3 Ways to Live In The Moment- a Health Coach Podcast
Hello, everyone, and welcome to Your Own Wellbeing the podcast. My name is Catherine Henderson, and I’m your host. I’m so happy to be back, it has been about a month since we have released an episode.
I have recently moved to sunny Costa Rica, it’s actually raining today, so that’s a little bit of a misnomer there. I did not anticipate how much time I would need to devote to the process of moving. So this break has been a bit unintentional, but I’m so happy to be back with you.
We have been in Costa Rica now for almost two weeks. I will do an episode shortly where I update you on that process and what we’ve experienced so far, and I will fill you in on all of those lovely details. But for today, I wanted to share with you an episode that comes from what we have experienced so far and what I’m learning in my life related to how to live in the moment.
Today’s topic is three ways to live in the moment. As we have made this move, one of our intentions is to truly live in the moment. We want to experience the world around us, to experience time with our children, time with my husband and me together, and to just kind of let go of everything that we are used to having running through our minds. We intend to just do that, live in the moment, live with some gratitude, notice the things around us, and just really enjoy life.
If you’re like me, there are many times in your life when you find it very difficult to live in the moment. We have so many things that run through our minds. There are so many things that we worry about, our health, our finances, our relationships, aging parents, young children, or anywhere in between those. Those things that we tend to worry about and ruminate on. They never leave us alone.
If we’re not careful, we will spend our lives letting our minds get more and more crowded by all of those things. I know that for me, at least, it can be very difficult to turn my mind off. I don’t always have a switch where I can just say, “Okay, shut down for now and let me think about the things right in front of my face.” That’s something that I have been longing to practice, and I have been practicing over the last two weeks. I will tell you; I don’t think that you have to go to Costa Rica to be able to do this. I don’t think you have to uproot your life to be able to do these things.
However, I will say maybe it does help sometimes. Here are the three tips I’ve got for you that have come out of me thinking intentionally about this in the last few weeks or so. I’ll tell you how and why I’ve even had to do this in the last couple of weeks.
So the first one, “living in the moment,” – when you really want to disconnect from the world around you, all of those thoughts in your head, and focus on living in that moment. Because we are not well practiced at it, sometimes we have to be a little bit more intentional about it until it becomes natural.
The first tip that I have for you is to do a brain dump beforehand. When you are intentionally taking time to relax, let’s just say that you are sitting down at the end of the day, you’ve done your chores, all of those things, and you want to sit down and spend some quality time with your family. However, you know that you might not be fully present because you have so many things on your mind. I’m going to recommend that you do a brain dump beforehand.
It would take perhaps five minutes max, where you get out a piece of paper, and you just start writing all of the thoughts that are running through your head, just stream of consciousness, whatever comes to mind, just write it down. Maybe it’s a grocery list, maybe it’s a list of all of the things that you know you’ve got coming up this week, maybe it’s a list of things that you need to be praying about; whatever it is, it’s crowded in your mind; just get it out of your head and onto paper.
The magic of this is that when you do that, you’re able to give yourself permission to say, “I don’t have to worry about those things right now. I’ve got it on my list here, I can set it aside, and I can come back to it later, I can read this list later, and I can make a plan for all of those things later.” “They’re there; those things are not going to go away, but because I’ve put it on this list, I can just wipe it clean.” “For my mind, I don’t have to worry about it, there’s nothing bad is going to happen if I don’t worry, if I stop worrying about it for just a little while.” We know that worrying, we can’t add hair to our head or second to our life or any of those things by worrying. That is one way that you can get those things out of your mind and to give yourself permission for a time to live in the moment.
Now, the next tip that I have for you, is to disconnect well. What I mean by disconnect well is, well obviously, I could have given you the tip of just put away the electronics. Turn off the TV, put away your phone, blah, blah, blah. But I know that the tendency, especially with our phones, is to put it aside and then run back every few minutes and check on it. Did we miss a message? Did we miss a notification? Did we miss something? Has something happened? Because, unfortunately, many of us are addicted to our phones. The way that you can disconnect well is by using things that are built into your phone to be able to disconnect.
Perhaps you turn it on one of the focus modes; if you have an iPhone, probably there’s something like that for Android as well. Use those modes so you’re not getting notifications. If it is a time that you are intentionally saying I’m going to be away from my phone, and there are a few key people that you worry about in particular, you can let them know ahead of time. So mine might be my mom; let’s just say I’m going to be away from my phone for a few hours, but I know that if I don’t tell her, I’ll be worried that she might try to get in touch with me. Then she’ll be worried and I’ll be worried about her being worried, right? So perhaps I just send a message right before, “I’m going to be away from my phone for a few hours. I’ll get back to you if you need me.” You can set up an autoresponder, “I’m away from my phone for this period of time, you can find me here later.”
Think about it ahead of time. Is there anybody that you need to notify? Okay? Now, obviously, it might be great if we can just live our lives not being plugged in and not being available all the time. If that’s you, that’s wonderful, but this is a tip for those of you who are like me, that always worry that something might happen, someone might need me. If I let my guard down, I might let them down. So set those expectations so that you can truly disconnect.
The last tip that I’ve got for you today is the most obvious and the most important, and it’s “notice with gratitude,” When you are taking that intentional time to live in the moment, use your five senses to notice everything around you. Notice the temperature, notice the sky, notice the ground, notice the feeling of whatever surface that you’re touching or sitting on or lying on. Notice the eyes all of the nuances of the eyes of the person that you’re talking to. Right? Whatever it is, use your five senses to really notice all of the things with gratitude.
Notice the things that you have to be thankful for in that moment. When you do that, you’re going to get such a good rush of dopamine. From doing that, you are going to get a rush of serotonin and all of those feel-good neurotransmitters. It’s going to feel good, and it’s going to make you want to do that again, do that more often, live in the moment more often.
For those of you who are really trying to do this more often, this is the way that you can practice doing this until it becomes more natural to you. For those of you who are like me who feel like you’ve lost something along the way by becoming so over-connected, so over-worried, and have your mind crowded by so many thoughts. These are some easy steps that you can take right away to live in the moment.
I hope this episode has blessed you today. Stay tuned as we continue our Costa Rica journey. I will be filling you guys in some more. All right, I will talk to you soon. Bye now.