15 WAYS TO BE MORE PRESENT
But, staying in the moment is easier said than done for most individuals. Our thoughts wander, and they often go in negative directions that leave us feeling down. You can do a lot to keep your focus in the here and now.
Take some slow, deep breaths.
The act of breathing is utterly automatic and requires no conscious thought on our part. No matter the circumstances, our lungs will always remind us to breathe. Yet if you slow down and concentrate on your breathing, you may quickly shift into a more attentive state in which you're fully present to the wonder of each breath. Breathing deeply has been shown to reduce stress and help us focus on the here and now.
Focus on the small things.
Consider the mundane responsibilities you handle on a regular basis, such as laundry, housekeeping, and beverage preparation. The majority of the time we spend on such activities is spent without paying much attention to them; instead, we may be preoccupied with something else, such as a podcast or the goal of completing the task at hand.
Try zeroing in on the task at hand instead. Feel the water and the bubbles of the soap on your skin as you wash each dish. Look at how shiny they are when you're done. Though straightforward, this technique will significantly enhance your capacity to live in the here and now.
We may quiet that chatty mind by taking a few moments to reflect on and express gratitude for the things we have in our lives. Gratitude exercises help us appreciate the good things happening in our lives right now rather than ruminating on the past or fretting about the future.
It is a great (though challenging) practice to sit still for a few minutes every day with the purpose of calming your mind. Mindfulness meditation, however, has been shown to assist people improve their quality of life and ability to live in the now over time. Can't seem to get things going? These are some helpful meditation applications to try.
Make an effort to manage your day-to-day stress levels.
Identifying sources of unnecessary stress in your life and working out how to eliminate them to the best of your ability may not seem like the most obvious exercise to help you stay in the present, but you will discover that you are living in the moment more naturally as a result.Reducing stress in your day-to-day life can help you stay present.
Stay connected to people you love.
Having a good social life, strong familial ties, and the capacity to interact with people has become increasingly difficult in recent years. Being in the here-and-now and improving your thankfulness practice can be aided by making an active effort to maintain connections with the people who matter most to you.
While technology has its drawbacks, there's no denying it has improved the number of ways we can communicate with others. If you're still nervous about meeting new people in person, video conferencing tools like FaceTime or Zoom can be wonderful substitutes for in-person get-togethers.
Rely on your senses.
The human body is equipped with five primary senses: sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch. Tuning into each of these can be a terrific method to aid your efforts to become more present. Be mindful of your senses and pay attention to the things around you; this includes the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures of things you normally ignore.
Take a mental health day.
Taking time off for mental health is still a novel idea, but in today's stressed-out society, many companies are beginning to embrace the practice. If that isn't an option where you work, you may always set aside time on the weekend to focus on your emotional well-being. If you give yourself a day to relax and focus on your mental health, you could discover that you can enjoy the here-and-now more often and less frequently dwell on the future.
Learn to let go.
Letting go is a skill that needs plenty of practice before it can be mastered. But you may take a giant leap toward being fully present in the here and now by practicing non-attachment and letting go of things that don't benefit you (this includes people and ideas).
Spend less time on social media.
Our phones are the single most effective device in ripping us out of the here and now. One of the best ways to be more present is to spend less time on your phone, whether that means ignoring the incessant pings of incoming emails or resisting the temptation to read through the exotic vacation images of someone you hardly know.
Try a body scan.
A body scan is another useful mindfulness technique that involves bringing your focus from your head to your toes and back again. It has a calming effect on some people.
Let your mind wander.
In spite of appearances, allowing your thoughts to meander in a natural, even contemplative way is essential to maintaining awareness in the present moment. Also, it should go without saying that you will have a very difficult time letting your mind wander if your phone is around, so instead, try concentrating on something—the landscape beyond your bedroom window, for instance—and letting it go wherever it pleases. Because both meditation and mind wandering involve releasing control over one's thoughts, the two practices can work well together. In order to live in the present moment and with awareness, you need a combination of the two.
Try "blue sky thinking."
Think of your thoughts as a clear sky. Clouds are inevitable since that's just how the weather is, but we usually just let them roll by without giving them much thought, because we know the sky is still blue even if the clouds are covering it.
The cloud formations in this mental picture represent your many thoughts, while the blue sky represents your mind. Think of your thoughts as clouds when they threaten to pull you out of the present, especially if they are unfavorable. Recognize their existence without being emotionally invested in the situation. Put the brakes on and watch them fade away.
Go for a hike.
We all know that being out in nature does wonders for our emotional and physical well-being. And when it comes to mindfulness, spending time in nature may serve as a powerful reminder of the vastness and beauty of the world around us, allowing you to snap out of your internal monologue and into the here-and-now. If going on a hike isn't your thing, even a stroll around the block can help. Or, you may place your toes in the sand, close your eyes, and listen to the waves if you live near the ocean. Healing for the body and the soul can be found in nature.
Do something that requires your full attention.
It's challenging to think about anything other than the task at hand when you need to give it your undivided attention. You can't help but be completely focused on making sure you're performing all the intricate steps correctly in a new, challenging workout class; it's impossible to think about anything else. If group exercise courses aren't your thing, challenge yourself mentally by taking up a new skill, such as playing an instrument or learning to cook a dish you've never tried before.
Finding a means to be as present as possible is rewarding in countless ways.