Live in the present meaning

10 Tips to Start Living in the Present Moment

“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.”

One of the best, unforeseen consequences of simplifying our lives is it has allowed us to begin living our lives in the present moment.

Eliminating nonessential possessions has freed us from many of the emotions associated with past lives that were keeping us stuck. And clearing our home has allowed us the freedom to shape our lives today around our most important values.

Living in the present moment means no longer worrying about what happened in the past and not fearing what will happen in the future. It means enjoying what’s happening now and living for today.

Choosing to live in the past or the future not only robs you of enjoyment today, but it also robs you of truly living. The only important moment is the present moment.

With that goal in mind, consider this list of ten tips below on how to live in the moment.

1. Remove unneeded possessions

Minimalism forces you to live in the present. Removing items associated with past memories frees you and allows you to stop living in the past. Once the past no longer has power, you can begin to live in the moment.

2. Smile

Each day is full of endless possibilities! Start it with a smile. You are in control of your attitude every morning, keep it optimistic and expectant. Be intentional about it and you’ll find yourself doing it every day without even realizing it.

3. Fully appreciate the moments of today

Soak in as much of today as you possibly can – the sights, the sounds, the smells, the emotions, the triumph, and the sorrow. These are in our daily lives but we often forget to take them in and truly appreciate them.

4. Forgive past hurts

If you are harboring resentment towards another human being because of past hurts, choose to forgive and move on. The harm was their fault, but allowing it to impact your mood today is yours. Let go and choose to be present in the moment instead.

5. Love your job

If you just “survive” the workweek constantly waiting for the next weekend “to get here,” you are wasting 71% of your life (5/7 days.) There are two solutions: find a new job that you actually enjoy, or find something that you appreciate about your current career.

6. Dream about the future, but work hard today

Dream big. Set goals and plans for the future. But working hard today is always the first step towards realizing your dreams tomorrow. Don’t allow dreaming about tomorrow to replace living in the moment. Dreaming about the future is only productive when combined with action taken today.

7. Don’t dwell on past accomplishments

If you are still talking about what you did yesterday, you haven’t done much today. There is still plenty of time to build upon past successes and create more memories and achievements for future-you. In the future, you’ll be cherishing the memories of today.

8. Stop worrying

You can’t fully appreciate today if you worry too much about tomorrow. Realize that tomorrow is going to happen whether you worry about it or not. And since worry has never accomplished anything for anybody, redirect your mental energy elsewhere.

9. Think beyond old solutions to problems

Our world is changing so fast that most of yesterday’s solutions are no longer the right answers today. Don’t get locked into a “but that’s how we’ve always done it” mentality. Yesterday’s solutions are not today’s solutions and they are certainly not tomorrow’s solutions.

10. Conquer addictions

Addictions in your life hold you hostage. They keep you from living a completely free life and removes your focus from the moment. Find some help. Take the steps. And remove their influence over your life. Allow yourself to live in the moment addiction-free.

Learning how to live in the present moment is an essential ingredient in a happy life.

If you can only live one moment at a time, you might as well make it the present.


Further Reading

How to Enjoy a Life You Don’t  Need to Escape From

The True Meaning of Living in the Present Moment

The easiest way to explain living in the present is to start by explaining what it means to not be present, since this is the state we have become habitually used to.

When you aren’t being present you become a victim of time. Your mind is pulled into the past or the future, or both.

Your thoughts are of the past: what has been, what could have been, what you thought happened vs. what actually did happen. Or, your thoughts are of the future: what will be, what could be, what might be, if…

Of course, it’s natural to spend moments of thought in the past or in daydreams of the future. Identifying impending dangers through associations with things that have happened in the past is important for self-preservation.

But when our lives become dictated by thoughts and emotions attached to past events and potential future outcomes, standing peacefully rooted in the present becomes increasingly rare.

Our routine, our habit, is to be off in our heads somewhere mulling over negativity and struggles of the past, or becoming anxious and fearful of the future. Seldom are we fully “here”; neutrally centred to see through life’s lens with clarity and naked awareness – a state that assists us in finding contentment and understanding in ourselves.

Habits quickly become the norm and, as we know from many of life’s other vices, just because we’re used to doing something regularly doesn’t mean it is good for us, or the right way to live.

An easy way to break this habit of being a victim of time is to identify time for what it is. Time is a human concept. The watch on your wrist and the clock on the wall mean nothing to Mother Nature.

