Psychiatry & Psychotherapy
Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Eating Disorders Hermosa Beach, San Pedro and Long Beach California

Psychiatry & Psychotherapy
Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Eating Disorders Hermosa Beach, San Pedro and Long Beach California

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Living in the Moment: Don’t Let Your Past or Future Hinder Your Present

Buddha once said, “The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.” Unfortunately, most people do not live in the moment – they live in their heads, directly affecting the way in which a person experiences life. Constant worry about the future or scrutiny over the past creates a never-ending personal dialogue that diverts healthy growth and distracts from what is happening now.

Few people live fully present in every moment of every day. As a result, several areas of life suffer, including emotional health, physical health, weight and productivity. Many people spend their lives chasing quantity – the next vacation, promotion or stage of life – rather than pursuing quality of time in the present. By instead living in the moment, each minute is fully appreciated, prolonging its value and making it more meaningful.

3 Tips for Living in the Moment

It isn’t easy for a person to be fully present. It requires a state of consciousness and awareness that a person must practice with intention. Living in the moment is about giving undivided attention to every person and complete focus to every task. Everything – including rest – should be fully embraced and savored.

Don’t dwell on the past.

Concentrating on the past can rob you of the moment at hand. Living in the past and its difficulties robs you of trusting the present and future. It is impossible to change any past event. The only way of coping with past hurts and experiences is by accepting them, learning from them, and moving on with life.

Avoid worrying about the future.

It is impossible to live in the moment if you are worrying about the outcome of that moment or of some future event. Fears about the future are common and often stem from wrong thinking or past experiences. It is difficult to be fully present if you are fearful of going broke, losing a loved one, experiencing failure or being rejected. While some fears are natural, allowing them to control life experiences, modulate behaviors or limit your dreams is a tragedy.

Slow down

One of the easiest ways to begin living in the moment is by slowing down and enjoying the process, rather than the destination. Learn relaxation techniques, such as meditation, to help focus your mind and quiet the ‘noise’ around you. Take time to notice your surroundings, and make it a point to listen attentively to conversation, the sounds of nature, or even silence.

Embrace Every Moment

Learning to live in the moment is a process worth undertaking. Over time, you’ll feel less as if though life is passing you by and much more connected with yourself and other people. You may also experience a greater appreciation for life and less fearful or anxious about the circumstances behind and ahead of you. It does not mean you fail to set goals for the future or reflect upon the past; but rather that you allow yourself to feel every moment as it unfolds.

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