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Last Updated on January 12, 2021

34 Ways To Live in the Moment And Grow in the Moment

34 Ways To Live in the Moment And Grow in the Moment
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Time is the currency of life—we have a certain amount of heartbeats with which to savor it.

In today’s hectic world, it’s also more scarce than ever. We watch the clock in a meeting, waiting for the hands to move so we can go home. When a deadline approaches, we wish for more hours in the day. We squander what time we do have on mindless pursuits like binge-watching the latest show on Netflix, scrolling through Twitter, then later feel guilty or not spending enough time with our kids.  

When we don’t have a connection with the flow of time, we lack purpose. We move through our days aimlessly. We feel worse, and our personal and professional lives suffer.

But when we adjust our relationship with time and find our center, we can take ownership of our commitments and our lives. 

Here’s how to stop time and live in the moment:

1. Real Gratitude Takes Time

Gratitude is good medicine and is always time well spent. It helps relieve stress and build positive energy, and it gives us great perspective on life.

Every day, you should take some time out to be grateful for what you have. Here’re some ideas for you:

40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude

2. Nature Is Our Guiding Light

In nature, things move with the sunlight and the seasons. Society artificially compresses time. Tapping into nature’s rhythms will connect us with life around us and feel more energetic and productive.

3. There Is a Time to Hustle and a Time to Chill

If you’re hustling 24/7, it wreaks havoc on your mental and physical wellbeing. It’s crucial to carve out down time to slow down and breathe.

Bring a blanket and book to the park, or take a long walk without your phone.

4. Anxiety Is Mostly a Waste of Time and Energy

Worry steals joy and negatively impacts decision-making. It’s understandable to often feel overwhelmed by life’s unknowns, but spending all day worrying about something that “might happen” is a waste of time and energy.

Acknowledge the frightening thoughts, and move on to the task at hand. This anxiety coping mechanism can help:

Anxiety Coping Mechanisms That Work When You’re Stressed to the Max

5. Discover What You Want

Make a list of all the things you want to do, including exercise, personal time, family time, reaching, yoga etc.

Take a look and make sure it reflect your desires for self-care. If you did these things, would you feel calmer and happier? If so, add them to your calendar and prioritize them.

This guide can help you discover what you truly want:

How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

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6. Exercise Doesn’t Have to Be a Grind

Exercise isn’t about quantity—it’s about quality.

Are you focused? Can you breathe into and slow down that bicep curl? If so, then a few solid reps do the trick, and you can move on with your life and use the extra time to read a book or take a nap.

7. We Need Space to Digest Thoughts and Emotions.

When you aren’t digesting your thoughts, you create a backlog of mental suffering that keeps you from being present with your friends and family.

To fix this, allot time to process your feelings. A hike in nature is a great time to work through that emotional turbulence, in turn allowing you to be more present for the rest of your life.

8. Sitting Is the New Smoking

Numerous studies are linking a stagnant lifestyle with a high rate of mortality. Get up and move around frequently throughout the day to improve your body’s functions and overall sense of wellbeing.[1]

9. Meal Time Should Be Ritual Time

Our ancestors spent hours preparing meals and enjoying them with loved ones. Today, we scarf food down in our cars in between meetings.

We should return to seeing mealtime as an opportunity to slow down and nourish our bodies, absorb nutrients, and relax into the digestive process.

10. Cut the Fat

We all have people in our lives who sap our energy without giving back. Draw boundaries and take your time back.

If you aren’t sure how to get rid of these toxic people, take a look at this:

15 Effective Ways Clever People Handle Toxic People

11. Family Time Means No Distractions

Instead of multitasking on work emails when you’re with your family, give them your all.

Walk the dogs together or have dinner without devices. Work to get in quality time with your family every day, even if it’s just a few minutes.

12. Communication Isn’t What It Used to Be

Today, the vast amount of our communication is electronic. But it’s important to interact face-to-face to really connect.

