8 Words for Living in the Moment

It’s important to get out of our heads from time to time and appreciate what’s right in front of us.

But is there a word for living in the moment in English?

Below, we’ve provided a list of great terms and phrases that encapsulate this idea.

So, read on to learn more!

Words for Living in the Moment

  • Mindfulness
  • YOLO
  • Present
  • Spontaneous
  • Carpe diem
  • Seize the day
  • Live in the now
  • Stop and smell the roses


  • One of the best ways to live in the moment is to exercise “mindfulness.”
  • “YOLO” was a slogan used by young people in the 2010s to assert that you should live for the present moment and not worry about the consequences of your actions.
  • A person who lives in the moment is “present.”

Don’t go anywhere! In the next section, we’ll tell you more about the meaning and origins of our favorite words for living in the moment.

After that, we’ll show you how to use each of our choices in some helpful example sentences.


One word for living in the moment is “mindfulness.”

The Cambridge Dictionary defines “mindfulness” as “the practice of being aware of your body, mind, and feelings in the present moment, thought to create a feeling of calm.”

In short, practicing “mindfulness” simply means focusing on what you’re doing and experiencing instead of letting your thoughts about the future distract you. 

According to proponents of “mindfulness,” doing so will take your mind off of the various stressors in your life.

Proponents of “mindfulness” also claim that this practice will make you more self-aware and tranquil.

This concept developed from eastern Philosophy and Buddhism, but it has been popularized in the West over the last decade as well.

So, now that we know what “mindfulness” means and where it comes from let’s see this term used in a couple of example sentences:

I used to struggle with anxiety until my friend at university taught me about mindfulness.

It’s important to exercise mindfulness and keep your thoughts on the here and now rather than on the endless possibilities.


“YOLO” is an acronym for the expression “you only live once.”

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, we can use this term “especially on social media, to mean that you should do things that are enjoyable or exciting, even if they are silly or slightly dangerous.”

In short, “YOLO” asserts that you should be adventurous during your lifetime. After all, you only have one chance to live.

Now rather outdated, “YOLO” was a very popular saying amongst young people in 2012.

It was even declared the “battle cry of a generation” by the Saturday Night Live actor, Andy Samberg.

Unfortunately, we don’t know precisely who said “YOLO” first. However, we know that it has links to early 2000s hip-hop. 

From the definition above, we can see that, although “YOLO” was initially an aesthetic word for living in the moment, it has since gained quite a negative reputation.

This is mainly because many young people would exclaim “YOLO” while undertaking dangerous or thoughtless actions in front of their vast online audience.

With this context in mind, let’s see how you can use this dated slogan in some example sentences:

I wasn’t sure whether I was making the right decision, but then I just figured YOLO, you know?

I just spent my entire paycheck on a life-sized Snorlax plush – YOLO!


Another word for living in the moment is to be “present.”

The Collins Dictionary provides many definitions for the word “present.” However, the most relevant ones for our purposes are “self-possessed, collected” and “paying attention.”

Thus, “present” is a great word for someone who lives in the moment each day.

In short, a person who is “present” is fully conscious of the moment they are in.

Therefore, they actively participate in the external world instead of being caught up in or distracted by their thoughts and worries.

As you can see, being “present” is a synonym for “mindfulness.”

After all, someone who practices “mindfulness” will be more “present” since they are disengaging with their thoughts about the future and are instead living in the here and now.

Have a look at how we’ve used this term in some examples:

As a parent, I make an effort to be as present as possible when I’m around my children.

He was always very present and actively participated throughout the day.