Living in the moment can take some practice but in reality all we have is this moment. The past is gone and the future is not here yet so all we have is…
Controlling your thoughts
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So often we let the present slip because we are either too busy worrying about the future or regretting the past, and this leads to distraction and stress.
We are always doing something and allow little or no time for stillness and calm, to appreciate the present moment.
When you are at work do you dream about being on holiday and then when you are on holiday you worry about the work piling up on your desk?
Live in the present
When you are doing this you are dwelling on memories of the past and worrying about what may or may not happen in the future and you are unable to appreciate living in the present because of what many refer to as your “monkey mind”, your thoughts are like monkeys swinging backwards and forwards and you are allowing your thoughts to control you rather than you controlling your thoughts.
Most of us are not even aware of these thoughts and the chatter that goes on.
In order to feel more in control we need to live in the moment and in order to do this we need to find a sense of balance, we need to stop doing and focus on being.
Living in the moment is also called mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a state of active and open attention to the present
When you become more mindful you realise that your thoughts don’t control you, you can learn to observe your thoughts without judgement and, instead of letting your life go by without living it, you start to experience it.
– it reduces stress;
– boosts immune function;
– reduces chronic pain;
– lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart disease.
Slow the progression of illnesses
People who practice mindfulness are happier, have higher self-esteem and feel more secure. Living in the moment reduces the kinds of impulsive behaviours and reactions that underline depression, binge eating and attention problems.
Mindful couples also have more secure relationships and less conflict.
Learning to live in the moment takes practice and you need to set your intention to live in the present.
You have to trust that the rewards will come and not focus on the benefits as this paradox is that by focusing on the benefits you are becoming future-orientated and not living in the present.
There are many paths to mindfulness, you need to learn to let go and let yourself be in the moment. One of the first steps is to focus less on what’s going on in your mind and more on what is going on outside of you and around you.
Michael Kernis, a psychologist at the University of Georgia explains that mindfulness blurs the line between self and other.
“When people are mindful, they’re more likely to experience themselves as part of humanity, as part of a greater universe” being “one with everything.”
Focusing on the present stops you over thinking, it takes you out of your head and helps you to stop worrying and let go.
Discover the techniques to achieving complete mindfulness in Part 2 tomorrow..
Connect with Expert Kerry Madgwick