself. When feeling like this I have played hide and seek in a large department store, danced the waltz down an aisle in Sainsbury’s, and sung silly songs wherever I happen to be. So, what I’m really trying to say is, when those feelings of absolute joy come over you, let them take over. Go a bit nutty! That’s how some of my fondest memories have been made.
4. Get into a state of flow
Flow is a magical, wonderful state of mind. Flow is something that happens when you become completely engrossed with the task that you are doing, ignoring anything that is happening around you. Unfortunately it is something that cannot be forced – I wish I could click my fingers and be in it, but all you can really do is try to encourage it by recognising where, how and when you work best. For example, I have been in a state of flow when working on the floor, music on (but only songs that I don’t know, to stop myself from singing to them), surrounded by creative bits and bobs and a notebook in front of me. This set up has lead to hours of making and writing – two great loves of mine. So figure out how you work best (not just work work but hobbies too) and indulge in a state of flow.
5. Mix it up a bit
Walk the same way to work everyday? Drive the same way to your mum’s house? Go on the same running route every other morning? Change your route and take a look around. Having recently moved, I ran a new route yesterday. Though I was a little nervous beforehand (I always get a little lost when I don’t know the area that well), it was lovely running somewhere new. Just like when you travel to beautiful places on holiday, changing a route can help you discover little treasures.
6. Do kind things for others
Random acts of kindness make both the giver and the receiver happy in that moment (and for many moments more). When you share a conversation with a stranger at the supermarket or receive a friendly smile from somebody walking past you – those are little things that can bring a little more joy to your day. I know that helping and connecting with others has helped me through a tough year, and I look forward to spreading more kindness next year.
“Living in the moment is more than just a cliché. It is precisely what we need to do in order to preserve our sanity.”
― Charles F. Glassman
How do you live in the moment? Make sure to comment below!