Just pause for a moment and ask yourself this question – “How to live in the moment and stop worrying?” What answers came to your mind? Does it match with the below answers ?
That’s quite difficult, tried before but didn’t work..not possible!
I am not some Saint staying in Himalayas, we are human beings and its natural to get worried or tensed ?
Looking at the chaos in our lives even staying in Himalayas will not be peaceful 🙂 Our minds are constantly jumping from one thought after another in matter of seconds. Experts estimate that on an average person thinks about 50,000 – 60,000 thoughts per day i.e. around 2000 to 2500 thoughts every hour.
Just think about the quality of these thoughts ? For the most part of the day, majority of us are either running over our past or are constantly brooding about our future. Isn’t it ? Just check how was your day today ? Do you feel mentally drained, disoriented, distracted, tired and helpless at times. Believe me or not, this is happening to you because of your “Monkey Mind”
Is there a way to tame your monkey mind ? The basic nature of the mind is to “think”, so you can’t stop thinking to quiet your mind, however we can control what we think, and hence have the power to choose what we want to think. This is where i want to share this beautiful quote from Buddha:
“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future,
concentrate the mind on the present moment”
There is only one time and place where you can be and have any control – The Present Moment
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So there is the solution to your “Monkey Mind”. The more we practice and bring our mind to present moment, the more we shall experience peace, energized and alive. So how do we do this…i am sure you are thinking it is easier said than done ?
So hang on with me, i will be sharing with you a 5 Step Solution…read on
Before i share with you the solution, first it is important for you to understand the benefits of living in the present moment.
5 Awesome Reasons – Why you should practice living in the present moment
- It makes you calm: This is a number one benefit, i have experienced as i practice living in the present. There is certain stillness and centredness inside. Your mind tends to calm down and the heaviness which is often experienced due to stress and anxiety lowers down.
- It increases your productivity and boosts your creativity: This is huge. You will notice this, as you tend to focus more on the present moment, you focus on ‘what is’ rather than ‘how things should be’. You will notice your problem solving skills improve and you tend to become more resourceful.
- It improves / strengthens your relationships with people: Your relationships will only get better because the next time your spouse or colleague is speaking to you – You will not just be physically present but be mentally present and giving full attention to those you are interacting with. People around you will immediately sense when we are fully with them and this in turn will only strengthen our bond.
- It makes you action oriented: The more present you are, the more action you will take. This is another change you will notice. You won’t find yourself constantly sulking over a problem, instead you will take immediate steps to address the issue and move forward.
- It makes you more grateful: This is another big advantage of becoming more present. You will notice, as you practice living in the present, you will become less judgmental and accept things which are beyond your control. You will genuinely feel a sense of appreciation and gratitude towards life and things around you.
Now that you know the awesome reasons of living in the present moment, it’s time to unfold the 5 Step Solution – Here we go!
Practice these 5 Steps – To Live In The Present Moment
1. See – Hear – Smell – Feel:
This is by far the simplest way to come back to present moment, when your mind is swirling with thoughts. At any given point you start getting overwhelmed or your mind tends to be anxious, just drop everything and focus on your surroundings.
See…what your eyes can see, the color of the wall, the texture, the laptop, the furniture etc just notice everything around you. Hear…what you can possibly hear. As i write this article…i can hear noise of kids playing downstairs, i can hear a car honking etc. As i write this, i can smell the cologne, i can feel a slight pain in my shoulders – Why don’t you try this now ?
By doing this exercise you will notice the mind calms down for a minute or so, the break-neck speed of thoughts has slowed down and You are focused on the Present.
2. Catch it, Label it & Say The Mantra:
As you do the above step, you will notice the mind does focuses on present however quickly moves or dwells on to a future or past thought. Here’s what you need to do next – Catch the thought, label the thought and say the mantra.
For instance, if you notice you are dwelling on a past or future thought, acknowledge it, categorize them, label it as future and past-focused thoughts and say a phrase or mantra. When i find myself overwhelmed by thoughts, I label them and often repeat the phrase “Life is now” a few times in mind.
Please note by engaging ourselves in present moment, we do not deny or ignore thoughts of past or future, we are simply allowing ourselves not to get marooned by past or future thoughts.
3. Two minutes break every hour:
Your mind is habituated to jump from one thought to another if you don’t pay attention, it is like a small kid who needs constant attention of his parents. Hence, every hour for 2 minutes, you need to remind your mind to focus on the present.
