How to Be Present in the Moment
Do you ever feel as though time is flying by without your control? We all do as we grow older. But have you ever stopped to ask, why? When you think back to when you were a child, your thoughts weren’t so busy and constant. As a child, you focused only on the moment – where you are, what you’re doing, and how you feel. But as we develop into adults, worry and stress begin to shift our mindset towards the future, removing us from the present moment. With some practice and effort, you can cultivate mindfulness that can allow you to lead a happier, more engaged, and more fulfilling life.
Read on to learn some guiding ways to help you become more present in the moment.
Focus on Doing One Thing at a Time
Multi-tasking has become such a necessary skillset in today’s world, but it can also be a crutch.
No one is as good at multi-tasking as we may think. When you juggle multiple things at once, you’re not able to fully dedicate your effort and focus to one thing. Humans aren’t good at multi-tasking our thoughts or feelings, either. In juggling many tasks and many thoughts at once, we lose sight of the present.
Try to narrow down your focus by single-tasking and taking one thing on at a time. If you’re eating, then focus on eating. Engage all your senses and process the experience. If you’re soaking in the tub, focus on that the sensations, warmth, and relaxation – don’t let your mind be occupied by the stress of the day or anxiety about tomorrow’s to-do list.
Make Time to Do Nothing
How often do you give yourself time to just regroup and focus on doing nothing? In Italy, they take pride in mastering the art of “dolce far niente” with means the “sweetness of doing nothing.” Giving your body and mind windows of reprieve throughout the day from the constant motions of life is one of the best ways to quiet your thoughts, focus on your breathing, and become present.
Stop Worrying about the Future
As adults, this is something that so many of us are guilty of – after all, it’s much easier said than done. But like anything, altering your mindset to stop worrying about the future takes time and practice. When you start to become aware of your thoughts, you can recognize your thoughts, which means you can begin to change them by focusing on something else, such as the delicious scoop of ice cream that you’re about to indulge in. And as journalist Mary Schmich states, “Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.”
Find Meditation in Cooking and Cleaning
It’s no secret that meditation is one of the best ways to help settle and focus your mind. But for some people, it’s just not for them. But you can easily find those same meditative properties throughout your daily activities. For example, cooking and cleaning are great ways to practice mindfulness each and every day. By simply concentrating on your chores or preparing your meals, it can provide you with those quiet moments you need to help settle and clear your thoughts and worries.
Being in the present moment came so naturally to us as children. But as life becomes hectic and loud, our thoughts can begin to drown out our simple pleasures of enjoying so many little moments in life. If you’re feeling weighed down by stress and worries, try to incorporate these steps to help focus your thoughts so that you can relearn how to be mindful about enjoying the here and now.