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How to short circuit negative thinking and live in the moment

By May 24, 2019October 21st, 2019No Comments
living in the moment

Hey you!

Yeah you! Snap out of it.

Yeah, that’s right come back to THIS moment, not the one from last week or the one you’re imagining next month.

The only time and place you’ve got control over is RIGHT now!

As humans we love to beat ourselves up and regurgitate what’s happened the past, I mean heck sometimes I can’t stop thinking about something that happened month ago, let alone last week.

But, when you focus on the past you’re wasting precious thoughts and time on things you definitely can’t change.

Living in the moment sounds easy hey? But it ain’t! I see so many people stuck in the past or overthinking the future, whilst neglecting what’s most important – the present.

Learning to live in the moment is definitely a skill that you can cultivate and master.

If you’re finding yourself stuck in an overthinking loop, you need to learn how to break the circuit.

I’m here with some big pliers (tools) to help you indeed break that circuit so you can learn to live in the moment.

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”

― Mother Theresa

// TIP 1: Stop the internal dialogue

Have you ever been in a situation like during a presentation or when talking to a potential beau and the more you think about the situation the worse you perform? You accidentally choke on your words and make a complete fool of yourself!?

Or have you ever heard the saying, “dance like nobody’s watching”?

Well, that’s exactly what you need to do. You need to stop the mental chatter that’s blindsiding you from enjoying the moment you’re in.

To stop this debilitating thinking you need to switch from focussing on those ‘noisy’ thoughts in your mind and think about what’s going on around you. Look at the people around you, feel the warmth of the sunlight on your skin, hear the birds sing, focus on the things that are creating the moments around you. You must focus on things outside your mind to truly be one with the moment. An app that helps you ‘be’ grounded is ‘Calm’. You can check out this app and my favourite life-changing productivity apps here.

// TIP 2: Learn to accept what is bothering your mind

To live more in the moment you need to declutter your mind of pain.

When you find yourself in a bind of looping negative thoughts there’s definitely something you can’t ‘shake’. Notice how the more you try not to think about an issue it just accelerates the negative feedback loop… each time round it just irritates you that bit more?

When you feel that type of stark emotional pain, you’ll try anything in your power to resist these unpleasant thoughts. Just like when we break up with a partner, we fight these feelings of heartbreak as best we can, we may try to act tough as nails but inside we’re devastated.

Whether it be painful thoughts, sensations or feelings, you must accept the pain for what it is.  Rather than holding onto painful thoughts and recycling them through your mind, say to yourself, “It’s okay, I accept this pain. I’m gonna feel sad and then move it to the side and continue forward with my life”.

Through this mindfulness process you will put a stop to the negative thoughts in your mind and come to a conclusion through acceptance. Therefore you accept that some things in life are beyond your control and you can now move forward feeling free and relieved.  

// TIP 3: Lose yourself in the flow

‘The flow’ is a phenomena that I love experiencing. It happens most often when I’m feeling productive. You know those moments at work or in life where you get so much done and you don’t even realise it’s happening? Well it actually has a name and it’s your brain’s natural response to being in the zone!

According to scientists flow can be defined as the “optimal states of consciousness, those peak moments of total absorption where self vanishes, time flies, and all aspects of performance go through the roof”.

There are three ways to get in your flow:

1. Remove any distractions around you. This way you can’t get sidetracked by anything like your phone lighting up or Netflix.

2. Make sure you’re not hungry! Thinking about food will literally kill your flow, and good sustagen will prolong your ‘flowyness’, so no processed foods before!

3. Stop multitasking! Switching from one task to another will disrupt the flow in your brain. If you concentrate on one task your brain won’t have to waste time switching back and forth.

// TIP 4: Practice being in the moment

If you’re failing to be in the moment, a great little way to become ‘more in the moment’ is to literally practice.

You’re probably like … “But Jo, I literally don’t have any time!”

Lies! You don’t need a whole lot of time to practice being in the moment, you just need 10-15 minutes of me-time. If you need a little nudge to get yourself organized and paper diaries are failing you, try a digitalized calendar like Life Sorted. It’s packed full of features for you and your family and you can easily set up reminders for 10-15 mins blocks of me-time so you can practice being in the moment.

A great way to practice would be with a cuppa in one hand and nothing in the other (cause you don’t need a distraction) then sit outside and take the moment in. Look at the textures on the leaves, or the shapes of the clouds. Really think about what’s around you, even listen to your surroundings. Can you hone in on just one sound then another?

Go on. try it.!

Being in the moment has the potential to CHANGE YOUR LIFE. By focussing on what’s most important and being more present, you’ll start finally to be at one with the world around you.

As soon as you start doing this you’ll become mentally clearer and happier. You’ll also find that you’ll become more organised in your life as nothing will be slowing your mind down.

Good luck my friend!


Jo Burgess

Jo is the creator of Life Sorted, one of the highest rated family organizers on the app stores. She’s proud to be helping thousands of families live a happier life together, by giving them a way to keep their family’s events, birthdays, to-dos, shopping lists and reminders in one place.

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