3 Ways to Feel More Present
lately i’ve been hearing a lot of people talk about wanting to be more present in their lives but aren’t really sure how to feel more present. i’m one of them. i shared candidly about how this is also a goal of mine lately because i’d been shutting out the present in order to “cope” as a defense mechanism against my anxiety. that’s no way to live. as a brene brown points out, you can’t just numb out the bad feelings because the good ones go with it.
one area i’m working on is staying present in the situation i’m in. the last post i wrote about choosing love over work is a perfect example. for the first 30 minutes of me deciding to go have fun with my husband instead of working, my mind was still on work. i was thinking of the speeches i’m supposed to be writing for our workshops and webinar in australia, writing content for the new wifestyle, figuring out our taxes (yay extensions to really draw out the process), and all of the things we need to get done before we leave for 24 days next month.
even just writing those out now is stressing me out with what needs to get done but worrying about all of these things aren’t getting them done. it’s a waste of mental energy and takes you away from enjoying the present. what was the point of agreeing that my relationship was more important than work this weekend if my mind wasn’t focused on my husband? i’m not being fully present in the moment or with my surroundings if i’m thinking of all the other things that need to get done. on top of that, i’m not actually doing anything proactive to get them done so it truly is wasted energy.
focusing your thoughts is a lot easier said than done (just try sitting still for 15 minutes during meditation – woof.)
here are 3 ways on how to be more present that i’ve been doing lately:
1) 5 deep breathes
i’m sure you’ve taken more than 5 breathes while reading this post but i bet you didn’t even notice them (hooray involuntary breathing! keep up the good work, body). take 30 seconds and feel those 5 breathes deeply. pay attention to how your lungs expand, how your shoulders might rise, the sound that comes from your mouth/nose and if you feel it in your diaphragm. feeling present is about paying attention to the here and now so take 5 deep breathes that you concentrate on.
2) set literal reminders
i have various reminders on my calendar that pop up and say “be present.” i’ve also done this in the past with readjusting my posture and it really helps. i don’t know about you but sometimes i look up and 2 hours have passed while it feels like only 10 minutes. by setting these reminders to tune in the world around me, time feels more valued and i get to take stock of where i’m at right now.
3) conscious noticing
part of what i’ve found while feeling more present in my life is that i try to pay attention to the small details in front of me and in my environment. i pay attention to the clothes on my body, the wind blowing my hair and even the pen in front of me. become aware of your own existence. funny note – lately my dog has been helping with this. i look at her breathing and blinking. she is alive, in front of me and helps to ground me that the world is happening around me so i better participate.
when you are at work, focus on being fully present at work because i can guarantee you’ll get more accomplished. when you are snuggled up with your spouse, be fully present and i can guarantee that you’ll feel closer and more in love. when you are enjoying time to yourself to recharge, fully feel that and don’t get hyped up about work or family. wherever you are and whatever you are doing, strive to feel more present.
if you found this post helpful or know someone in your life that could benefit from feeling more present, i’d be grateful if you could share it, pass it on or pin it!
how do you make sure you’re living in the moment? (more strategies eagerly welcomed!)