Living in the present moment is something that is almost foreign for the vast majority of us. Being present simply means that your awareness is focused on now, consciously being aware of the present moment occurs only when the mind is not constantly being active. That is, we often worry far too much about the past and worry even more about the future. The past has already happened, there is nothing that we can do to change the past and the future hasn’t come yet – so why waste your time and energy worrying about things that are completely out of your grasp? Our mind has a unique ability to think, and sometimes this incessant thinking leads to worrying and worrying in turn turns into negative emotions, which then infiltrates every cell of our being. Our minds tend to jump from one thought to another and continue doing so until we consciously make an effort to stop thinking. Being present is being able to center your awareness to the now. Being present allows your mind to be quiet yet alert and allows you to be completely ingrained in anything or anyone you are present with. We only have the time we are given, and the only time that we have is the time we have now, in the present moment.
Why be present?
Being in the present moment has huge benefits for the mind and the body. Being present reduces stress. Stress is often created from incessant thinking or worrying about what is completely out of your hands. Sometimes our thoughts are incredibly overwhelming – constantly thinking about what you have to get done at work the following day or what we are having for dinner tonight or even perhaps worrying about what people are going to think of you when you quit your job, whatever it may be, this all results in a physical response most commonly as stress.
Being present has its benefits, those of which are listed below:
1.Worrying less and stops your mind from over thinking
If you like many others find yourself incessantly thinking about things and over analysing almost every situation in your life, you find yourself going around in circles chasing your own tail, then practicing being in the present moment will help you quiet your mind. Quietening your mind allows you to recover that spent energy you have used to over think yourself to stress and illness.
2. Releasing stress Stress is so inherently part of our lives now, and being stressed is almost the norm in a lot of people’s lives. It does not need to be this way stress can be managed with incorporating some mindfulness breathing. It’s quite a simple and effective thing to do. By breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth and focusing on your breath – concentrate on how the air is brought in through your nose and out through our mouth, notice all the subtleties with mindful breathing – also notice the rise and fall of your chest or belly. I like to do this when things are feeling a little overwhelming or when I am feeling stressed. Take a few of these deep breathes and before you know it you will be in the present moment.
3. A playful outlook
Being in the present moment creates a joyous persona and in creating a happier person a more playful outlook comes into play. Being happier impacts your moods and often you take things less seriously. Being happier around people has a great contagious effect, people will feel happier around happy people.
4. Improved mental and physical health
Since you are releasing stress from your life there is a follow on affect with mental and physical health. Being in the present lowers your blood pressure and creates a sharper more focused mind. Meditation in general promotes a deeper and more regenerative sleep.
5. Makes you more comfortable in your own skin
Being in the present allows you to be content with what you have and accept who and what you are. It also gives you the confidence to challenge yourself and to be more comfortable with interacting with the people around you.
How to slip into the present moment
There are three sure fire ways to slip into the present moment these are:
1. Mindfulness meditation
Being present can be both practiced through meditation and can be done at random intervals when needed. To see rapid effects of being present incorporate both mindfulness meditation and practice being in the present whenever you can, if you are new to meditation check out this meditation for beginners guide.
2. Focus on your breath
When you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed an easy way to slip into the present moment is to focus on your breath. Focus on your inward breath and notice how you draw air down into your lungs and also notice how your belly or chest rises and falls with every inward and outward breath. This automatically puts you in a state of presence.
3. Become aware of everything around you
Be present to everything and everyone around you become aware that there is a complexity of things that surround you at any given time. Look at an object and see it for what it is, feel how the wind is blowing through trees, or how the sun’s rays is gently warming your skin, or perhaps how the rain feels when it drops on your head – these are all practices of being in the present moment. When you notice yourself thinking too much or worrying bring your awareness to the present moment and focus on your breath. If you are looking to sustain a mindful and present outlook on life try mindfulness meditation. We hardly ever take the time to notice how truly mind blowing the world really is. Look at the world as a new born child would, with wonderment and amazement – make every moment count and remain in the present.
I hope this post has helped you – being present and meditation has helped me greatly in my life, I hope it helps you too. If you like this article please retweet it on Twitter or like it on Facebook =)
Photo Credit: Caleb Roenigk