3 Creative Techniques to Embrace the Present Moment and Savor Life!

How to Be Present: Techniques to Enjoy the Moment

Being present is about enjoying the moment you are in. It’s about being mindful of your thoughts, feelings and surroundings. When you’re present, you’re not preoccupied with the past or future. You’re focused on the present moment, and that’s where happiness is found.

When you’re sick, you only have one concern – feeling better now. When you’re unhappy with your current situation, you dream of a better future or think of how you screwed up the last time you were happy. When you’re happy, it’s easier to enjoy the moment and even joke about your past mess-ups and have a fun time planning the future. But none of it deters your happiness in the present moment. So that leaves you with two options for being present: get really sick, or be happy. I prefer the latter.

Over the course of my battles with depression and severe anxiety (the type of anxiety where you throw up every time you talk on the phone), I have come across a few techniques and stories that help me to enjoy the present moment.

1. Understand that the glass is already broken

I once read a story about a man who went to India in search of his truth, whatever that is. He wanted answers. He stumbled upon a teacher, and over the course of his time there, he grew amazed at how content this man was. The teacher cared about and respected everything and everybody.

Curious as to how this teacher molded into this standard of thought and enlightenment, he asked, “How are you so content every moment?” The teacher looked down and pointed to his glass of water.

“This cup is already broken,” he said. “If I knock it over and it breaks, I simply say, ‘of course.’”

“One day this cup holding my water will not be a cup anymore. It is already broken, and because it is broken, I cherish each moment I have with the cup.”

Everything ends. Everything. Understanding that makes you grateful for the moment you currently experience. People die, this article will one day vanish from existence, and this planet we live on will be gone too. It all ends. I don’t say this to be a downer; I say this to spread the message of being grateful and cherishing every moment you have while you are alive.

2. A quick blast of meditation does wonders

I’ve tried everything. Hour-long meditations, chanting meditations, location-specific meditations, waking up at an ungodly hour meditations – all of it. Nothing stuck for me. I felt like a failure. I always worried I wasn’t doing it right. I would get upset if I spent most of the meditation thinking about stuff and not being “mindless.” It sucked. I sucked.

Then, five months ago, I found a ten-minute meditation that has worked like magic. I have a nice piece of classical music I enjoy playing through my headphones as I sit crossed-legged with my back against a wall. I listen and simply focus on my in-breath. I don’t know why this is the one that has worked the best for me, but it has.

After the ten minutes are up, I feel good; I feel focused. It tends to bring me back to the present in a nice, calming fashion. I am very relaxed after this little meditation. Maybe it can work for you too.

3. Perspective is life’s greatest snake oil salesman

Is that true? I don’t know. I’m honestly just impressed I came up with that heading.

Perspective guides us in a couple of ways. It preaches that things can always be worse. That’s the popular way to approach perspective. But things can always be better too. At least, we think they can be. We don’t really know.

We think we know. More money, a different job, nicer weather, a newer phone, better friends – all of it sounds better in your current state of mind, but would it really be better? I know very rich people who are not happy. They can have everything they want, but they’ve become so obsessive over their image, they can’t fully enjoy anything.

Over the course of the last decade, I’ve had well over a dozen different jobs, all of which I liked for three months until I got bored and started looking for a “happier” path. I live on Vancouver Island, the prettiest area in Canada, but the other night, I sincerely missed the gigantic thunderstorms I used to see living in the Prairies.

It can always be worse, and it can always be better, depending on how we choose to absorb what perspective is to us. Tell perspective to stop selling you on worse or better for a while and try to enjoy what you have. Enjoying your reality is far more powerful than enjoying a dream you wish to hopefully come true.

In conclusion, being present is about enjoying the moment you are in. It’s about being mindful of your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. You can choose to be present and live a happier life by understanding that everything ends, trying ten minutes of mediation, and focusing on enjoying what you have. Try these techniques the next time you find yourself struggling to be present and see how much happier your life can be.

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