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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

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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Last Updated on January 18, 2021

How to Cope with the 5 Common Stressors In Life and Feel Better

How to Cope with the 5 Common Stressors In Life and Feel Better

Do you ever catch yourself thinking, “If I only had (fill in the blank), I wouldn’t have to worry anymore”? It’s hard to overcome those deeply ingrained beliefs around stressors in life.

“You can’t always control what goes on outside, but you can always control what goes on inside.” -Wayne Dyer

We all have stressors in life, things we worry about that keep us awake at night. Everyone experiences stress due to life events, but chronic stress can compromise our health. It can cause irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches, and insomnia. Stress can even weaken our immune system and make us more susceptible to illnesses.

In this article, I am going to discuss the 5 most common stressors in life[1], and give you some suggestions for dealing with them more effectively, so you can live a more peaceful and fulfilling life.

1. Workplace Stress

Workplace stress is the most common stressor in life for many people. It can come from tensions with co-workers or a boss, work overload, or simply the nature of the work, such as law enforcement. Whatever the case, there are things you can do to reduce the stress.

Here are some effective strategies.[2]

Start Your Day Off Right

Many of us are stressed out before we even arrive at work. We may have children to get ready and off to school, other responsibilities to tend to, and traffic with angry drivers to deal with.

Start your day off right by getting up early enough to take care of your responsibilities, eat properly, and cultivate a positive attitude. This reduces the likelihood of feeling all out of sorts when you arrive at work.

Know Exactly What Is Expected of You

Many of us are not entirely clear about what our boss expects from us. This usually happens in smaller companies that may not be as organized as larger companies. It’s important to know what’s expected of you, so you can avoid unnecessary tensions.

Communication is the key to avoiding this type of conflict. If you’re not sure what your boss expects of you, there is nothing wrong with asking your boss to clarify his requirements. In fact, it demonstrates that you are conscientious and sincerely interested in doing a good job, which your boss will appreciate.

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Stay Organized

A disorganized work environment creates a great deal of stress and negatively affects your mental health. You always feel rushed because you’re not sure where things are, you misjudge the time required to perform tasks, and you’re not clear on your goals and objectives.

To reduce stress, organize your work environment a little. Start by organizing your work area, so you can easily find your tools and papers.

Then, organize your time by determining how long it should take you to perform certain tasks, and try to dedicate the necessary time and avoid unnecessary distractions.

Forget multitasking, as the efficiencies of multitasking are a myth. Studies have shown that people are more productive when they focus on one task at a time.

Stay Away From Unnecessary Conflict

Much of the day-to-day conflict at work is unavoidable. Each person has his/her own responsibilities, which may conflict with those of others. However, workplace drama is unnecessary and counterproductive.

The best thing to do is to avoid this kind of conflict and stressful events and save yourself the aggravation and stress. Treat everyone with respect, avoid gossip, and avoid sensitive topics like politics and religion.

With conflicts in responsibilities, a good strategy for dealing with them is to communicate your goals and objectives when they seem to conflict with those of co-workers. Remember, you’re all on the same team trying to achieve the goals of the company.

2. Financial Stress

Finances are another of the common stressors in life. We worry about paying the rent, a mortgage, car loans, utilities, and food. We also worry about our investments, especially if we’re nearing retirement.

You may think that simply having more money will take away these worries, but that isn’t necessarily so. Even wealthy people worry about finances.

Here are some suggestions for reducing financial stress.[3]

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Live Within Your Means

One of the biggest mistakes people make is spending more money than they have. Credit card companies are quick to give you credit cards with high interest rates, so it’s easy to overextend yourself.

To avoid this mistake, keep track of your finances, and avoid the temptation to buy things you can’t afford. Set some money aside for unexpected expenses, such as car or home repairs. It’s a good idea to put money in a savings account every month, even if it’s a small amount.

Educate Yourself on Finances

For those of you who do not have a background in finance, handling money responsibly can be a challenge. Professional football players were notorious for making millions during their short careers, and then ending up broke when they could no longer play[4].

Now the NFL gives rookie players a course in financial management so that they invest their money wisely. This is a good strategy for everyone. Some important things to learn are:

  • Managing a checking a account
  • Using credit cards wisely
  • Borrowing money
  • Making large purchases (home, car)
  • Investing for retirement

Learning basic finances isn’t all that complicated. Once you have some understanding of finances, you can avoid the stress that comes from the unknown.

Ask for Help

If you feel lost or unsure about making financial decisions, it’s ok to ask someone for help. Make sure it’s someone you trust, as there are many unscrupulous people eager to take advantage of others.

I would suggest consulting a loved one or a trusted friend. Parents are a great resource, as well. Learn from their mistakes, instead of yours.

3. Health-Related Stress

For many people, health problems like illness and injury are some of the biggest stressors in life. This is more common when we get older, when our body begins to decline. When we’re young, we’re more resilient, and we can recover much more quickly from injuries and illnesses.

Experiencing an illness is frightening because, until we get it diagnosed and treated, we usually don’t know what is happening to our body, or if we will recover. However, there are things we can do to reduce the stress associated with health issues.

