Living in the Moment

Synopsis of: “The Art of Now: Six Steps to Living in the Moment” by Jay Dixit (Psychology Today, December 2008).

In an age of distraction, your future depends on your ability to pay attention to the present.  So, the question to ask is: How can I live more in the moment?  Moments are often crowded by self-consciousness and anxiety, so the biggest step is to just breathe and let yourself begin to relax.

Life happens in the present, but we let the present slip away.  Time passes by wasted while we worry about the future.  In a world where everyone is always busy, there is no time for stillness.  People dwell on the pain from the past and are anxious about what may happen in the future.

Our thoughts control us when we should be controlling our thoughts.  In other words, we should bring our thoughts more into awareness and focus more on being instead of just doing.  Living in the moment is actively giving intentional attention to the present.  It is becoming an observer of your thoughts resulting in experiencing more of your life instead of just living it.  This mindfulness actually lowers stress, improves the immune system, decreases chronic pain, and lowers blood pressure.  People who are more mindful tend to be happier, more empathetic, more secure, and have higher self-esteem.  Developing a greater sense of awareness in the here and now serves to reduce impulsivity and reactivity, which are huge factors in depression, binge eating, and attention problems.  It also helps people receive negative feedback without feeling threatened.  Therefore, they tend to be less defensive and fight less with their spouses, which results in more satisfying relationships.

Moving past distractions and living in the moment requires intentionality and practice.  My next blog will include information on 6 steps to help you live in the moment.