To her, life is one evolving moment – a perpetual cycle of interdependent impermanence. Time is a metric we use as a reference point for organising our lives and documenting history. It doesn’t actually exist. Really, it doesn’t. Ask a scientist.

Time is an illusion, which makes being controlled by time somewhat delusional. The past doesn’t exist and neither does the future. The only true reference point we have to this moment in time, and to this thing we label “existence”, is a feeling of presence, of being here in this body, of seeing the world through these eyes.

This is all that can exist, because this is what you feel right now. You can’t feel the past or the future, but you can feel what it feels like to touch something right now, to see something, to hear something.

The concept of time deludes us into concerning ourselves with its passing and impending arrival. This stops us enjoying this “presence” we feel. We are duped into remaining in one of two states: The first, one of dwelling in the past and mulling over what has happened. The second, one of waiting amd constantly anticipating what is to come, if and when…

For example:

– How often do you enjoy your work? Or are you too busy thinking about getting it finished by the deadline to give yourself a chance to enjoy it?

– Are you so stressed out trying to do your best work to impress your boss that you prevent yourself being able to perform at your highest potential anyway?

– Are you so distracted by thoughts of Monday morning that you spoil the time spent with your children on the weekend?

– Are you so caught up in regrets of the past that you prevent opportunity blossoming in the present?

– Are the opinions of others, formed through actions you took in the past, stopping you being who you (are) want to be in the present?

We are all unavoidably victims of time to some degree, because it has become the accepted state of norm in our fast-paced, highly motivated and highly-strung society. And for this reason it is important that we understand that to not be present is to be torn between two worlds, the past and the future, neither of which exist. To constantly reside in this state prevents us enjoying life and finding happiness.

If you allow yourself to be a victim of time – a victim of the past and a slave to a future that is yet to unravel – you will carry with you a sense of unease. You will be susceptible to stress, agitation and feel generally uncomfortable in life.

There is no redemption to be found in time.

So surrender to what is right now.

Wherever you are, commit to being there, completely. Life will take care of the rest.


How to live in the future? - Psychologos

March 23, 2014, 5:04 pm

Today, psychotherapists teach people to live "here and now", to live only in the present, and they ironically comment on the aspiration to the future "If you want to make God laugh, tell about your plans" . For their clients, this is the correct recommendation, but for healthy people it is not. A developed and healthy person lives in the future. Like this? To live in the future is to put your future at the center of your attention, to make your future your main value. nine0003

Our future is only always a possibility, so “living in the future” can be both leaving the present, living in dreams, and creating a desired future so that it becomes real. The ability to live "here and now", to be in the present every second is an excellent skill, but it is wrong to turn it into your life philosophy. It is important to sleep soundly and eat well, but advanced people do not live to eat and sleep. They are tools, not goals. Also, the ability to live "here and now" is only a tool that you need to use when necessary, moving towards your goals, consciously building your future. nine0003

How to live in the future?

If you live in the future correctly, your attention will always shuttle: present - future - present - future. We look at what is happening in the present, compare it with our values ​​and capabilities, and on the basis of this we set goals. The goal is the image of the future. Now we constantly keep our goals in mind and are constantly looking for how to achieve them faster and better, and for this we carefully monitor reality, changing circumstances, organize the necessary meetings, do what we should and teach ourselves what is necessary. Having decided on our life values, we define the main goals for life, then we define goals for ten years ahead, concretize them into goals for a year, three and five years, and turn annual goals into goals for a month, tasks for a week and affairs of the day. nine0003

With this approach, the past does not exist. At every moment of what is happening, we filter something as "empty" (and it is forgotten), and mark something as important, after which we put it in the right future. What can be important and where do we put this important? A great idea came to mind - they caught it, wrote it down where it could be quickly found. They did something stupid - they drew conclusions for the future and abandoned them in their imagination in a situation where it would be relevant to use these conclusions. We found a successful solution - similarly tried on where and when this successful solution may come in handy in the future. This is the memory of the future. nine0003

To live in the future is to be constructive and act expediently. Do not worry about what happened, but correct what has been done and form new plans. Implement the principle "There are no problems, there are tasks." Not to figure out who was to blame, but to negotiate for the future and build satisfying relationships. Do not object to the inaccuracy made by the interlocutor, but simply correct it with a clarification or addition. If there were serious losses and all the main thoughts of the past life disappeared - to find new meanings and values, to build a new life. To live in the future is not to live "because", but "in order to". nine0003

