4 Ways to Live in the Moment
Teaching others strategies to learn how to live in the moment is an easy task. Actually choosing to live in the moment is much harder. In fact, I have a propensity to race around like a chicken with my head cut off. I often over-commit myself.
Do you ever do that?
Whether it’s at school, sports or church functions, I see the gaps and barrel forward to pitch in. I say yes, Yes, YES. Before I know it the calendar is overloaded and I am overwhelmed. Instead of living in the moment, I’m barely surviving.
So I do the next logical thing (or so I think) and set the alarm earlier, stay up later and double up tasks. I wear my productivity like a badge of honor. Thinking proudly, look how much I’ve done today as if it somehow increases my value.
Usually, I continue this neck breaking pace until my joy slips out the back door without me noticing. I grow impatient and snappy with the people I love.
I promise myself… next week will be different, but it isn’t.
Do you make those same promises?
In order to live in the moment, I have to put 4 simple behaviors into practice…
- Focus thoughts
- Practice gratitude
- Do less
When I start to get side tracked from my goal to live in the moment, I’m trading joy for productivity and efficiency. Nobody ever looks back and says I’m glad I spent so much time being productive. Right?
While we wait, let’s talk about what we can do to live in the moment now with these 4 new habits.
Are you ready to reclaim some joy through the practice of applying truth to your life? Me, too!
Let’s dive in and take a closer look.
4 Strategies for Living in the Moment
Strategy #1 Focus Thoughts on Now
There are 3 different time frames our thoughts can settle on. Thinking about the past, present or future.
Which timeframe does your mind settle on?
My default is to settle on the future. Do you remember the GPS navigation devices in your car before we used our phones? Once you take a wrong turn it says “re-calibrating”. That is exactly what my brain does when my mental checklist has gone off track.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” ~Matthew 6:34
Jesus clearly tells us not to worry about tomorrow (future), today (present) has enough trouble of its own.
Dwelling on the past (more on that here) is another area our minds can settle. Thoughts about the past can be focused on old hurts and fears. But God’s Word directs us to settling our mind on the present.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.” ~Isaiah 43:18
Thinking about past hurts or worries about the future, will rob us of joy and keep us from living in the moment.
Live in the moment practice…
Focus on the moment. Take in everything through your senses. Think about the conversation you’re having. Breathe in the smells and take mental pictures of your surroundings. Literally, live in the moment.
Strategy #2 Practice Gratitude
We have the ability to re-train our brains to find the good. Science reveals practicing gratitude increases our happiness level by 25% (check out 5 short/fun videos on gratitude here).
“…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~1 Thessalonians 5:18
God knew our joy would be magnified as we count our blessings no matter what our circumstances. Firmly fix your eyes on the good despite your circumstances.
So how does practicing gratitude help us live in the moment?
Live in the moment practice…
As you scan your environment, looking for the good, thank God for each little thing in the moment… the present moment. Whether everything around you is chaotic or peaceful, practice gratitude.
The next way to live in the moment is my favorite…
Strategy #3 Do Less
That’s right, do less. Give yourself permission to do less… slow down!
“Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.” ~Ecclesiastes 4:6
My husband and I visited Italy years ago. Everything literally shut down in the afternoon for a siesta. All businesses just close up and restaurants stop serving to take a break from the hustle. Can you imagine?
How would you spend your afternoon siesta?
Living in the moment practice…
Doing less allows for time to live in the moment. Schedule blank slots in your day.
Ready for the final way to live in the moment?
Strategy #4 Stop Multi-Tasking
You heard me right (I really need to listen up here, too), stop multi-tasking!
Do you tend to do several activities at once? If your a mom, the answer is probably yes!
Multi-tasking is a ‘living in the moment’ killer.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the LORD, not for human masters,” ~Colossians 3:23
Living in the moment practice…
Adjust your focus to one task at a time. That’s not to say you should never multi-task, but give a single task your attention. See how your experience changes. Limit distractions so you can live in the moment.
Living in the Moment Wrap Up
Living in the moment while in the midst of an overpacked schedule requires saying, no. Just say no to thoughts that lead you way from the present moment. Choose to find the good in each task or interaction. Minimize your to-do list…do less! An finally, simply do one thing at a time when you can.
These four practices on living in the moment will greatly improve your ability to find joy in the day to day tasks.
Which strategy is the toughest for you? Why?
Leave your answer in the comments below!
“Do less” is the one that is standing out to me in this season. I have too many things going on, and simply juggling them in a different order doesn’t help. Thanks for the encouragement to let go of some things!
Hi Lisa! Me too…doesn’t seem to matter how creatively I schedule, there are still only so many hours in a day!
Ahhhh … It’s the multi-tasking I struggle with – BIG TIME! Thank you for the reminder to keep working on it ♥
Blessings to you, friend,
this really helped me thank you i find myself getting frustrated the more i pile on my plate i really need to slow down
[…] how to stop these negative thoughts, we get stuck in the past, rather than living in the moment (more on that here). Living in the past robs us of the joy of this present time. Furthermore, dwelling on the past […]
Very very excellent
Thank you …;
Thank LORD God.
Thank you very much LORD.