The rise in technological innovations and shift towards a fast-paced culture has led to a decline in conscious living. Our approach in thinking about the ‘next’ has overcome our human ability to be present in the ‘now’. We often fixate over thoughts, future outcomes and reminisce over the past, allowing us to disconnect completely and drift away from present emotions, making us forget how to live in the moment. This neglect can often snowball into stress, unhappiness and prevent you from enjoying your life to the fullest.
What Does Being In The Present Mean?
Being in the present moment means that we are aware and mindful of what is happening at this very moment. We are not distracted by ruminations of the past or worries about the future but centered in the here and now. Studies have shown that being present in the moment helps improve our psychological well-being, personal relationships, and overall productivity.
How To Live In The Present Moment?
Prioritizing the present moment is the key to living a more fulfilling life. Here are 20 ways you can bring back control over your thoughts and introduce positive lifestyle changes to live a mindful life.
1. Going for Walks/Mindful Nature Walks
Mindful walking is like mindful breathing. To unlock the mindfulness potential of your walk, pay attention to each footstep. Also, notice the different motions of your arms, legs, and torso. When your mind wanders off, just bring your attention back to your walking.
2. Stop Mindless Scrolling
Social media blurs all relativity of time and one can find themselves scrolling through their day which could tamper their productivity. Mindless scrolling can be eliminated by setting boundaries. Social media addiction is real and placing reasonable time limits can help you detach and prioritize living in the present.
3. Setting a Time for Productivity
It’s crucial to carve out down time to slow down and breathe. Allowing yourself a fixed period can really help in eliminating other thoughts that can come in the way of your ability to be present. You can simply choose a task, set a timer, and allow yourself to be more focused and creative.
4. Catching Up with Your Hobbies/Picking Up New Ones
Taking part in a hobby, particularly during this stressful time, is a big part of self-care. Hobbies like cooking, gardening, colouring among others can not only help cope with anxiety but also lower your stress levels and reinforce positivity.
5. Mindful Meditation
Present moment meditation a power tool in allowing you to live in the present moment. As you meditate, you are guided to notice any sensations you feel in each part of your body, moving slowly through the body throughout the meditation.
6. Getting Regular Exercise
Physical activity daily helps build strong resilience and enhance the power of concentration. Being physically active can significantly improve your brain health to focus better and relieve the body from ailments that might obstruct your daily productivity.
Books not only help you gain knowledge but aid in improving your focus and memory. They aid in developing cognitive abilities that help you center your focus and work without distractions.
8. Control Your Urges
Watch your urge to check email or social media, to eat something sweet or fried, to drink alcohol, to watch TV, to be distracted or to procrastinate. Remember that these urges will come and go, and you don’t have to act on them.
9. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Having a gratitude practice has been scientifically shown to retrain your thoughts from going to the negative to shifting to the positive. Keeping a written gratitude journal allows you to build on this concept while forcing you to be in the thick of your own life. Moreover, putting pen to paper access a different area of your brain, so you’re infusing magic with your mindfulness.
10. Journaling Your Thoughts
Daily journaling helps you gain immense self-awareness and brings insights to reinforce positive changes to your daily routine. Journalling not only provides clarity, but it can also help elevate your senses to live without letting it pass you by.
11. Quality Family Time
Instead of multitasking on work emails when you’re with your family, give them your all. Walk the dogs together or have dinner without devices. Work to get in quality time with your family every day, even if it’s just a couple of hours.
12. Mindful Eating
There is room for mindfulness throughout your entire day, and this extends to mealtimes. Mindful eating is a technique that was created to help people with disordered eating improve their relationship with food. But we can all benefit from eating more mindfully. What this means is savouring every bite of food, chewing slowly, and focusing on the tastes and textures of each mouthful.
13. Sound Sleep
In today’s busy world, there’s less time to build recovery into your schedule. But sleeplessness can make us tired, weary, moody, less enthusiastic, and unfocused. If you stay in this state for too long, you’ll start to see negative effects on your career, relationships, health, and mood.
14. Start Your Morning with Awareness
Spend the first few waking moments in active presence. Practice loving awareness by noticing how you feel in your body – stretching your toes and fingers. Take several deep, slow breaths. Snuggle into your partner. You can think about the many ways you are loved and feel worthy and valuable. focus your thoughts on what’s working in your life.
We often think we control things, but that’s only an illusion. Our obsession with organization and goals are rooted in the illusion that we can control life. But life is uncontrollable, and just when we think we have things under control, something unexpected comes up to disrupt everything.
Too often we are stuck in our ways, and think we know how things should be, how people are. Instead, urge yourself to be curious. Find out. Experiment. Let go of what you think you know. Often curiosity or interest can lead us to mindful investigation and exploration, coming to fully know experience as it is.
17. Practicing Gratitude/Acts of Kindness
Gratitude towards life can change your outlook towards the present moment and help you appreciate the moment better. Taking a moment to notice the good everyday heightens your senses and helps relish experiences.
18. Be Present While Doing a Simple Task
We all manage dozens of household tasks in a day. Choose one task you accomplish regularly to be fully present. It could be showering in the morning, focusing on loving your body as you lather up. Maybe it’s washing the breakfast dishes. Perhaps you can transform a disliked chore – like folding clothes or unloading the dishwasher – into one steeped in gratitude and presence.
19. Listen to Music
Mindful listening is all about paying attention to the sounds you hear: the words, the instruments, the noises. By using music or audiobooks, it allows you to practice your mindful listening. This is a good option for people who want a creative, entertaining version of mindfulness.
Yoga is a great way to take a more active approach to mindfulness. This ancient exercise, rooted in spiritual traditions, encourages you to stay present while slowly moving your body into different poses. As you practice yoga, pay attention to the sensations in your body.
About the author:
Suhasini Jha is a Mumbai-based ex-journalist who has previously worked with Firstpost and Moneycontrol.