Living in the moment doesn't mean you shouldn't care about the future, or do reckless, irresponsible things. It means that when you make a choice to do something, you focus on that moment, rather than let your mind dwell either on the future or the past.
Take notice of the world around you
No matter what you're doing or where you are, try to find something beautiful around you. A sunrise, a delightful child, a flower, a special moment with someone you love – be thankful for these small things that can bring life and happiness even to the most boring or routine days. Interact with and learn from children. Children don't worry about the future or the past; they play and enjoy every moment for what it is.
Focus on whatever you're doing
Even if you're just out walking, doing the dishes, or hard at work, try to do it with concentration and commitment. In Buddhism, this is referred to as mindfulness. Pay attention to your senses – touch, sight, smell, sound, and taste. Pretend it's the very last time you'll ever experience whatever you're experiencing.
Have you ever been so engrossed in something that it seemed like the rest of the world just disappeared? Living in the moment is about creating that state of mind at any time.
Try to savour the present. Watch your breath, by noticing your breathing pattern your mind naturally quiets and focuses on the present moment. Listen, dance and sing to music.
There's scientific proof that facial expressions can actually influence how you feel. In particular, true happiness is most closely tied to a Duchenne smile which involves smiling with your eyes, as well as your mouth.
Commit random, spontaneous acts of kindness
Whether it's donating one rand to a charity, picking up litter, or helping victims of a natural disaster, keep alert in every moment of your day for some way in which you can make the world a better place. Even the smallest thing, like paying a compliment, can bring joy to another human.
It's always the most spontaneous and unexpected acts of kindness that produce the greatest impact, and you can't be sensitive to those kinds of opportunities unless you're living in the moment.
Carrying grudges prevents us from opening our hearts to others.
Minimize activities that dull your awareness of the moment
What are you doing that tempts your mind to run away from the present? Watching uninspiring television puts you in a passive state of mind, and wastes your time – it’s better to watch a good movie or read a thought-provoking book. Minimise your time on the computer, and become aware of the danger of resorting to escapism.
Be active with passion and engage the world in that moment. Gardening, playing a game, knitting, and playing an instrument are all activities that lend themselves to mindfulness.
Be thankful for what is
When you find yourself wishing for something you don't have, or wishing your life would be different, start your quest for your wish by being thankful for what is already in your life. This will bring you back to the present moment. If you are thankful for what is, you'll be happy to be in the moment instead of some place else.
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