Wake up and pay more attention to your in-person communication, focusing on things like body language and eye contact. See how much better you feel.

13. Make Hay While the Sun Shines

Not all time is created equal. There are times of the day, times of the week, seasons of the year, and even eras in your life when you need to lean into things and devote more hours to your career or projects.

So plan your day for maximum productivity and leisure time.

14. Mix up Your Workspace

Work can suck our time and prevent us from properly caring for ourselves. If you rearrange your workspace a bit, you’ll give yourself more room to think outside the box.

Spacial awareness cues our bodies to stay more awake and wires our brains to work more efficiently.

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15. Daydreams Give You New Insights

It’s healthy to daydream, but it can also become disruptive.

Time debt has us constantly catching up on yesterday’s thoughts. Block off some time to think about a trip you’d like to take, and imagine the sights, sounds, and textures.

Building positive and productive daydreaming into your life can be therapeutic and inspiring.

16. Trading Time for Money Is Limiting, but It’s a Necessary Evil

Modern society puts a dollar amount on our time. Can you do a project online to earn more money on the side and buy back some of that time?

Ideally, you create a gig where your passive revenue matches and then exceeds your bills. You can use that income to bank money and buy a better future for yourself, or you can choose to chill out and garden all day.

This article may inspire you to think differently about time:

How to Gain More Time Like Making Money

17. Music Is the Space Between the Notes

Music would drive us crazy if there is no space between the sounds. Yet that’s how we live our lives—nonstop motion, never slowing down.

Pick an instrumental track you love and make some space to sit with it. Then see if you can sync your breathing with the song’s cadence. If you master this, you can learn to slow down in your regular life.

18. Our Time-Saving Devices Are Actually Draining It.

We created technology to help us save time and energy, but constant alerts, reminders, and notifications take us out of the present.

Take a hard look at your relationship to technology and see where you can cut back.

19. Don’t Let Social Media Become a Tick

I get it. Social media is a way to feel connected to your world and in the loop. But checking it can become a social tick that completely removes you from the world around you, and it’s time to break the habit.

Have a social media blackout day in order to reset.

20. Five Deep Breaths Can Help You Think More Clearly

Set a timer for every 30 minutes. Whenever it pings, stop what you’re doing and take five deep breaths down to your lower abdomen.

Focus on slowing the inhale and holding for a second at the top of the breath. Then make a long, deep exhale.

When you train your body and mind to press pause and nourish your breath regularly, you feel calmer.

21. Many Big Life Decisions Are Made Under Duress, Slow down and Stop Reacting

If you think through your history of big decisions, you’ll realize how many you made when you were stressed and under the gun.

You make better decisions when you’re calm and collected. If you breathe deeply to your core and focus your energy on staying in the moment, you’ll see reality more quickly and make a smarter choice.

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22. The Sun Isn’t Your Enemy

Given the negative effects of UV exposure, sun has gotten a bad rap lately. But we all need sunlight to trigger vitamin D synthesis and balance our neurotransmitters. Make a concerted effort to spend time in the sun to reap the benefits.

23. Give Yourself a Break

Take a 5-minute break once every 25 minutes. Get up and stretch, or do some squats—whatever gets your blood flowing.

Listen to your body and let it decompress. Practicing this throughout the day will keep your oxygen pumping to give you more energy.

24. Sleep is Crucial

In today’s busy world, there’s less time to build recovery into your schedule. But sleeplessness makes us tired, weary, moody, less enthusiastic, and unfocused.

If you stay in this state for too long, you’ll start to see negative effects on your career, relationships, health, and mood. Try giving up caffeine to reinvigorate your sleep life.

25. Bed Time Is Sacred

The bed should be only for sleep and making love, but we often use it for other things like eating, watching TV, and doing work.

Take all those activities and move them elsewhere. When you stare at a screen in bed, you’re compromising your sleep schedule.

