Startups, learning, life and happiness by Paul Brown

In the moment

Sometimes life moves pretty fast and it is difficult to be really truly living in the moment. Your body is right here, right now. But that your thoughts are elsewhere in time and space. I think it is great to practice been mindful of living NOW and in the moment. Appreciating and been grateful for all of the little things that come your way can be very satisfying.

I can remember reading an example which summed up the concept of this perfectly for me, it was something along the lines of..

“If you are eating an apple and thinking about doing the washing up you are not fully enjoying the apple. And then if when you do the washing up you are thinking about having a shower you are not really in the moment of doing the washing up.”

..This is a simple example but it can be carried across to all aspects of your life. If you are about to close a deal but your mind is already on the next one you may miss the opportunity because you are not giving it your full attention.

You can potentially be missing life as it happens, for weeks, months or years of your life. If you are not fully here in this moment then it is very easy to miss life and to not fully enjoy a victory or simply a beautiful, fun or small moment in life.

So I really do consider mindfulness to be important. Living in the moment is something that you can’t fake but you can practice it and get better at it. So the question is how can you get better at been truly here both in body and mind? Here are a few habits which have helped me over the past few years..

Slow down. Start your day with doing whatever you do first in your morning slowly. This really helps with focus and sets the tune for the day. I enjoy going for a jog on a morning before breakfast (morning fasted cardio) - it may not sound very slow but I go at a really slow pace and it is very quiet and peaceful early in the morning so I find it a great way to start the day on a positive and relaxing vibe.

Say what you are doing. Okay so maybe not do this allowed (don’t want to sound too weird lol) - but to yourself, in your mind say ‘now I am doing x’ - so 'now I am brushing my teeth/taking a walk/etc’.

Meditation. If there is one thing you take away from this post please let it be this. Meditation is awesome. It is the best way I have found to practice been mindful of yourself and the moment. You see your mind most of the time is like a grasshopper manically jumping from one thought to the next. Stop for 5 minutes every day, sit down, close your eyes and think about nothing but your breathing. Concentrate on every sensation of the breath entering your nose, filling you lungs and leaving your mouth. 

Stop your thoughts. When you notice your mind wandering - stop it instantly. Be aware that your mind is wandering into the past or future and say to yourself 'no’ and quickly reconnect with the here and now. Look/smell/listen to what is around you reconnect with the moment and enjoy it.

..I have found practising these things and been more mindful of my current situation has really helped me enjoy a lot of situations. I can be happily sat in a traffic jam or in a dentists waiting room been in the moment and not seeking out distractions on my phone. It has improved my patience, my happiness, my focus and most importantly has allowed me to be more grateful of all of the little things in life.

Been in the moment really can slow life down and put you back in control.