Live a Healthy Lifestyle

The approach I’ve taken to reduce health-related stress is to avoid poor health as much as possible. Since I was in my early 20s, I’ve tried to live a healthy lifestyle. I’ve eaten healthy foods, and in moderation. I’ve also exercised regularly and maintained an active lifestyle, so I’ve never been overweight.

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I’ve also avoided abusing my body with risky activities. For example, when I was younger I was involved in bodybuilding in order to stay in shape. I wanted to compete, but I realized that would entail taking training and supplementation to an extreme that would compromise my good health, which I wasn’t willing to do.

Know Your Risks

Many of us have certain risk factors that are unique to each of us. Some may be genetic, such as diabetes, heart disease, dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, or cancer. Whatever the case, learn your family history of health issues.

It’s important to talk to your parents. Sometimes they don’t want to talk about sensitive issues, but it’s necessary for your good health.

4. Relationship Stress

Relationships are one of the greatest stressors in life, especially for younger people. We usually aren’t explicitly taught how to have good, healthy relationships. This is something we learn through experience and a lot of heartache, which can lead to having a stressful life for a long time.

When we’re inexperienced with relationships, we usually let our emotions make our decisions for us. We get involved with people that we’re not compatible with, but who we care for deeply. If we’re not compatible, then we engage in power struggles, each person trying to exert his or her will in the relationship. This leads to a lot of stress because we feel like we lack control.

Communicate

One of the keys to less stressful relationships is communication. It’s important to be open about how we feel and what we’re looking for in the relationship. Sometimes you can work things out, and sometimes you can’t. If you can’t, then you need to move on before each of you has too much invested in the relationship, which makes it harder to end later.

Practice Maturity

Another key to less stressful relationships is maturity. It takes wisdom and mature emotions to not create unnecessary conflict and drama. These take time and experience to develop, but by being aware of how you’re acting, you can begin to learn these skills.

5. Poor Nutrition

Another stressor in life is poor nutrition. Most of us are not fully aware of how the things we consume can raise our stress level. Here are a few examples[5]:

  • Drinking Too Much Coffee: While coffee has many benefits, too much can increase stress by raising the level of cortisol, the stress hormone.
  • Eating Foods That Increase Cortisol Levels: There are other foods that raise your cortisol levels, such as refined sugars and simple carbohydrates, red meats, fried foods, and other foods high in fat.
  • Skipping Meals: In addition to providing us with the proper nutrients to maintain good health, stopping to eat gives us a break from our busy day, which allows us to relax and de-stress.
  • Not Drinking Water: Our body needs water to function properly, and stopping to take a drink gives us a short break.
  • Eating Compulsively: We sometimes eat as a reaction to stress, and we usually make poor choices of what to eat when this happens.

Educate Yourself on Basic Health and Nutrition

You can eliminate a lot of health related stress by knowing what is happening in your body. Nowadays, there is a wealth of good information on the Internet about almost every health issue you can think of.

In order to live a healthy lifestyle, you don’t have to follow such a strict diet and exercise regimen. Mainly eat foods that are healthy, in smaller meals, and more often. Also, try to stay physically active.

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Keep in mind that healthy food isn’t necessarily bland and tasteless. I eat lots of delicious foods and desserts. And by staying physically active, I eat as much as I want without gaining any weight, even as I’ve gotten older, and so can you.

Meditation

When it comes to dealing with stressors in life, mindfulness meditation is a powerful tool.

Meditation doesn’t necessarily solve your problems, but it does enable you deal with them much better. In addition, it calms your mind, which leads to calmer emotions.

Mindfulness meditation is easy to practice, and you don’t have to meditate for long periods to get the benefits. If you’re new to meditation, just sit quietly for 5-10 minutes following your breath. Do this several times a week, and you’ll notice a difference in the way you feel, and you won’t react so much to things that trigger your fears, anger, or anxiety.

Final Thoughts

Most of us long for peace and tranquility in our lives. When we’re young, we tend to think that once we get or achieve certain things, we’ll be able to relax. Those of you who are middle age or older have probably realized the fallacy of this way of thinking.

“By changing your attitude, you also change your perspective and change your life.” -Roy Bennett

We all have stressors in life, things that cause us to worry about our future. That’s natural, but it is the unpredictable nature of the stressors that make us feel insecure and not in control.

However, it’s not really those things that cause us the stress, but rather how we view them. Therefore, if you want to lower your stress level, you need to change the way you mentally process the circumstances in your life. To accomplish this, you basically need to do three things:

  1. Choose wisely the things that are truly important in your life.
  2. Arm yourself with information about your stressors, so you have more control over your future.
  3. Learn to live with the remaining uncertainty.

If you can do these three things, then you can enjoy your life to the greatest extent possible.

More Tips on Handling Stress

Featured photo credit: Ivan Aleksic via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] The American Institute of Stress: What Is Stress?
[2] Very Well Mind: 9 Simple Ways to Deal With Stress at Work
[3] American Psychological Association: Dealing with Financial Stress
[4] Forbes: NFL Players Need A Playbook When Managing Their Financial Future
[5] Exploring Your Mind: Stress and Poor Nutrition

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