Making the moment count

7 ways to find pleasure in the present

Cristina Di Loreto
November 6, 2014

'The true delight is in the finding out rather than in the knowing' — Isaac Asimov

 

We are all busy—perhaps too busy—and life feels often like it is whizzing by us as we are always looking ahead to what’s next on the schedule. Are we really listening as we talk with that friend as we pause on the Ponte Vecchio or catch up over Skype with a family member in a distant country? Are we really paying attention to the sights and sounds around us in Florence? How can we learn to stay in the present moment and enjoy them for real? Here are seven ways to increase the pleasure of being in the moment—and perhaps make a habit of it.

 

1.Each morning, think of one little thing you would love to do, see, hear, read—something you know you’ll enjoy or have always wanted to try. Maybe it is even just some time alone. Then make time for it, even if it is just a brief few minutes. Think of it as a gift to yourself.

 

2.To practise staying in the moment, pay attention to sensations, such as the taste of food or sights, sounds, textures and smells around you.

 

3.Whenever you have the food or beverage you like the most, take time to pay attention to the pleasure of having it and what you like about it.

 

4.Reach out to someone else with a simple act of kindness, such as a text message, an invitation or a call to a friend or family member who will appreciate knowing you are thinking about them. (A bonus: you’ll soon find that kindness comes back to you.)

 

5.Try new things, especially if the activities or hobbies you engage in feel like an obligation or routine, not a pleasure. Maybe what you liked 10 years ago is no longer a ‘fit’ for who you have become.

 

6.Take care of your body: it is the temple  of your mind. Learn to listen to what your body needs, whether it is a brisk walk, a vigorous workout, a nap or an early night in. Likewise with food: listen to what your body is asking for, not what you are in the habit of reaching for.

 

7.Practise saying ‘no’ if invitations and obligations are overwhelming you. Learning to find a good balance is not easy, but by being selective, saying a quiet ‘no, thank you’ will feel like screaming a big ‘yes!’ to your wellness.

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