With so much to do and all the thoughts that come up in one person’s day I wanted to share with you a practice that’s helped me stay grounded. It’s a practice of presence, one that involves trying to be fully present each day. It seems common sense enough, though in today’s day and age of digital connectivity constant busyness it isn’t always easy. Our schedules and how we think about the past or future can often make a difference in how we feel in the current moment.
Not only are we dealing with information overload, but sometimes it could be thinking about what a relative, co-worker, boss, friend or other person said or did that can make us think about these things. Or, we could be thinking about where we want to be in the future, fretting about how to create better circumstances for ourselves and our families. It can make us loose track of our present moment and what we can really appreciate in our lives and surroundings.
Instead of thinking about where we are and what we can do in the here and now, staying stuck in thoughts of the past or worries about the future can only serve to increase anxiety. That’s not to say we should never plan for the future or think about the past. Rather, it’s being able to think about them and not stay stuck doing so, in order to be able to quickly re-center ourselves, allowing us to appreciate the present.
There are several ways you can do this:
Notice yourself, where you are and breathe…next time you feel anxious or overwhelmed, put away any devices with screens (perhaps even leave your phone in a different room and/or silence unnecessary notifications) and take a moment to focus on your breath.
Download an app that monitors your screen time and try to spend less time on it. You might be surprised to know how many times you actually look at your screen or how many hours/minutes a day you spend on it. Knowing this can actually decrease that amount.
Notice your surroundings, if there are loved ones, whether a partner, child, friend or pet, give them your undivided attention and spend quality time with them. When you’re with yourself, take the time for self-care
Change your environment. Sometimes stepping outside or changing our environment can help us recenter ourselves.
Think about the positive things that are in your life now so that you can appreciate and focus on them.
Make time to meditate – even just a few minutes a day of sitting in stillness can allow you to become more present.
Reset– A New day is just that, for most things you can start each day anew, regardless of past arguments, discussions or thoughts. Consciously choosing to hit the refresh button when you start each day, means you’re more in control of how you feel.
There are so many things that require our attention. There will always be things to do. There will always be people or events that can either make us feel great or those that make us feel miserable. Being able to zone back into the present moment can be super helpful when life gets hectic. It allows us to realize what we have while also helping us take responsibility for our own happiness and contentment in the current moment.