7 healthy principles for living in the now

Much of our angst and anxiety comes from either replaying the past or projecting into the future.  We get on a merry-go-round of misery, and we don’t know when, where, or how to get off of it.  These seven principles for living in the now, will help us get off the merry-go-round and take a much easier ride in our life of peace and purpose.

  1.  Exercise--Choosing to commit to a daily exercise routine helps us be in the now.  We allow our minds to concentrate on the movement of our bodies.  We discover how it feels to move different parts of our bodies, We discover if we like the slow movements of Tai Chi and yoga, or whether we prefer to get in the zone as a runner or dance wildly to pop music.  Exercise allows us to get in touch with our bodies and also allows us to stay in the moment.
    1.  Eat as close to nature as possible--The closer we can get to eating something in its natural state, the better off we are.  In the world of processed food, a good first step is to eat food that comes from the perimeter of the grocery store.  That’s the place that doesn’t have ingredient lists, the items are what they are.  If you must buy something, look at the ingredients. If there is something you can’t pronounce and have no idea what it is, it might be a good idea to skip it or find an alternative.
      1.  Create a daily spiritual practice--There are many religions in the world, and this is not to suggest one, but rather, to suggest that we find what brings our spirit joy and create a daily practice around it.  It’s important that we sit with an inspirational reading, in prayer or meditation, and contemplate something bigger than who we are.  We allow ourselves to be in the moment and engulf our spirit with universal energy.  
        1.  Reach out to other people; acts of kindness--Performing acts of kindness for others is in our nature.  When we reach out to other people, we increase those feel good hormones that increase our well being.  We can choose simple acts of kindness, a note of gratitude, or we can choose more complex acts, arranging a month of meals for someone homebound.  The benefits are the same as long as we stay in the moment.  We don’t have expectations on those who receive our gift, but we do it with a heart of kindness.
          1. Watch a TED talk, video, read a book, or take a class or something that will get us thinking--Sometimes we need to find a topic that interests us and explore it.  In these days of technology, it is so easy to find resources to do just that.  We open our minds to the ideas of others and we expand our thinking becoming immersed in ideas that fill our passions.
            1. A money management plan; create one, or adjust our current plan--We often think that money management or budgeting is constricting and takes away our freedom; however, the exact opposite is true.  By creating a money plan, we can build our financial dreams. We can save money for the financial emergencies that arise, making them financial bumps instead of a money crisis.  We build personal trust and integrity with ourselves.  Planning for the future, allows us to live and enjoy the now.
              1. Meditate, there are a multitude of ways--Meditation is living in the now.  We take a break from the chaos of the world; we join ourselves quietly, and help our thoughts to focus on the present moment, through breath, movement, affirmations, mantras, music, whatever we can use to keep our focus on our time now.
                Although our thoughts can wander in any of the activities listed above, we can make a concerted effort to stay focused on the activity and reap the benefits of mindfulness.  This allows us to release the record player of the past and the future, which brings peace to our thoughts and bodies in the now.