26. Quality Time in Low Light Is How Our Ancestors Lived for Generations

When the sun went down, our ancestors would wind down by candlelight or hang out around a fire. The darkness signalled our brains to start shutting down and prepare for sleep.

We need the darkness to reset. Every night, take a few minutes before bed to slow down in the dark.

27. If You Need Help, Ask for It

Enlisting help is not easy—many of us are control freaks. But not being able to get help is exhausting, and not asking for help will lead to burnout.

Look at your day and see where you’re spending time on menial tasks you don’t need to be doing. Let people help you.

This article is a great reminder for anyone who is reluctant to ask for help:

Afraid to Ask for Help? Change Your Outlook to Aim High!

28. We Spend an Average of One Hour per Day in Our Cars

The time we spend in cars is crunching our spine, tightening our hips, collapsing our posture, and slowing down our metabolism.

To counter the negative effects, keep your body engaged and postural muscles active.

Use your car time productively, like by listening to an audiobook or catch up with your mom on the phone.

29. A Vow of Silence Is Therapeutic

We live in a world of noise, and we spew endless energy on wasted words.

Take a few days to be more mindful about your conversation, and avoid saying anything that is unnecessary—you’ll be shocked how much more time you have.

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30. Books Can Take Us out of Time and Space

Books give us information, insight, and knowledge, and take us to new places. All the most successful people I know are avid readers.

Today, pick up a book you’ve been meaning to read and get through at least 30 pages. Relax into the experience and know it’s time well spent.

31. Enjoy a Moment with a Neighbor

Back in the day, we used to be close to the people who lived in close proximity to us. Today, it’s just a quick smile or wave as we pass in the driveway.

Making an effort to connect with the people around you will make you feel less lonely and improve your mood.

32. Traumatic Events Carry a Heavy Weight in Our Mental Timeline

Trauma imprints on our cells and stays with us throughout our lives.

When you experience an uncomfortable feeling that’s associated with a harsh memory, close your eyes and follow your emotions in. It may be uncomfortable, but when you breathe into the area, you and heal your past.

Try these steps to let go of the past and move on:

10 Simple Steps To Let Go Of The Past

33. You Can’t Get Back Lost Time

Although there’s no use crying over spilled milk, there certainly is an opportunity to reflect and see how you could have avoided that incident for the future. There is always a lesson in your mistakes you can learn from:

10 Important Life Lessons I’ve Learned From Reading My Past Journals

34. Creativity Takes Our Minds off the Clock

Sometimes it feels like you have no control over when inspiration hits. But this isn’t entirely true.

Through meditation and diaphragmatic breathing, you can engage the right hemisphere of your brain and foster creative thinking. This way, your creative juices spring up naturally, and before long, you’re in a timeless flow state.

Everyone can be creative, here’s how to rejuvenate your creativity:

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

The Bottom Line

We aren’t going to be around forever. Make the most of now.

Thinking about death shouldn’t make you depressed. It should help build enthusiasm for the time you have here—to optimize it and savor every moment. What can you do right now to positively impact your legacy on this planet?

Featured photo credit: Barbora Polednová via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Well.org: Are You Sitting Too Much?

More by this author

Pedram Shojai

An author, filmmaker, and founder of a health and wellness platform at the cross section of health, environmentalism, and conscious capitalism.

6 Mental Exercises For Busy People To Calm the Hectic Mind 34 Ways To Live in the Moment And Grow in the Moment

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Published on June 11, 2021

What Is Well-being: A Guide On How To Measure And Improve It

What Is Well-being: A Guide On How To Measure And Improve It
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Well-being is a term often utilized in psychology literature to describe healthy individuals. It is often associated with contentment, happiness, or fulfillment. However, there is debate about what well-being really is and even how to spell it.[1] With so much confusion around the definition, individuals are often left to wonder what well-being is and how to achieve it.

This article will unlock the answers to three questions:

  • What is well-being?
  • How is it measured?
  • How is it improved?

What Is Well-Being?

