"It is possible to live happily in the here and now. Many conditions of happiness are available. We have no need to run into the future to get more, we just have to be aware of it."
Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Buddhist teacher and introducer of "Mindfulness in the West.
What does it mean to live in the now? In short, living in the present moment means interpreting all our experiences as part of a set of unique sensations that only exist as such in the here and now. That means, for example, not having the belief that what we experience are more or less perfect copies of the precious moments, that they are anticipations of what we will experience in the future. In this way, you will not fall into the trap of believing that our whole life is due to our memories and to what we expect from the times to come (we appreciate our expectations, good or bad), and we appreciate what is going for us. happening as it is in the present moment.
6 keys to living in the present
From here we will see some basic guidelines to start incorporating this philosophy of life into our daily lives. Are you ready to start this journey?
1 - Accept everything that comes into your life.
One of the main principles of mindfulness involves focusing on the current moment, without making evaluations or making judgments about what is happening. It is about accepting experiences as they come, without putting a positive or negative label on them, living the now. For example, instead of describing a situation as sad, painful or exciting, you should simply focus on what you are experiencing, even if it is not pleasant for you. When we accept "negative" emotions, they lose some of their influence and power over us. Do not forget that in reality, most situations are not positive or negative, it is your expectations, experiences, and perceptions that tip the balance in one direction or another.
2 - Reflect and then act.
After having experienced the emotional part of the experience, it is time to focus on acting. Stop for a moment to think about what you have felt and why analyze if you need to change something and if it really is worth it. If so, what do you plan to do about it? How are you going to act? Before taking the next step, connect with your needs and goals in life, remember that impulsiveness is never a good counselor.
3 - Give up control.
The tendency to control everything that happens around us becomes a constant source of tension and stress. Therefore, if you want to fully live in the present, it is important that you assume that there are many situations that are beyond your control, over which you have very little influence. You must let the circumstances flow, so you will adopt a more relaxed attitude that will allow you to be open to the opportunities that arise.
4 - Savor every moment.
Sometimes we compare the sensations we are experiencing with those we have experienced in the past or with those we might experience in the future. However, this tendency to compare makes the present escape us, we cannot enjoy it. Therefore, it is essential that you remember that each moment is unique, live it as if it were the first and the last. It is also recommended that you do only one task at a time and spend as much time as you need. The key to savoring every moment is to do less but enjoy more.
5 - Get rid of preconceptions.
Prejudices are one of the main barriers that prevent us from enjoying the present because they make us face situations assuming preconceived response patterns that leave no room for spontaneity. Therefore, living in the present also implies opening yourself to new experiences that are truly in tune with your needs and desires. In fact, you will be surprised to discover that with the practice of mindfulness, those activities that previously seemed routine and devoid of beauty, begin to show a much more pleasant facet, hitherto unknown.
6 - Carpe Diem.
This Roman phrase that means "Take advantage of the moment" reminds us of the ephemeral nature of life and the need to take advantage of each day, each moment, live in the present and give life to our days, knowing that our lives are numbered.
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