When we are living unaware of ourselves, we have a tendency to stay stuck in the past and ruminate over past mistakes we made. Retelling stories that are unchangeable is self-defeating; holding you back from a balanced and healthier life. ("Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys"...Rita Schiano)

Worrying and creating a worse case scenario future is also debilitating. ("Every time we use the present to stress about the future, we’re choosing to sacrifice joy today to mourn joy we might not have tomorrow." - Tiny Buddha)

Did you know that when you recreate a story that includes worry and stress, your cells respond by going into stress mode as they did when the situation was happening? That is an invitation for disease of all kinds. When we let go of the past and the future, we are doing ourselves a huge favor. So, it is in your best interest to create a new way of being, a way to be right where you are, exactly as you are.

Being in the moment takes focus, work and a sincere desire to accept life as it is and do our best to find ways to enjoy it even if things are difficult.

Social media is a great way to stay connected to our long distance family and friends in ways we never could before. It has also become a place to rant, and share stories that elicits sympathy, creates negativity and encourages a hanging on environment which isn't going to help. Try to reduce your time on it and when you are on any social media platform, find ways to direct your posts that are in keeping with your new way of being.

A woman I used to know was a master at holding on to the past as if she could change it and created stories about the future as if her entire life was going down the toilet. Whenever I was at any function where she was, the conversations she had were all about her, her miseries, her awful life. Each time her story would end in a flood of tears at how pitiful her life was. People did whatever they could to avoid her, even if it meant walking away when they saw her coming. What this poor soul never came to understand was that she was missing out on her life by living in limbo between an unchangeable past and an unknown future.

No matter how we defend our reasons for holding on to the past and fearing the future, we cannot change anything by wishing, rethinking or regretting the way things went. Our future is an unknown, we have no idea how things will turn out, so why spend time making up an outcome based on what we've experienced when we could imagine a beautiful new future.

Here are a few ways that I've experienced success staying present:

Go out of doors for a walk or just spend time alone. Your life is a gift no matter what's going on. Accept it and find ways to enjoy it however it is.

Take a Qigong, Tai Chi or a Yoga class a wonderful way to be present, it feels good and a great way to treat your body.
Escape with a good book.

Breathe deeply, in through the nose out through the nose several times. Believe it or not this clears your mind and puts your attention on being in the moment.

Garden, do some yard work, mow the lawn, trim plants, clean the gutters, paint a fence. Spending time doing something productive is a great way to be in the moment.

Create, grab your camera and fire away or find another creative outlet to hold your attention in the moment.

When mind chatter starts, "hit the delete" button in your mind. You are the creator of all of your thoughts so send those churning thoughts to the "recycle bin".

Clean house, do laundry, wash the dishes, all a very important part in helping you to be in the moment.
Watch a good movie.

You are the master of your life and what you choose to spend your day focused on.Take the lead, be a role model for those in your life that are struggling. Show them that change is possible.

Being in the moment gives you a chance to breathe, to see yourself in a whole new way and to experience inner peace. This is a big step to a conscious life, a life well-lived and a positive way to lift your spirits to feel good about yourself and the way your life is.

"Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got." ~Art Buchwald

Author's Bio: 

I’ve been living consciously for several years. I’ve gained a great deal of insight and understanding living an intentional life. I am writing these articles to share ideas and ways I’ve found successful to help you uncover what motivates your choices, words and actions.

I no longer believe that life is the way it is and there is nothing we can do about it. My mantra is choose then choose wisely and intentionally and everything will flow in the direction of our dreams. We get so caught up in trying to please everyone that we neglect our spirit and the person we long to be.

While I do research and offer opinions from a variety of experts, I feel that writing about what I've experienced and how I bridged my heart and mind to come to a solution is a relatable way to help you find an answer that works for you.

Living mindfully isn't something we do or practice, it is simply a choice of living naturally and purposefully. Being awake to making a life takes courage, determination, strength of character and knowing that you're becoming a part of the change of the world. This way of living is giving yourself over to the experience of living with your eyes wide open.

I sincerely appreciate your taking time to read what I've written, your comments and thoughts are welcome. Thank you.

It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. J. K. Rowling