Well-being includes a combination of feeling states and lifestyle factors. Feeling states associated with it may include happiness and contentment. Lifestyle factors may include feelings of fulfillment, achieving one’s potential, having some control in life, and engaging in meaningful relationships. Well-being is also associated with positive mental health.[2] In simpler terms, It is a construct used to describe many facets of life including psychological, physical, and social health. Synonyms for it include happiness, health, positive feelings, welfare, and wellness.[3]

It may also be defined as a state of balance or homeostasis. This balance is achieved by having enough resources to cope with life’s challenges.[4] Both challenges and resources may be prevalent in three areas: physical, psychological, and social.

When there is an abundance of challenges and inadequate resources, well-being is lost. However, humans are designed to work towards achieving a state of balance. Well-being is linked to interpersonal, professional, and personal success. It often results in greater productivity at work, increased learning and creativity, prosocial behavior, and fulfilling relationships.[5]

Why is well-being difficult to define? Likely because it encompasses a variety of life experiences and feeling states that may vary among individuals. To help individuals assess themselves, several measures have been created.

How Is Well-Being Measured?

Researchers need to agree on a standardized definition of well-being to accurately measure it. An adequate measure must therefore encompass every facet of well-being, including as a feeling state as well as a lifestyle. In other words, an effective measurement takes both life satisfaction and functioning into account.

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Well-being can be broken down further into two categories: objective and subjective.

Objective Well-Being

Objective well-being looks at standards of living. This is useful for research looking at cultures, countries, or groups of people. It includes measuring education, income, safety, and life expectancy.[6]

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United National Development Programme, and the Italian Statistics Bureau have identified six areas for study related to objective well-being:

  1. Health
  2. Job opportunities
  3. Socioeconomic development
  4. Politics
  5. Safety
  6. Environment

Subjective Well-Being

Subjective well-being includes an emotional and mental assessment of an individual’s life. Two prominent subjective measures are life satisfaction and happiness. Measuring subjective well-being is useful for predicting mental health patterns.[7] It is determined intrinsically by the individual. Regardless of how their life might be perceived by others on the outside, this measures how individuals feel on the inside.

Subjective well-being can be broken down further into two categories: hedonic and contentment. The hedonic component relates to feelings, emotions, and moods. The contentment component relates to thoughts and whether an individual feels their life has been fulfilling. Individuals often measure their thoughts and life fulfillment against social and cultural backgrounds.

In other words, it is important to consider the context in which an individual lives. Individuals may perceive their lives differently based on social and cultural expectations. Furthermore, individuals cannot be measured without taking their environment into consideration.

In 2013, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development determined subjective well-being to be an important factor in assessing well-being. Because it is perceived by the individual, it is often assessed by self-report measures. In other words, individuals rate their own level of well-being through psychological tests.[8]

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There are five areas associated with subjective well-being:

  1. Genetic factors
  2. Basic and psychological needs
  3. Social environment
  4. Economics and income
  5. Political environment

How to Improve Well-Being

There are many ways that individuals can improve their sense of well-being. It is a complex construct with a variety of factors at play. Therefore, there is no one, perfect solution for it. Instead, the goal should be to engage in a holistic approach the incorporates a variety of factors.

The following methods are not comprehensive. What works well for one individual may not be the right approach for others. Instead, these approaches should be considered suggestions for improving well-being.

Individuals looking for a truly comprehensive assessment of well-being should consider scheduling an appointment with a psychologist, therapist, or medical doctor. These individuals may also provide resources, prescribe medication, or share tips for making lifestyle changes to assist in overall improvement.

