Live in the moment.
Live in the now.
What does all this really mean and why should we care about this stuff?
For me living in the now has been a path to inner peace and happiness. Over the last few years I have really focused on becoming more present, and as a result I have made significant growth in many areas of my life and have achieved great periods of happiness. It is essential to take a moment each day to just breathe deeply and appreciate everything that we currently have.
Like many people I have struggled with regrets of the past, as well as, anxiety about the future. Having such thoughts cross our minds is part of the human experience, however these thoughts can become an issue when we allow them to consume us. Overanalyzing past "mistakes" has often left me paralyzed from taking action. It's been a process, but I have learned the overcome these issues to experience greater periods of happiness.
How do we achieve and sustain greater periods of happiness?
Kids are the ultimate example of sustained happiness. I truly believe this is because they are continuously living in the moment. They don’t have much of past to regret and they're not in a hurry to jump to the future. Why would they want to rush into the future when they see most grown ups are stressed out and unhappy. Children can easily focus on the what they are presently doing and they enjoy every moment.
So how to do we as big kids and adults get to this happy place called the present and how do we stay there? There are a few methods I have uncovered for being present and re-gaining the inner peace and joy I had as a kid. Now, if you are ready to become more present, follow me one this journey.
Living in the now begins with letting go of our regrets and negative thoughts of the past. Let that shit go!
Many of us have past regrets that haunt us on a daily basis. I'm not saying these thoughts are invalid, but remember what you focus on is what will grow. It's not easy to let things go however it is possible. In fact I have found a rather simple method for forgetting the past and focusing on the present.
I will give away this not so secret method, however you have to be ready to receive it. It requires open-mindedness and the belief that it will work. I don't know if it's just human nature, but we tend to think solutions have to be complex and/or sold to us in a pill bottle. Truth is, most our mental, physical, and emotional problems can be solved from within.
The method is use to let go of the past and focus on the now is called:
Conscious Breathing for me is the art of being aware of each breath we are inhaling and exhaling from our bodies. It’s a way to slow down from the daily rush of obligations and stresses/anxieties that block our happiness. It is a very effective tool and anyone can learn to harness it's power to become more present and achieve greater happiness. Now let's move to the action phase.
My detailed method for Conscious Breathing:
- Begin by finding a quiet place where you won’t be distracted by people talking, or noise pollution from cars, tv's and other random city sounds. I recommend an outdoor location like a park or forest preserve, but a quiet room indoors can also work if you can’t get outside. If you are outside, take your shoes/socks off and put your feet on the ground. Making this connection to the ground will promote relaxation and provide a natural energy boost as you receive charges from the Mother Earth.
The next steps can be modified as needed. Do what feels comfortable and natural to you.
- Find a comfortable position sitting or laying in the grass.
Close your eyes and completely relax your body.
Take a slow deep breath in through your nostrils. Inhale for at least 4 second count.
Now slowly exhale, releasing all negative thoughts. Your exhale should match the length of your inhale.
Focus on breathing into your belly rather than your chest. (Or as Elliott Hulse calls it “Breathing into your balls” lol)
Empty your mind, concentrating solely on your breathing and avoiding thinking about the past or future. These thoughts will distract you and make this exercise ineffective.
Repeat this breathing sequencing until you can forget about everything else except the breathing. Eventually you will experience an overwhelming sense of calmness and inner peace.
Being conscious of each breath causes us to slow down and focus only on the current moment. We feel the air flowing into your body and giving us life.
Initially, this may be difficult to do this at first without your mind wandering or without those negative thoughts sneaking in, but don't give up just keep doing it. Like most skills we want to develop, conscious breathing takes time and practice to master, but the more you do it the better you will become.
Remember to trust the process and never rush the process.
How often should we do it?
Conscious Breathing is part of my daily rituals and I usually begin my day with at least 20 minutes of it and often combine with slow stretches I call Movement Meditation. If you don't have 20 minutes then just start with 5 or 10 minutes. Even starting with a few minutes will allow you to start reaping the benefits. I recommend doing it at least once a day but I also suggest doing it whenever you experience moments of stress and anxiety. If you are an athlete, dancer, movement artist etc, I encourage you to do this prior your performance adding visualization for even great effectiveness.
Benefits for Conscious Breathing:
Ability to remain calm under pressure
Acceptance and happiness
If you made it this far thank you for reading, but what is knowledge without action? If you are struggling with anxiety, stress etc... please try this out for yourself. Do it everyday for at least 3 weeks (it takes 21 day to form most habits) and let me know how it works for you. If you need any additional help with any of the steps send me an email or leave your question in the comments below. I truly hope this helps you all be more present and increase your happiness.
Pursue, Purpose, Passionately
Marcelino aka Infinite Ninja