'In the now' is a much abused phrase for a concept that very smart, very philosophically-immersed people spend their lives studying and living: presence, flow, mindfulness. I say it's abused because it's often conflated with a pop culture version of carpe diem: do whatever you want, whenever you want, consequences aside. Horace - the Roman poet who originated the phrase - wasn't keen on nihilism. Quite the opposite, he urged people to avoid waiting to live until tomorrow because tomorrow is hardly promised. Do what you can today to make your life better.
Being in the now, as I try to think about it, demands that I peel back the layers of each moment. I try not to rush headlong into the next without feeling, observing, sensing. It's the opposite of numbness.
I am so conscious of my own mortality that I want it all to slow down so that I can actually live it all. Life is too fast. And I don't even have kids yet!
Does it make a person healthier to be conscious of 'now'? Eckhart Tolle is a total weirdo and there is no evidence to back up anything he says. And he wrote The Power of Now. And he gets into some really metaphysical analysis and advocates an ego-less existence.
But that's honestly not what I am talking about when I try to 'live in the now' and slow it all down. I am just talking about this simple thing where you do one thing at once. Where you listen to the person talking to you without thinking mostly about your retort. Where you chew your food.
I don't need a ton of evidence to know that donning this approach to living makes me feel better, and I think it makes me healthier in a way that is probably not measurable. In this instance, I don't need to measure it to know it's there.
I've come across a few cool thoughts and things around the Internet on this topic. Here they are:
How to be patient.
"I guess some amount of patience develops inevitably, as you get older and gradually realize how self-defeating it is to revile the present, since you spend every instant of your life there." David Cain, Raptitude.com
Present in the summertime.
Here you are. The moment you're in is the moment you're in.