1. Spend Time in Nature

There is evidence to support the claim that interactions with nature increase well-being. This includes an increase in positive emotions, happiness, and subjective well-being. Time spent in nature is also linked with an increased sense of meaning and purpose in life as well as the ability to manage challenges in life.[9]

One study found that spending at least 120 minutes in nature each week was associated with greater health. In the study, it did not matter if that time was spent all at once or stretched out over the course of a week. Peak gains in well-being occurred between 200 and 300 minutes of nature time, weekly.[10]

2. Practice Gratitude

Individuals who experience gratitude as a trait experience increased well-being. Trait gratitude refers to the willingness to see the unearned value in one’s experience. State gratitude is a feeling that occurs after individuals experience an act of kindness and, therefore, feel motivated to reciprocate.

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One study assessed state gratitude, during Covid-19 in China. Individuals were instructed to journal while practicing gratitude for 14-days, which included a one-month follow-up. The study found that gratitude practiced in a natural setting during times of increased stress and anxiety resulted in increased positive feelings and increased life satisfaction. However, increased life satisfaction was not sustained after one month.[11]

As a result of the aforementioned study, there is evidence to support a daily practice of journaling and gratitude for increased well-being. Individuals should practice both trait and state gratitude, whenever possible. Over time, these practices will become a habit and lead to lasting improvement.

3. Develop Increased Awareness

Increased awareness is associated with improvements in positive subjective experience, increased self-regulation and goal-directed behavior, and successful interactions with others.

Increased awareness can be attained through meta-awareness. Meta-awareness is the ability to consciously notice an emotion, thought, or sensory experience. It is a skill that can be taught. Mindfulness-based meditation and psychotherapy are two ways in which meta-awareness is learned. Kindness and compassion meditations are both linked with improved well-being. Both Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) may help increase awareness.[12]

4. Achieve Work-Life Balance

An individual’s workplace has the potential to either help or harm them. Workplace factors that negatively impact well-being include:

  • Work-related pressure or demands
  • Lack of autonomy or flexibility
  • Poor coworker and supervisor relationships
  • Shift work
  • Longer workday length

Employers can directly improve their workers’ well-being by providing paid leave, opportunities for salary growth, support for individuals with disabilities or those returning after injury, and access to health care. Improvements in the work environment and job structure may also be helpful.[13]

Worker well-being is beneficial both for workers and their employers. It is associated with improvements in:

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  • Performance at work
  • Coping with stress and self-regulation
  • Satisfying relationships, prosocial communication, and cooperation
  • Immune system functioning
  • And physical and psychological health

Workplace well-being is also associated with a decrease in burnout, stress, and sleep-related issues.[14]

5. Seek Out Positive Relationships

Individuals with caring and positive connections often rank higher in well-being. On the flip side, poor social relationships can be more damaging than excessive drinking and smoking. Positive social relationships also help to protect against mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

Prosocial behaviors are important for forming social connections that lead to increased well-being. Appreciation and gratitude are both pro-social traits. For example, focusing on the positive qualities and actions of others. Empathy for others also contributes to higher levels of well-being. Lastly, generosity is also a strong predictor of life satisfaction.[15]

6. Stay Hopeful

Hope is a concept often related to spiritual and religious traditions. However, it entered the world of psychology around the 20th century. It is now an important construct in positive psychology. Hope can be defined broadly as the belief that things can get better, and that goals are achievable.

Hope is associated with an increase in:

  • Emotional adjustment
  • Positive feelings
  • Life satisfaction and quality of life
  • Social support
  • A sense of purpose

Takeaways

Well-being is a construct that is hard to define, yet widely cited in psychological literature. It is linked with feelings of happiness and contentment. It might also be described as a sense of purpose or satisfaction with life.

To accurately measure it, there needs to be an agreed-upon definition. In general, it has been separated into objective and subjective categories. Objective well-being considers social and cultural constructs. Subjective well-being refers to the individual’s felt sense and internal assessment of their own.

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There are several things that individuals can do to improve their well-being. However, no one thing will improve everything. Rather, this requires a holistic practice of mental and physical health. Nevertheless, individuals who spend time in nature, develop positive connections, practice gratitude, stay hopeful, and develop awareness have a greater chance of experiencing better well-being.

More Tips For Your Well-Being

Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

Reference

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