Change your life by practicing being in the moment. With so many distractions around us, there’s almost no way to be truly present. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Anyone can develop the ability to live in the present moment if they just try hard enough.
Why It’s So Hard to Live in the Present Moment
The reason it’s so hard to live in the present moment is that you’re trying to do something that your mind isn’t naturally inclined to do.
Your mind is a creature of habit and wants to do the same thing over and over again because it likes to stay in its comfort zone.
You’ve acquired this amazing ability to think and make plans, but what happens when there’s no plan? Your mind has no idea how to deal with that situation! It hasn’t been trained for uncertainty, spontaneity, or anything other than what you’ve taught it: predictability, control over your environment (and everything else), comfort through repetition.
Example: When we’re wrong, it’s painful – an argument with someone very close to us – our mind will always prefer certainty to potential pain, even if there are worse consequences to staying in our comfort zone than moving into new territory.
5 Reasons Why It’s Hard for You to Be Present
There are a number of reasons why you have a hard time being present. Here are 10 of the most common:
1. You’re Focused on the Past or the Future and Not on the Present Moment
If we’re not present in the moment, we’re not where we are. The only time you can be where you’re is now. The past is gone and the future is imaginary.
The past and future have no power over you unless you choose to give them power over you. If you want to free yourself from the past and future, then stop choosing to be there!
You can choose how much time and attention you give to the past and the future by giving them thoughts and actions. You can choose how much time and attention you give to the present by directing your thoughts and actions to the present!
Being present is a choice that comes through practice and repetition until it becomes natural for us humans.
2. Your Wandering Mind Cannot Focus on What’s Happening Right Now
The present moment is the only place where you can realistically be. But for many of us, it’s also the most difficult place to be because it may bring us back to a specific unwanted thought.
Our thoughts often wander and we catch ourselves thinking about other things. If we’re not careful, these daydreams can quickly turn into musings, worries, or regrets.
There are many reasons why we find it difficult to be present. It’s easy for us to get caught up in our thoughts about the past or the future. Our thoughts wander, and we often catch ourselves thinking about other things. If we’re not careful, these daydreams can quickly turn into musings, worries or regrets.
3. There Are Too Many Distractions
We live in a world full of distractions. Our thoughts are constantly diverted from what we’re doing and onto something else.
So many things can distract us and take us out of the present moment. Example:
- A smartphone – it’s so easy to look at your phone when you have a minute or two, but before you know it, you’ve spent half an hour on social media or reading email.
- Social media – it’s easy to spend hours scrolling through Facebook or Instagram feeds and feel bad because your life doesn’t look as good as someone else’s.
- The news – it’s tempting to turn on the TV or go online just to see what’s happening in the world today. However, most of us know that this doesn’t make us feel better about ourselves or our lives in any way!
4. You May Feel Overwhelmed and Unable to Give Space to the Present Moment
If you feel like you’re in a constant state of crisis, maybe it’s time to take a step back and look at what’s happening in your life from a new perspective.
Maybe you feel overwhelmed and can’t give space to the present moment. When you’re overwhelmed, it’s hard to come to your inner peace. You may feel like you’re constantly in crisis.
There are many reasons why you might feel this way. For example:
- You’re juggling too many tasks or projects at work or at home
- You’re very anxious about work-related issues
- You’re very anxious about personal issues, such as your health or finances
- You’re dealing with an illness in your family or yourself
- You have the feeling that you’re always late or running late
5. Sometimes Reality Is Too Painful
Sometimes reality is too painful and makes us want to run away from the present moment. We can’t help it because we’re afraid of the pain that reality will cause us.
When we run away from our present reality, we also run away from our self-knowledge and present moment awareness. The only way to free ourselves from suffering is to face our fears, let go of our attachments and learn to love ourselves unconditionally.
If you want to find some happiness, you must find a way to accept all things that happen in your life – good or bad – and learn to live with yourself in every moment without judging yourself for anything.
10 Signs You’re Not Present
- You can’t see the good things happening around you.
- You’re constantly bringing up bad memories and the uncomfortable feeling that they produce.
- You’re constantly thinking about what could’ve been.
- You’re constantly thinking about what could happen.
- You’re constantly worrying about things that mightn’t happen.
- You’re stuck in a negative effect of your hell loop and you can’t get out!
- You cannot sleep
- You feel unhealthy
- The people around you don’t feel listened to when speaking to you
- You haven’t noticed something that most people around you’ve noticed
8 Consequences of Not Living in the Present Moment
When we don’t live in the present moment, we often miss good opportunities because we weren’t paying attention, or we feel more stressed because our minds are processing too much when we could be enjoying taking a break and enjoying what’s around us.