4. Use “Stop Word” to disrupt inner chatter:
If you don’t take a “2 min break every hour” you might have to use the “Stop Word” to disrupt the constant inner chatter. It can happen, when you are working on tight schedules, your mind can go completely on auto-pilot.
At such times when thoughts have drifted away i say to myself No-No-No-No——–Now-Now-Now-Now. This helps me shift the focus of my mind to the present.
5. Smile and laugh more often:
I recommend you do this every morning when you get up and at every 2 min break post 1 hour. You may not know this if you put on a fake smile or laugh for no reason you start to feel good automatically. Try now and check it out!
Did you notice the difference ?
So if you find yourself consumed by negative thoughts or are feeling a low, force yourself to smile and laugh a bit.
So go ahead and start practicing these exercises from today on wards and most importantly make it daily habit. I hope you will notice the difference and experience more bliss in life. Feel free to post your questions or comments and let me know if this helps ?
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This Post Has 12 Comments
I can not tell you how much I needed to read this now! My life has been a bit chaotic lately, and I have been extremely anxious. Living in the present seems so simple, yet it is not, as it takes much effort. As I was reading over your article, I am reminded of one of my favorite authors, Stuart Wilde. He would teach that to calm the mind, opens your heart and soul. I find that when I am gardening or doing the dishes, I can be present and also productive. Thank you for the reminder!
You are right living in the present sounds simple however it requires practice and some dedication. Try these 5 Steps explained above, do it religiously everyday for the next 30 days, you will notice a difference.
If you find doing dishes or gardening, keeps you grounded to present moment…then don’t stop, enjoy the process as life is now ~ Stay Blessed 🙂
Wow I really enjoyed this article! In fact, I started practicing the see, hear, smell, and exercise! This was definitely very helpful in helping me focus on the present moment!
Living in the present moment is very rewarding. I totally agree in that doing this has helped me focus on being present for the person I am speaking with or listening to. You’re definitely right in that this develops a stronger bond with the person.
Thanks again for sharing your knowledge Satish! I will definitely share this with others!
Yes…living in the moment is the secret to become more alive, it makes us action oriented and helps us deal with the situation on hand. It will even make you more calm, the anxiety levels will also lower considerably and eventually it will boost your creativity.
So often repeat this phrase “Life is now” especially when your mind is tangled with thoughts and practice the technique of See – Hear – Smell – Feel ~ Stay Blessed 🙂
Hello Satish thanks for this wonderful and uplifting article. I love the way you have simplified it and the see, hear, smell move routine. I have a nasal problem and have not been able to smell for many years now and its unbelievable how much you miss out on. Just think of it the smell of rain, freshly cut grass, sea air all of this I miss. I tend to compensate by ensuring I always surround myself in nature. I try to go to the mountain to ground myself and this works well. We are very blessed with Table Mountain in our city. Looking forward to implementing your advise from this article. Thanks for sharing.
Ohh it’s really unfortunate to know that you have a nasal problem, i love your spirit and wish you good health. Good luck my friend and stay blessed 🙂
Extremely uplifting and timely article. We need to read and practice the things you write about in this chaotic world, filled with distractions. It is frightening to admit how distracting my very thoughts have been recently, especially when I take that journey down memory lane.
I absolutely cherish the bit where we use our senses to focus on now. I will be sharing and I thank you for the time taken.
Yes using our senses is the easiest way to live in the present moment – Stay Blessed ?
Loved your article. I meditate daily but I loved the exercise of labelling our thoughts as past or present and saying the mantra. Love it and will definitely do that each hour now. I just did a 2 minute meditation and most of my thoughts were future based. Time to get back in the present moment.
I recall a quote by I think Lao Tze who said ‘When we live in the past we get depressed, when we live in the future we get anxious, when we live in the present we find peace.’ love that.
Thanks for a great post and I love your website.
Even i love that quote and it is so true. Appreciate your comment and glad to know that you meditate daily. Stay Blessed 🙂
I really needed some positivity and your post just did the magic. I loved the See – Hear – Smell – Feel method. With single attempt I could bring my focus back to the present moment. Bookmarking your site and I will be reading more of your content.
Thank you going through the post and bookmarking the site. I hope the posts will help you in future. Stay Blessed 🙂