In Part 4, I discussed how important it is to “live in the now”. You will need to find a method that suits you in order to develop this ability – it certainly will never happen on its own. Also in Part 4, I provided one example of what you can do to help achieve this.
Another way is to purposely seek out activities that basically force you to “live in the now”. I have found Aikido to be one such activity. In order to improve over time in my techniques, I have had to really focus on what is occurring during each second that I am performing a move; in other words, to really be “in that moment”.
I have discovered that my learning to be in the moment when practicing Aikido has enabled me to transfer this now-learned ability into other aspects of my life. For example, I hold myself straighter; move lighter on my feet; am crisper in my movements; and am more aware of my total environment , including other people’s reactions towards me.
Meditation is another excellent technique that will help you focus on the here and now. There are a myriad of different ways to meditate, so I will only mention a few.
You can sit on a chair and focus on tightening and relaxing muscle groups in order. So, first tighten your calf muscles, take a deep breath then exhale while slowly relaxing those muscles. Then, do the same with your thighs, then your abs, working your way to your face muscles.
Another meditative method involves listening to a CD of soft music or nature sounds (the wind, waterfalls, etc.). As you can readily see, meditation will help you keep your focus on what is happening around and within you each moment that passes.
Mindfulness meditation has become popular lately.
I has provided several sites if you are interested
If you wish more information on meditation and/or CDs to help you meditate, the Mandala Books at 190 Central Ave. would be a place you’d want to visit.
Not only will the above techniques help you learn to focus on the now, they will also help you to reduce the experience of stress that you likely are feeling to some degree or another. There is ample research that demonstrates the stress-reduction ability of meditation, and how stress can negatively impact on both your mental and physical health.
In my next article, I will discuss just how stress does harm both your physical and mental health.