By Jennifer Garza
Life sometimes bogs us down. We get carried away multi-tasking life’s stressors, and we forget to leave the stress at the door and enjoy the moment. One of the most rewarding things you we can do for ourselves is learn to live in the Now.
Living in the now – or practicing mindfulness – creates a sense of serenity, silences the ego, and makes people feel more connected to a higher power, and everyone and everything around them.
Here are three ways to practice living in the now:
1. Consciously set aside time for being mindful.
Mindfulness is a skill. It takes practice. To get into the habit, take 10 minutes a day to consciously do so. Basking in nature is a great way to live in the now. Take in the wisp of white against a deep blue sky. Savor the white snow as it falls from the sky, or watch the diamond-effect of the sun as it skims ocean waves with the warmth of the sun on your face. If basking in nature is not an option, take 10 minutes to savor the exotic flavor of a new tea, listen to classical music, or enjoy a bubbly, hot bath.
2. Realize current obstacles are there for a reason.
Instead of ruminating on a problem, focus on what you’re doing and experiencing at the moment. Even dire circumstances have opportunities for fostering new awareness. Take for instance, losing a job. Most of us at that very second would envision future loss – loss of savings, loss of homes, loss of quality of life. The irony is you are creating stress that does not exist yet. It also sends a signal to the Universe to bring you those losses. Have faith, instead, that resources will show up when needed and focus on the present.
This does not mean we shouldn’t be proactive. Set aside time to job hunt, network and make arrangements – everything you can do to create the new situation you desire. But during the down time, focus only on the now. Cherish the amount of time you are free to spend with family or take up a new hobby you’ve never had the time for – but savor the good in the now.
3. Every time you feel stress, remember to concentrate on your senses.
Close your eyes and think: What do I hear? What do I taste or smell? What am I touching? After full exploration, open your eyes and think: What is there in front of me that is beautiful? Because we are so inundated with tasks, outside influences and our own thoughts, we shut out the wonderful sensory experiences of everyday life. This exercise transports you from a cerebral state of mind into the sensory realm – which forces you into the now.
Jennifer Garza, M.S., has a master of science in counseling and psychology. She is a former therapist and has taught life enhancement classes at venues including college campuses, state conferences and prisons. She is the author of the inspiration journal “365 Days to Happiness: Use Your Strengths, Thoughts, and Dreams to Manifest a New Life.” Garza has been featured in Natural Health magazine, AOL, BusinessInsider.com, Young Entrepreneur.com, and on FTNS radio. Visit her website at www.authorjennifergarza.com or connect with her.