How to Live in the Moment & “Just Be” in 2021

Living in the moment may sound like an old catchphrase, but there is real meaning behind it. To confirm this meaning, there is a quote that has been attributed to multiple people (even a movie): “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why we call it the “present”.

Now that 2021 has been upon us for a few months, let us take stock of what life has been throwing at us every day for the past several years.

We have seen the rise and spread of social media, and how it has affected each one of us. We are constantly bombarded with instant news. The news we see and hear is mostly bad, but there is a little good mixed in. Media outlets know that bad news sells, and so they put emphasis on it.

Is There Anything I Can do to Combat This Bombardment?

The good news is that there is something you can do to help yourself get through all that has been happening. There is something especially important that you can do for yourself, by yourself. It is known as “Mindful Thinking”. Mindful Thinking has several components that are listed below. We will discuss them in more detail afterwards.

  • Breathing exercises.
  • Mindful eating.
  • Sensory activation.
  • Embrace and release.
  • Body scan meditation.
  • Mindful walking.

Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises are a great way to reduce anxiety. Diaphragmatic breathing (slow abdominal breathing) can stimulate the Vagus nerve, which lowers stress and anxiety.

Diaphragmatic breathing is done by inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. You will notice that your abdomen will rise and fall with each breath. After each exhale, you will notice that you feel more relaxed. You can prolong this feeling of relaxation by extending the time after each exhale. This is something you can do anytime of the day or night. Below are some tips that should assist you in your breathing exercises:

  • Choose a mantra (specific word) that you repeat to yourself. A mantra can help your mind focus on the breathing and not on external things.
  • Focus on each inhale and exhale.
  • Direct your attention towards how the air feels as it enters and leaves your body.

Mindful Eating

This may sound a bit strange at first, but it is an important part of Mindful Thinking. This exercise can be quite simple. All it involves is slowing down the time you take for eating your meals. When you slow down your eating, you can spend more time enjoying the flavor and smell of the food. If you scarf your meal down, you will barely have time to even taste it. If you make the act of eating your focus, you should notice that the more you focus on the meal, negative thoughts tend to go into the background. You should also notice that the more you focus on the meal, you will be able to live in the moment.

Sensory Activation

When you are aware of your surroundings, you will accomplish Sensory Activation. Focus your attention on what you can feel, see, touch, taste, and hear. When you do this, you are using all five of your senses. If any of these senses causes you to have negative thoughts, do not spend too much time on that one. It is best that you move on to the next sense without dwelling on the negative thoughts or pain.

Embrace and Release

When we think of embracing, we associate it with things like hugging, enveloping, entwining, or clutching. Think about how you would feel if you were engaged in any of these activities. That human-to-human contact can make you feel relieved, loved, and relaxed.

Embracing thoughts and emotions that you experience is like what we are used to thinking about. Let those thoughts and emotions occur as they will. The key here is to accept those thoughts and emotions by embracing them. An important part of this embracing requires you to avoid judging yourself from having those thoughts in the first place. If you judge yourself because of those thoughts, it will only serve to make you feel worse. You do not want to get bogged down with feeling bad about yourself.

There is something important that you should do after you embrace these thoughts and emotions. That is to release them from your mind. Think of moving on from something negative towards something positive. It is like accepting your past and moving on from it to have a better future.

Body Scan Meditation

When you first read this, you may think it involves some type of medical test with a machine. This is a mental exercise, and it is a form of mindful meditation. It involves more mental exercise than the others do.

To do this, you will start with the top of your head, and scan your way down to the tips of your toes. What you will need to do, is to focus on each area as you scan your way down. Take note of any physical sensations or emotions you experience during your journey down your body. After you have taken note of these sensations or emotions, you will need to let them go. Letting go of these sensations and emotions will help you move on to the next part of your journey.

Once you have completed your journey down your body, you should feel more relaxed and freer from stress.

Mindful Walking

Meditating while you walk brings the physical experience of walking and mindfulness together and make them seem like one. It works best when you can walk without stopping for a period to your choosing.

While you are walking, you will want to bring your focus onto each step and each breath. Take care to notice the feeling you get in your feet during each step, as well as how your arms and legs feel. You can avoid intrusive or obsessive thoughts by focusing on both your breathing, and physical sensations. When you do this, there is no room for those thoughts to dominate your thinking.


We have discussed a myriad of things that you can do to “live in the moment”, and simply “be”. This may seem like a lot of information to take in and digest. If you need any help with these, please click here.

The medical experts at Pain Relief will be able to answer any questions you may have. We wish you the best in your journey because stress, pain, and negative thoughts can sometimes severely limit your quality of life.