These are the consequences of not living in the present moment:
1. No Real Relationships With People
If you’re constantly thinking about future events or dwelling on the past, you’re less likely to connect with others because you aren’t really there. You may also have a hard time making friends because you’ve nothing in common with others because they aren’t part of your thoughts or plans for the future.
2. No Real Conversations With Other People
When you’re busy thinking about what happened before or what’ll happen later, it’s hard for others to make a real connection with you. This means that people don’t feel comfortable opening up and sharing their thoughts, feelings, and experiences with someone who isn’t really listening anyway.
3. You Can’t Enjoy the Moment
When we live in the present moment, we can truly appreciate what we’ve and experience all the good things that come our way. But if we’re constantly thinking about what might happen in the future, or regretting what happened in the past, we miss out on all those things – and on life itself!
4. Lack of Focus
If you’re constantly thinking about future events or dwelling on past events, you’re unlikely to be able to focus on what’s happening around you right now. This can lead to problems in relationships at work and at home, as it’s difficult to communicate with someone who isn’t really there!
5. You Feel Guilty About the Past and Are Afraid of the Future
If you’re constantly thinking about how much you should have done in the past or how much you still need to accomplish in the future, it leads to feelings of guilt and anxiety. These feelings prevent you from enjoying life as it is because they make it difficult for you to focus on what’s happening right now.
6. No Inner Peace
If you’re constantly thinking about future events or dwelling on the past, you’re less likely to find peace of mind. If we’re constantly thinking about what’ll happen tomorrow or what happened in the past, we cannot find peace until we’ve processed and resolved those thoughts.
7. Less Connection With Yourself
If you spend a lot of time thinking about what you’re going to do tomorrow, it’ll be difficult to connect with yourself today. If you’re constantly thinking about your past experiences, it’s hard for you to connect with yourself now, too. This can cause you to miss important signals from your body or mind that could help you make life decisions.
8. You Might Miss Beautiful Moments
When we live in the present moment, we allow ourselves to be present in all of life’s little moments – from simple conversations with family and friends to breakfast or a walk in nature. When we don’t live this way, we miss so many opportunities for joy and connection in our relationships with others.
Being in the Present Moment Is a Conscious Choice
It’s not something that just happens to us. We’re not always in the present moment because we’re often thinking about the past or planning for the future. But we can choose to be in the present moment by paying attention to what’s happening around us and focusing on what we’re doing in this moment.
For example, when you drive a car, try to concentrate fully on driving instead of thinking about other things. Pay attention to your speedometer, watch for traffic lights and other cars, and listen carefully for any sound coming from your engine. If you’re aware that you feel tired or sleepy while driving, you will stop at a rest area and take a short walk or nap, and keep yourself and others safe.
You can also practice being in the present moment when you eat something delicious like ice cream or chocolate cake by focusing entirely on the food without thinking about or doing anything else while you eat it. This is what we call mindful eating.
Many People Get Very Frustrated When They’re Constantly Thinking About Something They Don’t Want to Think About
Many people get very frustrated when they’ve to constantly think about something they don’t want to think about. They may be thinking about something that’s upset them, or something that makes them angry, or something that really bothers them.
But there are ways to stop yourself from negative emotions. First, realize that the more you think about it, the more it bothers you. If there’s an unwanted thought that’s bothering you right now, try to bring back your mindful awareness to the present moment instead of focusing on it so much.
For example, if there’s a problem at work and you’re upset about it, try to focus on what’s around you instead of thinking about the problem all day. If you can, take a break, go for a walk or call a good friend instead of just sitting at your desk thinking about how miserable things are at work.
Another thing that can help you is to try not to overanalyze everything all the time. You might find some answers that way, but sometimes overanalyzing can make your anxiety worse because it causes too much stress and anxiety in your life.
Feelings Are Like a Language, but They Aren’t Always Easy to Understand or Read
Sometimes they’re hard to separate from our thoughts and beliefs, or hard to understand because they’re so intense.
Emotions affect the way we think and behave. They affect how we perceive ourselves and the world around us, and how we communicate with others. When we feel something strongly, it can be difficult to know exactly what we’re feeling.
There are many different emotions, but some of the most common are:
- Anger – getting upset or angry about another person’s actions or comments.
