“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu
I’m one of those people that really struggle with living in the moment. I think too much about the past and worry too much about the future which often keeps me up at night though all I can do anyway is living today, now, in this moment. Although I really do still struggle with this, I already got better at being present in this exact moment, I try to practice this all the time. There are strategies that help me with it.
First of all it helps me to realize that it’s pointless to think about the same things over and over again, it just takes away time I could use to do or enjoy something right now. What’s gone is gone and what happens will happen. I can think about the future and make plans but in the end most things will turn out completely different from what I expected them to be.
It also helps me to do something I have to concentrate on like writing this article or just talking to a person. Because then my mind doesn’t even get the opportunity to spin around as it has to focus on the activity or the conversation. Of course, you should better practice to live in the moment without distraction but when everything gets too much it’s really helpful. Today at work for example, I was worrying so much, I was not focusing on what I was doing at all and my mood got pretty depressed somehow as I felt so lost thinking about what to do with my future and all the things I need to take care of like appointments, planning travels etc. But then I realized that this is pointless. In that moment at work I couldn’t do anything anyway but working so I started a conversation with my workmate to get back to the present again which really worked well for me.
Talking about work: As I do not have my dream job right now, my mind often tends to wander while I’m working but actually when I’m really present, concentrate on what I’m doing and try to do the best I can, I feel so much better than when I concentrate on things I’d rather do in that moment. Because.. I just can’t do these things in that moment, it’s as easy as that. Thinking about things I can’t do right now instead of concentrating on what I actually am doing right now will only lead to negative feelings.
Often I also think back to things I worried about in the past and how all worked out somehow and how I don’t even think about all that stuff anymore. Life always goes on somehow, if you think about the future all the time or if you don’t. I think back too positive moments as well and try not to be sad that those days are gone but to take them as they are, as good memories that will not return, no matter how much I wish them to. And in fact this very moment, writing this sentence, will someday be a memorie as well and I know that looking back I will remember these days right now a lot more positive than I experience them to be now. When looking back to travels or my relationship for example, I often have thoughts like “oh, that day was so wonderful” but actually when I experienced those moments they weren’t as perfect as I picture them now. Maybe they could have been if I had been more conscious.
Another thing that helps me is being grateful for what I have. I think about all the good things in my life like enough food, a place to sleep, parents, friends,.. this helps me to realize that in fact there actually is nothing really to worry about. If something goes wrong or turns out different than I planned it before, I have everything I need in my life to deal with it.
Learning to live in the moment is essential for me, I think, as it really stresses me out, not to do so. I always feel like I need to hurry for something in life.. I don’t even know for what. It’s this weird feeling of always living for the next day instead for this one. I can’t really describe it but I guess many of you can relate. The truth is, my life is happening right now, there is nothing to hurry for. I better enjoy this moment now, I could easily be dead by tomorrow (you never know, right..) and what was the use of stressing and hurrying then?