Life and daily responsibilities can be very overwhelming at times. There always seems to be so much to do and not enough hours in the day. We often are always focused on what’s next. It’s important to take time to be present and be fully aware of the moment. This helps us to self-reflect and be grateful for the things we have in our life instead of worrying about tomorrow.
Being present allows us to fully enjoy and appreciate now. Here are some ways to nurture being more present in your daily life.
1. Limit Distractions
It’s hard to be fully present when our minds are somewhere else. In today’s world, there are so many things that can distract us from what it is we are currently doing. Limit distractions in your day to be fully present in the moment. Learn to say no to things. We often take on more than we can handle or we are always multi-tasking, but this doesn’t allow us to be present.
Take time to focus on one task at a time and then move on to the next. Try putting your phone on silent to not get easily distracted by calls and messages.
2. Digital Detox
We live in a world fueled by technology. We are constantly on our phones. Many of us feel we may not be able to survive without them. However, there was a time for many of us we didn’t rely on them. We are often in a beautiful setting or with our loved ones, yet we are on our phones, never really living in the present moment.
Take some time each day to break away from your phone and computer and be fully present with who you’re with and what you’re doing.
Practicing mindful meditation will allow you to clear your mind, be aware of your thoughts, and engage in the present moment. When you meditate, you focus on your body or the sounds you hear. Allow thoughts to come into your mind without judgment and redirect them.
It can help to focus on your breathing during your practice. Adding meditation into your daily routine will relieve stress and leave you feeling more at peace.
4. Active Listening
So often when we are engaged in conversation, we aren’t actually listening. We listen with the intention to respond. Therefore we are only half listening, while half of us is actually thinking about what it is we will say next, and how we can engage in the conversation.
To be more present, practice active listening in your conversations by really listening with interest to understand what it is they are sharing.
5. Create Rituals
Most of us have little rituals we do each day. To be fully present, relish in your daily ritual. Do it with intention and with purpose. This could be as simple as lighting incense or a candle. Maybe it’s making a cup of tea or having a morning walk. Whatever your ritual is do it slowly and enjoy the moment.
6. Get into Nature
Taking time to be outside and connect with nature will help you to be more present and mindful. Use all your senses to take in the moment. Watch the wind blow through the trees, smell a flower, listen to birds chirp, or feel the grass between your toes. You don’t even have to leave your yard. Hang a bird feeder and attract wild birds to your yard. They’ll be singing away in no time ready to help you get present.
7. Deep Breathing
Breathing is necessary for life. It is something we do every day without even thinking about it. Practicing deep breathing can help you be more present and refocus and reset your mind, especially in times of stress. An easy deep breathing exercise that will help to relax your body and mind is the 4:7:8 technique.
◦ Exhale completely
◦ Inhale through your nose to a mental count of 4
◦ Hold your breath for a mental count of 7
◦ Exhale through your mouth to a mental count of 8
◦ Repeat the cycle 3 times or as many times as you need
8. Daily Reflections
Take some time each evening to reflect on your day. Journaling is a great way to self-reflect, express yourself, and analyze your thoughts and feelings. You can write as much as you’d like or keep it brief. The rose, thorn, bud strategy is an easy, yet effective way to reflect on the good, the bad, and your future. You can do it alone or with loved ones.
◦ Rose – A highlight or the best part of your day. Something that made you happy.
◦ Thorn – A challenge that you experienced, something you struggled with, or that you didn’t enjoy.
◦ Bud – New ideas that you have or something that you are looking forward to in the future.
9. Daily Intentions
While it is great to reflect on your day, it’s also constructive to set intentions. Starting your day with an intention is about how you want to approach your day, who you want to be, and how you want to interact in your world. Creating an intention sets a positive tone and allows you to be present and mindful with your behavior and personal daily goals. The intention can be as simple as, “I intend to find the beauty in everything today.”
Cultivating habits in your routine to stay present will allow your mind to be more at peace and help you appreciate all the beautiful things in your life. Practicing mindfulness and the art of being present can reduce symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression.
If you are experiencing any kind of emotional distress being more present may help. It may also be beneficial to speak to a therapist. MyTherapist is an online counseling service that can match you with a licensed professional that best suits your needs. They can provide you with tools and strategies to help you overcome any problems you may have so you can continue to be the best version of you.