- Sadness – when you feel down or unhappy about something that’s happened in your life
- Joy – when you feel very happy about something good in your life
You Can Learn to Control Your Wandering Thoughts
The first step is to become aware of your wandering thoughts. This can be very difficult because you may feel that this is the only way you can think or feel. However, it’s important to be mindful when these thoughts occur so that you can notice them more easily.
Mindfulness Is About Noticing Yourself and Your Surroundings in the Present Moment
Mindfulness helps you to be more aware of what’s happening around you without judging it or getting lost in other thoughts. When something catches our attention, mindfulness helps us let go of the uncomfortable feeling associated with those distractions and focus on what’s happening – whether we’re at work or at home with friends or family members!
Dealing With Emotions
Life is full of positive and negative emotions. And that’s a good thing! Emotions give life its richness and depth. They add a dimension to our experience that we’d lack without them.
But emotions also have their pitfalls. Sometimes they can be overwhelming or confusing. Sometimes they take us away from enjoying the present moment, forcing us to think about things that have happened in the past or worry about things that might happen in the future.
The challenge of dealing with our feelings often takes us away from enjoying the present moment.
When a bad thing or uncomfortable social situation happens and we’re upset or angry, we can easily get lost in thoughts about what happened and how we should have handled the situation better. When we feel guilty or ashamed, it’s easy to replay a past event over and over again in our minds.
Such thoughts are natural, but they can also be harmful if they get out of hand and prevent you from living your life to the fullest.
The ability to effectively manage your emotions is a skill that requires practice. If you’ve ever tried meditation, yoga, or any other mindfulness meditation practice, you’ve probably already learned to focus on the present moment instead of getting caught up in painful thoughts about the past or the future.
When You Bring Your Mind Back to the Present Moment, You Bring It Back to Reality
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably caught yourself thinking about the past or the future during a conversation with someone. Maybe you’ve even noticed that when you’re driving, you get distracted by thoughts that have nothing to do with driving.
This can happen even when we’re doing something as simple as taking a walk down the street or sitting at home watching TV. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our thoughts and our lives that we forget what’s going on around us. We lose touch with our present moment awareness – and that can bring us more suffering.
When you bring your mind back to the present moment, you bring it back to reality. This is an important skill to learn because it helps you live more in the moment and become more aware of your life. In some cases, it has also helped stress reduction, grief, anxiety, depression, and fear by helping you focus on what’s happening right now instead of worrying about the past or the future.
The key to bringing your mind back to the present is mindfulness – being aware of what’s happening right now without judging or analyzing it. Mindfulness helps us stay grounded and focused on the present moment, rather than letting our thoughts wander aimlessly into possibilities that may never come to pass, or into things that have already happened and can’t be changed.
Getting Started With Mindfulness
To get started, you don’t have to meditate.
Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention to the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings carefully, without judging them as good or bad. Rather than letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.
Mindfulness is simple to understand, but difficult to master. It’s about being aware of what’s happening inside you and outside of you, and accepting it without judgment.
The goal isn’t to stop thinking, but to become more aware of when you’re thinking and what’s causing your thoughts. It’s about being mindful of what’s happening in your environment and how it affects your moods and feelings so that you can make better decisions about how you respond to everything that comes up in life.
Mindfulness doesn’t mean that nothing bothers you or that everything always goes perfectly. It just means that when something bothers you or something goes wrong, you notice those feelings inside you instead of getting upset or stressed, and let them pass with acceptance instead of trying to fight them off or ignore them altogether.
Getting Started in Meditation
If you’re new to meditation, it can seem like a daunting task. But don’t worry: there are many ways to get started.
Meditation Has Been Shown to Have Many Physical and Mental Health Benefits – It’s Even Been Linked to a Lower Risk of Heart Disease and a Longer Life Expectancy
It’s not just about sitting still and focusing on your breath or a mantra. Meditation can be as simple as taking a few minutes a day to notice the beauty around you or become aware of your feelings and thoughts.
Here are some strategies to get you started:
- Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down. You can close your eyes if you like, but it’s not necessary – some people find it helpful to keep their eyes open and focus on something in the room (such as a flower, a candle flame, or an object).
- Take a deep breath in and exhale slowly. Focus on your breath or on the physical sensations in your body.
- Bring your mind back to reality (the present moment) by focusing on an object in your environment or thinking about something specific that’s happening (like breakfast or the drive to work). If these strategies don’t work for you, try meditation, journaling, mindfulness apps, retreats – whatever works for you.
Once you’re comfortable with this practice, you can try meditating for a few minutes before bed and after you wake up.
