HOW TO LIVE IN THE NOW
how to live in the now practice how to live in the now practice how to live in the now practice
Tune in to Time
What are you thinking about right now? Take a moment to think back on what was just going through your mind. Were you frustrated by something in the past or worried about something in the future? Or were you fully focused on the present moment and ready to read about living in the now? Chances are there were other thoughts racing through your mind, thus causing you to be distracted -not fully present.
It’s a problem most of us face. We have the inability to allow ourselves to truly and fully engage with what’s happening right now, and nothing else. This practice will help you tune in to your personal sense of time. You know when you need to wake up, go to work, eat dinner, and go to sleep. But there’s more time in your day that’s unaccounted for. Learn to take back your time so that you can start living in the “Now” today.
*Beginner* One way to practice living in the now is to start keeping track of time. Challenge yourself for one week to notice and count how many times a day you check the time. You can keep track on your phone or a piece of paper. It’s difficult to avoid looking at the time if you check your phone or computer constantly. So focus on marking down the times when it’s purposeful.
The goal is to gain a better understanding of how reliant on time you actually are. Maybe you see a trend that you check the time more often towards the end of the work day, or that you hardly check the time when you’re with friends and family. Once you notice a pattern or recognize your tendencies, perhaps you challenge yourself to start limiting how often you check the time. Or set reminders for necessary tasks that must occur at a specific time.
There’s no need to be so reliant on the societal construct of time when you’re on your own time. The less often you check the time, the more likely you are to live in the moment. When you’re not worried about the time -what’s coming next- you can appreciate and focus on where you are and what you’re doing now.
*Advanced* Another way to live in the “Now” is by learning to listen to your biological clock. Everyone has an internal clock that creates daily rhythms. These rhythms affect our sleep schedule, thus how we feel each day. Our bodies tend to keep the same rhythms and cycles, but if they become out of alignment then so do we. Most of us follow the same daily routines, except for maybe on the weekends or our days off. This practice is meant to challenge you to take those opportunities and create your own internal clock that fulfills your natural daily rhythms.
On days when you don’t have to be anywhere or do anything at a specific time, listen to your body and do what feels right for you. Even if you have a free morning or afternoon, you can still decide to follow your own biological clock. This means waking up when your body is ready and eating food when your body is actually hungry. Don’t force yourself into doing something because it’s what you’re “supposed” to be doing. If you’re not hungry for lunch but would rather have a few small snacks throughout the afternoon, then do it! If you’re not tired at your usual bedtime, then stay awake and take a nap tomorrow!
What your body needs will change throughout the day, the year, and your lifetime. Don’t keep trying to fit yourself into society’s box if it’s uncomfortable -especially when you’re on your own time. Tune in to your body and listen to what it wants. You might not be able to break away from your day to day schedule, but you can create your own positive patterns that suit your internal clock. Then you can take back time and use it in ways that’ll benefit you.
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