We’ve all been there. Feeling anxious but not knowing why, thinking too much about all the items on your endless to-do list, worrying about stuff when you just want to feel present and in the moment.
The mind can often distract us with feelings of overwhelm, non-stop thinking and sometimes does its best to keep us on top of everything else but the present moment. These five tips are some of my favorite go-to’s to get back inside the moment and feel the joy of actually living in the present.
1. Stop, breathe and connect.
Whenever you’re not feeling present, stop. Put the moment on pause. Feel your breath. See (as if you had eyes inside your body) your inhale and exhale happening inside the chest and then feel the breath moving inside the body — going up and down, going in and out.
From there, notice the moment you’re in. Be aware of the space around you. Feel your feet on the earth. Breathe the air that surrounds you and feel it flow within the body and connect to the surroundings of your body. That is a first step for becoming more present. Now, you’re actually in your body.
2. Share yourself with the moment.
Sometimes simply saying a prayer or setting an intention can be all it takes to come into the moment. IE: If you’re about to start work or begin a project, take a few moments to set your intention for how you want the work to flow or the ease you want to create or complete the project.
If you’re headed to an event or even a casual dinner party, say a quick prayer or set an intention for how you intend to be present for the evening, the people and the experiences that await you. By simply giving yourself a minute to connect to the power of your intentions and desires, you immediately pull the reins of the ego (mind) and get into the moment that is both with you and intended for you.
3. Find gratitude.
Feeling grateful for something in the moment is an incredible way to stay or become present. IE: Take a moment to become aware of your surroundings. If you’re outside, try using your sense of smell to connect to nature. See what’s around you. Take a look at all and everything around you and find something, even if it seems or feels mundane, to be grateful for — yes, even that cup of coffee.
Having a sense of gratitude can immediately help you recognize and acknowledge the current (and very present) moment right in front of you.
If you can take a few minutes or even a half hour to sit with yourself and breathe, then you are intentionally coming into the present moment. There are many times people get distracted or caught up and forget what’s right in front of them. Taking time to be still and breathe brings you back into your body.
If you’re new to meditation, then try taking a few deep breaths and visualize yourself being in the present moment. Notice how you want the present moment, experience or connection to feel and then give yourself permission, wherever you are, to be there experiencing the present as you desire it to feel.
5. Shift your mindset.
Oftentimes people are focused on what’s next, which takes them out of the present moment. Or they are thinking about something they want to have happen, a person they are fixated on or a desire to control an outcome in some way.
The minute you acknowledge your desire to control a situation, when you experience negative thoughts or even find yourself predicting what might happen, you can shift. You can give yourself permission to release control and allow yourself to let go of trying or believing that something is in your control.
That is incredible presence — to let moments happen without needing to control or predict them. The magic of your life exists in the space where you let go and allow something greater to come through and support the present moment.
If your mind is extra busy and you can’t quite move or shift out of any overwhelm or anxious feelings, try EFT. EFT, also known as tapping, stands for emotional freedom technique. It helps to very quickly shift the mindset and move energy around in the body almost instantly. There are plenty of videos out there to learn how to tap on yourself and I recommend it to almost everyone, especially those who feel a lot of anxiety every day.
There’s nothing wrong with having an active mind and wanting to do and be your best. The trick is to give yourself a few extra moments every day to ensure you’re enjoying your life and the present moment. A quote I’ve always loved is this: “Every day is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present. The more you can be with the present moment of your life, the more you get to receive the gifts within your life.”
What part of your life would you want to be more present in?
Images via Maria Doka