Being present and living in the moment allows you to enjoy life’s most precious experiences. But what are the best ways to immerse yourself in the “now” to enjoy the most magical moments in life?
Dr Hilary Jones, GP & Health Broadcaster says: Living in the moment and making the most of the experiences in life often depend on simple changes that can improve your health. I recommend you to:
1. Commit to regular physical and mental exercise
2. Mix up your daily routine to alert your brain to new changes around you
3. Listen around you to make the most of sounds and your surroundings – don’t forget to get your hearing tested frequently to ensure you don’t miss out on any of life’s magic moments
4. Socialise with friends and family to help relieve any stress or anxiety
5. Take up a new hobby or challenge to ensure you feel stimulated and content
1. Participate in Physical and Mental Activities
Going to the gym and doing exercise may feel like an effort – but physical activity puts you in touch with your body and its capabilities. Exercise releases endorphins, which are also known as “happy hormones”. When your heart’s racing and the adrenaline’s flowing in those last few minutes of a workout, be conscious of each sensation, and focus on your breathing. A gentle run, or a fast-paced walk, for example, can give you a great endorphin rush or a “runner’s high”, awakening your senses, and alerting you to the present.
It’s not just physical activity which is important, though – mental activities such as board games, card games and brain training apps focus your mind and attention to the immediate moment, improving your brain health. So next time a family member is challenging you to play a game of Scrabble, say yes!
2. Change a Routine
You may not be living in the moment because you are too set in your routine. Why not mix up your usual day-to-day regime to make yourself more alert? Do something as simple as starting the day with some meditation, change your journey to work, or choose a drink other than your usual morning coffee.
Routines can be comfortable and reliable but changing your habits can force your brain to pay attention to what’s going on around you. Switching things up can also change your regular behaviour, opening yourself to new experiences and helping you to become more mindful of your surroundings.
3. Use Your Senses
Living in the now can become a part of your daily routine by deliberately tuning into the sensory details of something that you are doing. Focus on the sight, sound, smell, and feel of your daily activities. Whether it’s the small things such as feeling the breeze against your skin or the bigger moments in life like hearing your child’s first cry or listening to your partner say “I love you, too” – rich experiences await if we engage with our senses, creating memories that will stay with you forever. A survey by Hidden Hearing revealed that 79% of people in the UK believe that hearing is key to enjoying life’s most magical moments. If you’re worried that you are missing out on life’s magic moments because of your hearing, or know someone else who might be, book a free hearing test at your local Hidden Hearing centre.
4. Be Proactive and Get Involved
Having great experiences is one thing but sharing them with others spreads the happiness and joy even further.
To live in the moment, it’s important to take advantage of social opportunities and accept invitations that come your way. Make plans and new relationships or rekindle ones you’ve already had. Interestingly, a study by Yale University found that “sharing an experience with another person, without communicating, amplifies one’s experience.” In the study, participants tasted chocolate and it was rated as more enjoyable when tasted at the same time as another person.
By simply sharing experiences, we can build a greater connection with others while creating special moments at the same time.
5. Do What You Love
By finding your passion and pursuing it, your mind will be focused and immersed in the present. An adult works over 92,000 hours in their life – so finding something which fulfils you is key.
Outside of work, why not pursue a passion? Whether it be writing, cooking, playing an instrument or building something – focusing your mind on an activity you enjoy will allow you to embrace those magical moments and achieve a state of flow. “Flow” is when you get so absorbed in a task that challenges your strengths just enough, leading it to become the only thing on your mind. You lose track of time; your mind stops wandering elsewhere and you are so focused on the present moment that the past and future are of no concern.