It is wrong to think that a person who lives in the future misses the beauty of what is happening today and momentary joys - not at all. In the image of your beautiful future, there should be beauty, and joy, and love, there should be close people and evening walks with them, when you hold hands and understand that this is happiness. And if suddenly here and now you can immediately donate one of these things that are dear to you, you will definitely do it. It is only important not to turn into a short-handed creature that satisfies its current needs and does not think about what will happen tomorrow. Those who live like a vegetable usually live at the expense of others or in fact betray their future. If you are thinking about your future, you are taking care of yourself - the one who will soon live in this future. Do something worthy today, so that the future you will say "Thank you" for it! nine0003

  • Life philosophy
  • Man and society
  • Expediency
  • Author N. I. Kozlov
  • Personality
  • Personality, society

Comments (6):

Guest, March 24, 2014, 4:51 pm

Excellent article! Those who argue that it is necessary to live here and now are, of course, right, but only partially. Making plans for the future is also right, but also only partially. Nobody canceled the law of cause-and-effect relationships, and it works successfully. If you want to get a good result - lay a very good reason! nine0003

Guest, March 24, 2014, 11:29 PM

I cannot agree with the interpretation of the "here and now" principle. No one forbids dreaming about the future, making plans, remembering the past... When they say "to live here and now" it simply means to turn on the awareness of one's existence in this moment, not to miss it. For people basically live on automatic habits without even realizing it. Their mind jumps either to the past or to the future, and rarely pays attention to the momentary time, because everything is done automatically and there is no need to follow what is being done. Only. And not only for patients of psychotherapists... 9March 25, 2014 Thank you for being you.

Guest, March 28, 2014, 05:39

Nikolai Ivanovich, thank you, good article, otherwise the psychologists of the "compartment of today" completely fooled their heads. I conduct my own survey and conversations with people and I see that people who have acquired bad habits like alcohol, smoking, obesity love to live according to the principle "here and now", while adding their favorite phrase "once I live" in the conversation. And the most interesting thing in the survey is that people who drink alcohol want to live up to 70 - 75 years. And people leading a healthy lifestyle 120 - 150. I think that we need to plan to live 100 years ahead and it doesn't matter how much you are now years old, moreover, see yourself in a hundred years, healthy, energetic. Health and longevity to all! nine0003

Elena Litvinenko, July 14, 2015, 2:23 pm

Sometimes living "here and now" is very useful. Especially for those who are depressed and do not see their future or it does not seem attractive to them. Many people live in the past. At the same time, someone who has burned himself in life may be hiding either in a good past (memories - often invented fairy tales) or in a wonderful future (dreams). And sometimes he chews the gum of resentment (however, this is also a fairy tale, only upsetting him). Therefore, the direction in time must (most likely) be considered in a certain context. With mental pain, it is useful to concentrate on what is happening now. A mentally healthy person has an automatic desire for the future. Everything has its time. nine0003

Lesya, July 27, 2015, 13:07

Nothing is done automatically in the world. The article is excellent. The main thing is the flexibility of thinking - the ability to abandon the goal (or the wrong path to it) in time. Some lives are ruined by blindly following a plan. Type: at 27 to marry Vovka. Well, she got out. And she doesn’t need Vovka, what’s the point of a tick in her head. Or - to become the director of the company at 30, and at 29 he wanted to become a poet - and did not let himself. In short, you need to plan. And while doing it, think about the consequences - people are generally not inclined to think about the consequences, and then they blame everything on a mythical fate. nine0003

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Can you live "here" and "now"? — SKB Kontur

November 20, 2016 40,058

We easily, several times a day, move from memories of what has long passed to thoughts about what might happen sometime in the future. And most importantly, in these movements, we often miss what is happening at the moment. We invite you to take a journey into the present right now.

Don't look for the past, don't look for the future; the past is gone, the future has not yet arrived. But watch here that thing called "now." nine0204

Journey into the present

The modern pace of life forces us to run through the circle of daily worries, between which we yearn for missed opportunities and dream of future successes. But what has passed cannot be returned, and the achievement of what we want is put off indefinitely, which does not please us. How to understand in this fuss what time we live in and how often we are here and now? Psychologist, TV and radio presenter Mikhail Labkovsky gives the following example:

- A person is walking along the street, the sun is shining, birds are singing, but he cannot enjoy this joy, because in his head there are either experiences from the past, or anxiety for the future, not related to today's reality.

