Years ago Dale Carnegie wrote a book entitled How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. I first came across this book back in my early twenties and it was helpful, even though I was not ready implement all of its advice.
The first principle Mr. Carnegie explains is to live in “day-tight” compartments. This means that you view life as primarily existing within the realm of today.
Later in life, I was re-introduced to this concept by the slogan that recovering alcoholics use: “One day at a time.” Letting go of thoughts of the future can be very powerful.
The future only exists as a mental construct to help us function in this world. The past is over and there is nothing that anyone can do to change it. The only place we can have any impact on the future is in the present.
Life is here and now.
But accepting this concept intellectually is far easier than practicing it in everyday life. I have had to make present moment awareness a disciplined practice.
How do I do this? By paying attention to the sensations in my body that come with each breath. The breath is always present. So if I pay attention to it, I am aware of the present.
Here is a video of a breathing exercise that can help.
Living in today takes a distinct mindset shift and constant practice. It won’t happen all at once, but if you make efforts to hone your focus and concentration ability, you will eventually be happy that you did.
Author: Nick Ortego is a health coach specializing in biohacking for runners. He integrates modern methods with the ancient wisdom of yoga to help runners get the most out of every aspect of life. He is the owner of N 2 Action, a wellness studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering personal training, health coaching, yoga, and fascial stretch therapy.