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It can be a real struggle to remain present in the moments of everyday life. We have so much going on at any given moment that it’s difficult to slow it all down and just be ok with what’s happening right in front of you.
But from what I’ve experienced, it’s worth it every time I decide to take a step back and pay attention to what I have in the moment. It’s the only thing I can control, and learning how to be more present has helped me feel less anxious plus I have so much more patience for even the tiniest things.
Do you find that you get impatient waiting in line at self-checkout lane at 5pm on a Tuesday night? Or what about driving in traffic eager to get home so you can throw off your work clothes and open up a fresh bottle of wine?
You may always be rushing to get to the next best place in your life, but the magic of the present moment is sitting here with you right now.
In fact, there’s an entire movement or awakening in which individuals have discovered that a secret to enjoying life is to “stay present.”
These are people just like you who experience racing thoughts or get stuck in painful memories of the past.
Anxiousness about the future also spoils the now moments.
When you feel anxious, focus on living in the present moment
Living in the present moment is “the secret” that ties all the other secrets of life together, and it is a process referred to as “mindfulness.”
Because there’s no way to deny that there’s an element of magic in staying present.
What Does it Mean to “Be Present in the Moment?”
To be present, you must lasso all of your attention and pull it directly into what is happening in your life in each current moment as it comes.
How do you achieve mindfulness? There are many ways to enter into this psychological process, and the benefits are undeniable.
The following are five simple ways to stay present in the moments of your everyday life.
1. Focus on the Now
We have these amazing brains that store memories and have the capability of imagining the future.
Unfortunately, all these brain functions often get away from us and pull us in wrong directions.
Life is only actually lived right now, in the moment we currently have. Which you can do easily by practicing mindfulness.
Be very intentional about focusing on what you are doing in each moment.
Download these free mindfulness activities that will help you to focus more on the now and instantly feel calmer:
2. Use a Breathing Exercise
In the mindfulness movement, breathing has been identified as a key to being present in the moment.
Take in a breath and then consciously breathe out the stress you’ve been feeling.
Spend several moments simply breathing in and breathing out the stress that would rob you of this moment.
The power of a breathing exercise is that you focus on your own intake and exhale of air, which can stop other thoughts from invading your consciousness.
Just start over with renewed focus if other thoughts interrupt your breathing exercise.
3. Take a Single-Task Approach
In this age of the Internet, we become easily distracted.
The constant input from forces around the globe on our handheld devices sends us into a spiral of thoughts that rob us of the current moments.
Focus on completing a single task at a time.
Don’t get diverted from your task by technology, or any other distracting thoughts.
4. Add a New Dimension to Common Tasks
Mundane tasks can be gateways to negative lines of thought.
Turn everyday tasks upside down. Think through each everyday activity so that you maintain and sharpen your focus.
Do each set of tasks in reverse order, from the approach to brushing your teeth and putting on your clothing to the way you bath or shower and dry off.
When you become overwhelmed by your to-do list, work on taking things one step at a time.
6. Control Your Thoughts
The idea of controlling your thoughts may be new.
Many people’s lives are held captive by the flow of thoughts that never end.
So, it can be a surprise to find out that just as you can control your next breath, you can control your next thought.
Thoughts are very powerful and have a direct effect on how your feel in any given moment.
A happy thought can lift your mood and bring a smile to your face.
A sad thought can cause your emotions to plummet into feelings of depression.
Isn’t it good to know that your thoughts are in your control?
The following are some tips to help you master the control your thoughts
• It may help to think of thoughts as things—almost like tangible objects.
• Learn how to stop your thoughts, whether those thoughts are positive, negative, ridiculous, or dull. Doing this can be as simple as saying, “I’m stopping those thoughts and choosing to pick a different thought intentionally.” Make the thought a good one!
• Make it a practice to identify negative thoughts or when you are dreading something.
• Write out your negative thought processes or your dread. This removes them from being a movie in your head. The power of those thoughts decreases as you write them down. When you do this, you are disassociating yourself from the event that was playing in your mind.
• Identify the lie in the negative thoughts and find a positive truth that you can offset the lies with.
Related: How to Cleanse Your Mind of Negative Thoughts
Start noticing the direction of your thoughts and divert them elsewhere if they are negative.
These five steps can help you stay in the moment, but don’t stop there. If you want a happier life, you can begin to incorporate power thoughts such as gratefulness. It’s possible to enjoy everyday life.
It all starts with what you do with your next moment.