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How to Be Truly Present.

PostedOctober 19, 2017

Be truly present

Have you ever been at work while stressing about the kids at the same time? Or, maybe, guilty of sneaking in a little work while spending time with the kids? Ahh … thought so!

We are all so caught up in the treadmill of life; raising kids, maintaining a home, friendships, and a career, that we tend to lose our balance. We need to work so hard to reach the next pay check, the next vacation or, (for many of us this time of year) just to get through the week! Isn’t it funny how we allow our minds to live in a different time (past, present, future)? Physically we’re always in the now, but mentally … well, we can be just about anywhere.

How much time do you spend indulging in the past or worrying about the future every day? Being present and more conscious of life may seem contradictory to those of us who are (sadly) used to sacrificing living in pursuit of goals, but in fact, cultivating mindfulness will help you to achieve your goals. Yep, it’s a science-backed benefit; you’re more productive when you’re mindful! But, more importantly, being present is undoubtedly the only way to enjoy life to the fullest.

Mindfulness has gone from a niche practice to something embraced by tens – if not hundreds – of millions of people. It is showing up in the boardroom, the classroom, and at home. Living in the moment means you get to appreciate life more; you’re not dwelling on past mistakes or worrying about what might happen in the future.

Obviously, no-one can live worry-free, but what you can do is dial down a prolonged fight-or-flight impulse by flexing your parasympathetic nervous system, a.k.a. your relaxation response, via – yup, you’ve guessed it – mindfulness. Being truly present could beef up the areas that control emotions and stress responses. Mindfulness can mean the difference between freaking out or keeping your cool when you get unfair criticism from your boss!

So, how can you fit mindfulness into your already busy life? We have a few simple strategies:

Become self-aware. Acknowledge the beauty of life and be grateful for where you are and what you have right now.

Feed the five senses. What do you smell? Hear? Taste? Feel? See? Our senses are the best tools to bring us back to the now.

Take “time out.” Spend 5 minutes sitting in silence every day. Just be. Make it a priority.

Pay attention to your thoughts. Realize that they are just that: They aren’t necessarily facts. Direct your thoughts away from the past and the future, focus on the present.

No, seriously, pay attention to it. Inhale, exhale and SLOW-IT-DOWN.

Do one thing at a time. Zen proverb: “When walking, walk. When eating, eat.” Don’t try to knock off a few tasks while you’re walking or eating.

Do less. But you’re busy and possibly can’t do less, right? You can. It’s a matter of figuring out what’s important and letting go of the rest. Say “NO” more, free your life from being over-committed.

Remember, if you’re still thinking of what you did yesterday, and constantly worrying about what you have to do tomorrow, you haven’t done much today.

So, pay attention to the glorious, messy, sometimes chaotic, but always real life right in front of you. Live now!



DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.