The Importance of Living in the Moment
The continuous development of technology has made life busier and faster-paced. Although this sounds positive in business sense, it has a negative impact on humans, particularly on the way they connect with one another and the environment. Nowadays, humans feel more like human doings instead of human beings. They are always preoccupied. They feel stuck in the busyness of life. They are distracted. They forget to live in the moment. As a result, more and more people begin to feel empty as time goes on.
Peter Justus, a gastroenterologist and author from Washington, demonstrates the importance of living in the moment in his book, The Pursuit of the Personal Renaissance Experience. According to Peter Justus, more often than not, people spend too much of their lives living through precious moments that it leaves them feeling emotionally and spiritually empty. People are no longer stopping to smell the roses. They are no longer taking the time to breathe. This leaves them running out of breath every now and then.
To convince you to stop replaying past moment or planning too much for the future, below are some of the reasons why living in the moment is important in achieving emotional and spiritual well-being.
The present moment is the only moment you have control over
The moment you have right now is the only moment you can control – this is a universal truth. No matter how much you wallow in the past or plan for the future, you can never change anything unless it exists in the present. You can never even make sense of the things that happened in the past or will be happening in the future because these are all mysteries. You can only know about them when you experience them at the very moment they occur – in other words, when you live them in the moment.
You always have the choice to live each moment however you want it. You can choose to enjoy the moment or you can choose to loathe it. You can even choose to disregard the moment completely and waste it away. Regardless of whatever you choose, the present moment is always yours to control.
Thinking too much about the past and the future can stress you out
Wallowing in the past makes you regret, while over-planning the future makes you anxious. In general, thinking too much about the past and the future brings you nothing but stress. Although some stress can be beneficial, the stress caused by not being able to live in the moment can disrupt your emotional and psychological health. It can induce negative emotions such as sadness and anxiety, and it can create problems that are not even there yet.
Thinking about the past can make you frustrated because there is nothing about it that you can change anymore. It gives you regrets and makes you question all of the what-ifs in your life, which should have been forgotten already. Over-planning the future, on the other hand, can make you upset in the long run because plans fall through all the time. Planning does not always work out the way you want it. So, to avoid all of the negative emotions brought by thinking too much about the past and the future, you should learn how to live in the moment.
Living in the moment can make you happier
Even though happiness is elusive, everyone wants to be happy. The pursuit of happiness is the ultimate purpose of life. However, people cannot achieve happiness when they do not know how to appreciate the precious moments that are happening before their eyes. Happiness stems from being able to live in the moment.
When you immerse yourself in the ever-present now, you are allowing yourself to gain a positive perspective on life. You learn to appreciate and admire the things and people around you. Once you break free from the thoughts of the past and the plans for the future, your mind becomes clearer and it becomes more possible for you to foster contentment.
Just as the book of Peter Justus points out, there are plenty of opportunities for happiness in the ever-present now. You just need to take the time to find and recognize them. Yes, acknowledging the past and planning for the future are important. However, what is more important is to live and appreciate the precious moments of the ever-present now. Each present moment is a gift – this is why it is called present. Always take the time to appreciate and be thankful for this present.