People who live in the past are prone to depression. They are not adapted to life in the present. People who live in the future are anxious people. They are afraid of the future. Psychologically prosperous, happy, generally carefree people who enjoy life can live today. nine0207

Past Station

The past… is just a set of circumstances and events that have already ended, as the kamra ended in this jar. We'll be fine if we try to drink it again! There is nothing to drink there, the jug is empty.

Max Frei

“Many of us first imagine what they would like to do in the future, for example, hold the next meeting,” says analytical psychologist Tatyana Kabluchkova. — When the meeting is over and you can’t do it the way you wanted, the situation that has already happened again scrolls in your head. It is played out how it was possible to turn everything so that there was a different outcome. As a result, self-attacks, longing and a sharp decrease in self-esteem. nine0003

Here, an unconscious barrier is evident in the manifestation of the real self in contact with other people. When a person is alone with himself - before or after a meeting - he feels well what he wants, what is his benefit and goal in the upcoming contact. For example, negotiations with the boss about a salary increase or even a conversation with a friend about his own, and not about her affairs. A person can clearly imagine how he talks about his needs to another and what he does to satisfy them.

But images and ideas are not yet embodied reality, continues Tatiana Kabluchkova. - No one around sees the images. Therefore, in an imaginary situation, it is not scary to talk about yourself and show yourself as you are. In real contact with another person, one’s own desire is lost and the desire of another is put in its place, to which one can simply assent, and then they won’t notice you - they won’t depreciate, they won’t reject you.

It is the fear of devaluation and rejection that underlies such conformal reactions. It is rooted, of course, in childhood experience. Parents reacted to each individual manifestation of the child - a request or active spontaneous action - either by devaluing the need: "Look what you want!", Or by humiliating him: "Who are you to say such things to your parents!" let's leave you here!" nine0003

Time passes, but the fear of how others will react to self-manifestation remains. And everyone with whom you have to communicate in such a way as to say something about your desires is automatically perceived as a criticizing, “nailing” figure, Tatyana explains. - The pattern of interaction learned in the family is very stable because it was the only option: it is perceived as normal and there are simply no other patterns of behavior in the mind.

Some people miss their carefree childhood, they are drawn to the city or the yard where they grew up. Others constantly recall the time when their children were babies and their parents were vital to them, constantly retelling "children's stories. " Still others constantly think about past love. Why do people want to go back to their past so much? nine0003

“As a rule, such people are prone to depression,” says Mikhail Labkovsky. “They don’t like the life they have now, and they remember the past life. Those who find it hard to live as adults remember their childhood, how carefree, happy they were and how convenient everything was. Elderly people remember how they lived in a different time, well, let's say, in Soviet times. Because they are adapted to that life, they cannot find themselves in another, they feel like superfluous people.

Tatyana Kabluchkova,

analytical psychologist
Four steps to defeat "childish" fears of self-manifestation

The first step is to detect the moment when that fear appears. You can only change what is visible, what a person is aware of! As long as this happens imperceptibly to consciousness, nothing can be done.

The second step is to feel yourself on a par with the person with whom you will communicate. Even if this is a director, he simply occupies one of the positions in this organization, but as a person, as an individual, he has exactly the same rights to his desires as any other person. The position is higher, not the person, people are all born equal. nine0003

The third step is to clearly articulate your benefit in a given situation, in a specific conversation, and do and say only what will lead to its realization.

The fourth step is after the meeting to cut off the thoughts “Why did I do this and not that” with the only argument: it is impossible to return to the past, this is a physical law. Therefore, these thoughts need to be translated into the category of planning, that is, turned into step-by-step instructions on how to act in the future based on the results of the meeting.

Station "Future"

90% of our worries are about things that will never happen.
Margaret Thatcher

The heroine of the fairy tale of the same name by the Brothers Grimm Clever Elsa, when Hans wooed her, went down to the cellar for beer to the table, noticed a pickaxe on the wall and began to think about the future.

She immediately imagined how she would marry Hans, how they would have a child, how they would send him to the cellar for beer, and how this pickaxe would fall on his head and kill him, and began to cry over the impending misfortune. This often happens in real life: people worry about the most negative scenarios for the development of upcoming events that their imagination could only draw. nine0003

- Nothing bad is happening to a person now, no one has died, and he is already starting to think about it, instead of just continuing to live, looking for ways to avoid a negative scenario. This is what distinguishes a neurotic from a healthy person. A healthy person reacts to real things, while a neurotic person reacts to non-existent things, explains Mikhail Labkovsky.

