7 Steps To Living In The Moment

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Choose To Be Present

BY LIZA CHERVONSKY

Minds wander. That’s what they do. It’s only human. Thoughts drift to the distant past or race into the future.

Are you getting stuck on future worries and past regrets?

Are you getting stuck on future worries and past regrets?

Positive thoughts about the past might lead to fond reminiscence, while positive thoughts about the future might lead to excitement or hope. On the other hand, negative thoughts about the past can conjure up feelings of regret, sadness, or grief, and negative thoughts about the future can trigger anxiety and fear.

It’s inevitable that minds will wander from the present moment, but when minds become stuck in the past (rumination) or future (worry), it can lead to a general deterioration in mood and quality of life.

Choosing to live in the present moment can help you get unstuck from the past or future. Remember – the only moment that you can have any control in is the present moment – right now. You can’t change the past, and you have very little control over the future, but you can choose how you respond to yourself and what action you take in the present.

The following tips are a helpful starting point for actively choosing to live in the present moment:

Tip #1:

Gently notice when you’re drifting to the past or future.

Tip #2:

Acknowledge that you’ve drifted away from the present moment without self-criticism or judgment. Be objective – “I’m noticing that my thoughts have drifted to yesterday’s discussion”.

Tip #3:

Notice if the focus on the past or future is bringing up unpleasant emotions and sensations.

Tip #4:

Ask yourself if there’s anything that you can do right now about your worry or concern.

a. If yes Problem solve and take the action that you can take.
b. If no (or once you’ve taken all the action that you can), move on to point 5.

Tip #5:

Accept what you can’t change right now. This doesn’t mean resigning, giving up, or liking the situation, but it does mean a gentle release of the struggle you may be having with a situation you can’t change or control. Remember, you can always revisit the problem at a later time if you have new information or resources to solve it.

Tip #6:

Notice the present moment and describe it in non-judgmental and objective terms. Try to avoid self-criticism or criticism of others. Try to avoid making predictions about the future based on incomplete information.

Tip #7:

Let go of the struggle over what you can’t change. Save your mental energy for something more productive.

Liza is a warm and compassionate clinical psychology registrar who enjoys working with adults, children, adolescents, parents, and families. She is dedicated to working collaboratively and empathically with clients to help them develop an understanding of their difficulties, and to find effective ways to improve their every day coping and general psychological wellbeing. Liza is experienced in treating a range of difficulties including anxiety, depression, procrastination, stress, perfectionism, interpersonal & relationship difficulties, anger management, self-harm, and parenting difficulties.


 

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