The next time you find yourself wandering off with your thoughts, try to bring your attention back to the present moment by focusing on your breath. Focus on each breath as it flows in and out of your nostrils; notice how your chest rises and falls as you breathe deeply in and out. Feel the air flowing through your body, and allow yourself to relax in this simple act of concentration.
Benefits of Living in the Present Moment
There are many benefits to living in the present moment. When you’re aware of where you’re, who’s around you, and what’s happening around you, you feel more connected to the people around you.
You’ll Also Be Able to Appreciate the World Around You, Which Will Give You a Sense of Peace Within Yourself
Being present in your relationships with others and yourself will also contribute to overall better quality of life. Not only will this improve your health, but it can also lead to less stress because we often worry about things that haven’t happened yet or that have happened in the past (such as worrying about an exam).
Start Writing a Journal About Your Day
The problem is that we’re not even aware of it. Our minds wander all day long and we don’t even realize it! It’s like when you’re talking to someone and suddenly you realize that you haven’t heard anything they’ve said in the last few minutes.
It happens because our minds were somewhere else, thinking about other things or just daydreaming. And it doesn’t just happen when we’re talking to other people – it happens every time we sit down to do some work, too!
One study found that writing about emotional events can help people process their emotions and lower their stress levels, which can lead to better health outcomes. Writing about your emotions helps you process your feelings so you can move forward in your life.
If you journal every day, you can check in with yourself and see if you focused on the present moment today or if you let your wandering thoughts take over. This helps you become more aware of what’s going on in your mind and body and in your environment.
Journaling is also a good way to express yourself and release feelings that are bottled up inside of you. Journaling has also been shown to improve emotion and stress management skills and increase emotional intelligence, both of which are important factors in living a mindful life.
Try Mindfulness Apps
There are many mindfulness apps you can use to practice mindfulness anywhere. Some of them are free, others cost money, but they’re all easy to use!
I recommend the Plum Village app where you can find instructions for meditation, deep relaxation, etc.
Another option is Headspace, which offers guided meditations and other resources. There’s also a free version that you can try first before deciding if you want to sign up for a monthly subscription.
There are also other options like Calm and Simple Habit – both have similar features to Headspace, but slightly different approaches.
The Right Mindset to Start With Mindfulness and Meditation
If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you want to try it. It’s normal if you feel anxiety or impatience before you even start. When I go on retreats and tell people I can’t use a smartphone for a week, most people seem shocked, as if that would be a boon to our survival!
You already know that in today’s world we’re constantly bombarded with stimuli. When we’re surrounded by them all day, we find it hard to detach from them and focus on our inner peace.
It may seem scary at first, but with practice, mindfulness will become easier and more natural for you. In fact, it’s something that anyone can learn.
The truth is that you’ve to be willing to dedicate some of your time each day to make mindfulness work properly and bring positive results in your life. This doesn’t mean that each of us only has twenty minutes a day. Some people may only be able to devote half an hour a day or less, while others may have several hours a day to devote to meditation or mindful activities like yoga or tai chi.
Certainly, there are many reasons why you might want to try mindfulness and meditation. Maybe it’s because you’re feeling stressed, anxious, have negative thoughts, or are experiencing depersonalization; maybe it’s because your therapist recommended it, or maybe it’s because you’ve heard about the benefits of meditation from friends or family members.
First, we need to understand what mindfulness is in the first place. In short, mindfulness means being mindful in the present moment without judgment. It means becoming aware of what’s happening around us in this moment without judging anything as good or bad – simply observing and noticing everything that’s happening within us and around us without judging anything as good or bad.
The key is to be aware without judging what we see or experience. This allows us to step back from each thought and feeling and observe them instead.
You Don’t Have to Start Alone
Learning mindfulness can be a difficult task. You’re going to have to make some changes in your daily life, and that means making a commitment to it.
If you’re interested in mindfulness and meditation, you’ll find that there are many different ways to do it. You can take a mindfulness meditation class, where there’s a structured program to help you get started and show you how to incorporate it into your daily life. A mindfulness or meditation course offers a structured program that helps you get started and shows you how to integrate it into your everyday life.
You can also sign up for an online course. There you’ll learn all the basics of mindfulness and meditation and be guided every step of the way.
If you prefer to read, there are many books that will teach you about mindfulness and meditation, like ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle. These books are easy to read and understand and include step-by-step instructions on how to practice them.
