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12 Ways To Live More In The Moment

12 Ways To Live More In The Moment

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

This tidbit of Ferris Bueller wisdom is probably even more relevant in today’s fast-paced society than it was at the time of the movie’s release. Between our phones, our careers and the Internet, there’s always something pulling our attention away from the here and now. It’s easy to let minutes, hours and even days slip by without a second thought.

Here are 12 things you can do to help you live more in the moment:

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1. Holster your phone

Our phones are probably the greatest source of distraction in our lives. Even at important meetings or events, if we hear its telltale buzz, we’ll try to discreetly check it under the table, incapable of disconnection for even a short length of time. So, holster your phone! Force yourself to unplug. When you want to engage with the moment, turn it off or set it to silent so that you can focus on what’s going on around you without interruption.

2. Pay attention to your senses

Focus on the way the breeze feels against your skin. Really experience the taste of your coffee in the morning. See, smell and hear what’s happening around you. It’s easy to dismiss our perceptions as background noise when we’re distracted, but such a multitude of rich experiences await if we simply engage with our senses- even when standing in an elevator or sitting in class. The smell of aged textbooks or the feeling of air conditioning ruffling your hair can truly be an incomparable experience.

3. Get enough sleep

When we’re tired, it’s hard to focus on anything. Being short on sleep leads to wandering thoughts and a general inability to concentrate. This makes it very difficult to be present in the moment. Getting a full night’s sleep is important to revitalize the mind and enable it to engage with the world.

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4. Meditate

Many forms of meditation exist, but all cultivate a greater presence in the moment. The brain is trainable, and regular meditation can actually alter thought patterns, leading to a more present mindset both during its practice and throughout everyday life.

5. Connect with nature

When hiking through a buzzing forest or gazing across a mountain range, its hard to care about anything but the present moment. We evolved in the natural world, and reconnecting with it reminds us of our roots and the true nature of life.

6. Spend less time on social-networking sites

Social networking can be addicting. However, the life you lead online is a fabrication, a virtual reality- nothing compared to the real thing. Many get sucked in to this online world, though, placing far too much value on their profiles and how their lives appear. Spending less time worrying about your online persona will leave more time for actual living.

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7. Exercise

Physical activity puts you in touch with your body and its capabilities, which can help you experience things more fully. When your heart’s racing and the adrenaline’s flowing in those last few minutes of a workout, it’s hard not to be in the moment, experiencing each sensation, even if some are unpleasant.

8. Think about death

Reminding yourself of your mortality will help you appreciate life and each moment you still have. It may sound macabre, but contemplating the shortness of existence will only make each moment matter more to you, and you’ll live each more fully.

9. Choose your friends carefully

Pessimistic friends can put a very negative spin on life. It’s important to surround yourself with people who raise you up rather than bring you down. Who we choose to have in our lives can have a great influence on our lifestyles, and choosing the right kind of people will lead to a more positive outlook and a more present mindset.

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10. Reign in your thoughts

When we engage in relatively mindless activities such as driving or eating, our thoughts tend to wander from the moment. When this happens, reign them in. Lasso them and force them back into the now. Pay attention to your actions, to the way things look around you. Focus on the external world rather than your internal world.

11. Don’t multitask

Instead of catching up on email and watching Breaking Bad while you eat lunch, just eat lunch. You can’t be fully present in the moment when your attention is split between ten different things. Focusing on one activity at a time will help you enjoy each more fully.

12. Do what you love

If you find your passion and pursue it, you won’t find your mind wandering away from the moment or drifting to other things because you’ll want to experience what you’re doing. When you’re doing what you love, you won’t have to actively engage with the moment- you will live for it.

Featured photo credit: Egor Gribanov via en.wikipedia.org

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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