In Soviet times, many were brought up like this. I had to think about tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Many are accustomed, denying themselves the most necessary things in the present, to put off all the best for later: a tea set for big holidays, money for some upcoming event or in case they are needed in the future - for a rainy day. nine0003

“People who live in the future — in the fact that someday something will happen, these are anxious people,” continues Mikhail Labkovsky. - Anxiety makes them worry about tomorrow all the time. They are afraid of the future, they are afraid that they will be old and there will be no money, or that children will appear and there will be nothing to feed them, or that they will lose their job.

If you want to worry, ask yourself what threatens you this very second. In life, of course, disasters, illnesses and financial crises happen, but this is not a reason to live a cowardly hare all your life. A crisis will come, and then you will fight it moment by moment, says Andrew Matthews, author of Happiness Here and Now. nine0003

Mikhail Labkovsky,

psychologist, TV and radio presenter
Just live and enjoy life here and now

Pleasure from life is the meaning of life. When people cannot enjoy life, they invent world revolutions, careers, making money, something else. Many people are just doing something all the time. They do not live, they solve problems all the time and plug holes. It happens when a young family somehow lives, lives in a problem, then once money appeared, a house appeared. What to do next? And then one of them realizes that he does not love his spouse, does not want to live with him, and in general they are different people. nine0003

When life just doesn't work out that way, one of the main reasons is anxiety. It completely discourages a person's ability to enjoy life. Therefore, the first thing to do is to deal with anxieties and fears. If they have a behavioral character, go to a psychologist, if clinical - to a psychiatrist. If your problem is that there are no desires, this is asthenia - a decrease in vitality. This also requires some kind of treatment from a psychologist or a doctor.

Destination Here and Now

If you are going to create something great one day, remember, one day is today.
Steven Spielberg

Those who are self-confident, internally calm, who have everything in order with self-esteem, remember their past without guilt and longing for days gone by, and perceive the future calmly and realistically.

— Happy, generally carefree people who enjoy life and enjoy it can live today. Such people are psychologically well: they are not prone to depression or anxiety. They can live here and now,” says Mikhail Labkovsky. nine0003

To begin with, try at least 15-30 minutes a day to practice the state of "here and now": enjoy the sunny morning, delicious food. Learn to enjoy the process here and now, to see, hear and feel everything that is happening around and inside you, then you will be less and less afraid of the future and regret the past. Let's say you're cooking dinner. Get all thoughts and feelings out of your head. Smell the vegetables you are chopping, marvel at the combination of vegetables of different colors on the platter. Listen to the sounds that come from other rooms. What is it: pleasant music or children's voices? And what do you feel at this moment? nine0003

The only magic word for living in the moment is NOW. Learn to enjoy the process here and now, then you will be less afraid of the future and regret the past. We can change our lives only by investing strength and energy in the current moment.

When you work, immerse yourself in this process "with your head", without a trace, even if this particular work does not bring you joy or annoys you. Andrew Matthews believes that this way you will treat yourself better, improve your skills, earn a good reputation, and this will definitely help you find a decent and interesting job in the future. In the meantime, since you have chosen this case, respect your choice. If this is not what you want to do in life, think about what you can do now to get closer to your dream job in the future. nine0003

Try to write down all your activities and activities for at least a week. Most likely, very quickly you will realize that you are devoting very little time to what you consider really important for yourself. Often we are only solving problems around the clock, and we have absolutely no resources left to realize the desired future. And much of what we want to achieve in life remains in our dreams, because today we do nothing to get even one step closer to what we want.

Well, shall we begin to act? Let's do the first exercise together. What are you doing right now? Read our magazine. Banish all other thoughts. Look at the illustrations, immerse yourself in the meaning of the article. You are interested? How are you sitting, are you comfortable? Enjoy the moment - and let the whole world wait!

- The only magic word that allows you to live in the current moment is NOW, - says Tatyana Kabluchkova. — Yes, I did something wrong in the past, but what can I change NOW? Yes, I want to have it, but what can I do NOW for this? Catch yourself in your childhood fear of "big others" and act NOW knowing that now you are all equal adults.

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