Join a Retreat
Besides travel, retreats have become one of my favorite places to book my vacation. There are many benefits:
A retreat gives you the opportunity to relax and unwind. It helps you release all the stress and tension in your body and mind. You can indulge in various activities like meditation and yoga that help you relax your mind and body. This is especially beneficial when you’re feeling stressed or depressed because it helps you clear your mind and improve your mental health.
Get Back in Touch With Yourself
Retreats are great for getting away from everything and spending time with yourself. During this time, you can reflect on what’s important to you in your life, what you want for yourself, and what you want your future to look like – all without distractions from the outside world!
A retreat gives us the opportunity to reflect on our lives, to ask ourselves what we want here on earth, what we want out of life, and how we can achieve our goals. We get a chance to sort out each thought so we can move forward in life without regretting or doubting the decisions we’ve or haven’t made so far. Some people even use this opportunity to start over by making new resolutions for their lives.
Learn Something New
Many retreat centers offer classes on topics such as meditation, yoga, art, or even sustainable living. You might even find a class on the topic of your next book!
Try Something New
If you’ve always wanted to learn to meditate but were afraid it was too difficult or just not right for you, a retreat is a perfect time to try it out. Try different styles of meditation practice until you find one that works for you. Or if you’ve always wanted to learn how to make soap but never had the space or equipment at home, now is the time!
Take a break from technology and social media. We live in a time where we’re constantly connected through apps and websites like Facebook and Twitter – but taking a break from it all can be incredibly refreshing!
Meet New People
When you’re surrounded by people who’ve similar interests as you, it’s easy to connect with them and make new friends who share similar passions and interests.
A Retreat Brings With It New Experiences
It’s an opportunity to slow down and reflect, but also to be creative, explore and connect with yourself and others.
It can be difficult to know what to expect on a retreat. Here are some tips:
- Take time to prepare before the retreat. Read the reports, and the program, and watch some YouTube videos, but avoid expectations. Just inquire to find out if it’s something for you. For example, some retreats involve 24/7 silence, and others may involve a church service. You don’t want to come to a retreat and find that you’ve to commit to something you don’t agree with.
- Make sure you’ve everything you need for the trip – including your passport, vaccinations, and appropriate clothing if you’re traveling abroad.
- Prepare your mindful eating habits. If it’s a vegan retreat and you eat a lot of meat, you may want to start cutting back on meat consumption a few weeks beforehand to avoid giving your body a shock.
- Prepare for your body clock – many retreats wake up between 4 am and 7 am. If you’re used to waking up late, try to wake up earlier (closer to the retreat’s wake-up time) before you get there to make it easier on yourself.
- Read through the activities if you’ve access to the program in advance. It’s nice to decide at the last minute and just drift, but it would be a shame to realize later that you could’ve chosen better activities if you’d read the program.
How to Choose the Right Retreat
Each human being is different and has different needs. There are many things you should consider when choosing the right retreat for you. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself:
- Do you want to go there alone, or perhaps with a loved one?
- What’s your budget? Are you looking for a free or low-cost retreat? A luxury retreat? Or something in between?
- Are there specific facilities you’d feel more comfortable or adventurous in, such as outdoor camping, dorms, bungalows, or single rooms?
- Is there anything else that would add to your happiness and comfort during the retreat (e.g., pet-friendly accommodations)?
- Is the place easily accessible by public transportation or by car, especially if it’s far from my home/state/country?
- What’s your goal? Is it to find happiness? Stress reduction? Improve your present moment awareness? Learn mindfulness practice from experienced meditators? Get rid of your negative emotions?
Make sure your goals are realistic. For example, if you have a mental illness, anxiety disorder, depression, or have recently experienced a panic attack, you should first see a doctor. Not everyone can handle a retreat, and from my experience, I’ve seen some people leave retreats feeling worse than they came because it wasn’t tailored to their mental health issues.
Living in the Present Moment Is Amazing When You Understand the Benefits
Living in the present moment is amazing once you understand the benefits.
- You’re more satisfied with your life.
- You’re more likely to be less anxious, which can help lower blood pressure and reduce stress levels.
- Living in the moment means you’re better able to focus, which has a positive impact on your productivity. It means you’re less likely to get distracted or procrastinate – and we all know how time-saving that can be!
- When you’re aware of your surroundings, you find it easier to interact naturally with others, which leads to better relationships and higher self-esteem because other people appreciate our attention when we give it to them directly instead of talking about something else entirely (like what happened earlier).
- It’s easier for us to be compassionate toward ourselves when we don’t dwell on regrettable experiences from the past; instead, we take advantage of opportunities that come our way without resenting mistakes from a past event we made in the past.