Life is terribly short. Often times, we become consumed about working for the future that we forget to live in the now. The next thing we know, we’ve let life pass us by without even noticing it.
Much to people’s surprise, it doesn’t take a lot to learn how to be mindful of today. In fact, it’s merely a manner of simplification — one everyone is awfully guilty of neglecting.
Don’t know where to start? Here we explore the art of now.
Focus on the present
Whenever we find ourselves in a beautiful foreign place, we exclaim: “It’s so beautiful here! I want to come back here someday.” You know what? You are here already. Stop thinking about the future and focus on what you are experiencing now.
Whenever you eat your favorite snack, stop thinking “These are so good, I hope I don’t run out anytime soon.” Instead, think: “I’m so happy I get to eat this right now!”
Sure, it is great to look forward to the forthcoming joys of life. However, we are often trapped in our thoughts of the future, we don’t even realize we’re not making the most out of the moment.
Forgive past hurts
It’s not only the future that holds us back from the present. Our past also haunts and restrains us from finding joy in what today has to offer. Harboring resentment towards others is a double-edged sword. It is burdensome to that person and to you. It’s the kind of burden that eats you up inside, like an invisible monster growing heavier and heavier as you carry it on your shoulders.
They were the ones who have wronged you. However, it is entirely your choice if you let what happened affect your mood today. So forgive those who have hurt you in the past. Unburden yourself and trust that you will feel much lighter today than you did yesterday.
We are all guilty of worrying too much. For example, we worry about our children’s future. We worry about whether we’re nurturing them the right way; whether they’re going to grow up successful or live a long life. Stop. Be with them now and witness their growth each passing day.
The fact is we use up so much of our energy thinking about what tomorrow will bring. The truth is tomorrow will happen whether you worry about it or not. You will not be appreciative of what’s happening now if your mind is pre-occupied about what tomorrow has in store for you.
Do one thing at a time
Compared to the early years, we live in such a fast paced world. We do so many things at a time: Talking to our boss while texting our friend about dinner, going through our Facebook during family dinner. There are just far too many distractions that we feel the need to multitask every single time.
Here’s the thing: Drop everything else and just do one thing a time. A Zen proverb goes, “When walking, walk. When eating, eat.” It will be a tremendous challenge to re-learn how to focus on a single task but the benefits are immeasurable. We are able to see every detail, appreciate every moment and notice some things we failed to before. Your daily routine becomes more meditative, which is more calming to the mind, body and spirit.
Spend at least five minutes a day doing nothing
This a lot easier said than done. Nowadays, people end up agitated when they don’t anything. It’s a plague among the busy, which is entirely unhealthy.
Spend at least five minutes of your day doing nothing. By nothing we mean sitting in silence, focusing on your breathing, being aware of your thoughts and really seeing the world around you. Often, our minds are cluttered that we fail to see the beauty in the smallest of details. Don’t be one of those who regret being far too busy for everyone for everything else.
Be present when you’re talking to someone
Remember what we said about life being terribly short? The people you love — friends, family, significant other — are all ephemeral. So are you. Each time you get to talk to them, really talk to them. Be present as they tell you how their day went, what their current struggle is and what they are so excited to share with you.
Learn how to listen. Don’t get caught up thinking about what you’re going to say next (or where you have to be after spending time with them). Moments with your loved ones are some of the most important experiences you must treasure. Anything can happen. Instead of being filled with guilt or regret, be with them now.
Food is often crammed down our throats and eaten in the swiftest manner possible. Where is the joy in that? Why did you pay for an expensive meal in a luxurious restaurant only to waste such good food?
Eat slowly. Really enjoy every bite and get the most out of that scrumptious meal not everyone is lucky to have. Plus, savoring your food leads to eating less and proper digestion. That is one less health problem to worry about.
There are far too many things to be happy about everyday. Today, you are given a world of opportunities. How do you welcome it? With a smile. Start your day with a big grin on your face. Trust us. This is how you keep all the bad vibrations away and only be receptive to the good.