Unease, tension, anxiety, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness and all forms of non-forgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.
– Eckhart Tolle
Staying in the present moment, is the most difficult thing to do in this day and age. We are bombarded with distractions from every angle and expected to be perfect in every way and be always striving to be better, do better and live more fully. Yet, when we’re always striving for the next best thing, focusing on what’s next on the hustle and grind train, we can find ourselves struggling to actually enjoy our lives and live in the moment.
With stress and anxiety on the rise, we must find new ways to handle this to be able to stay present, build stronger connections and live and love more fully. Living in the moment effects our happiness, balance and performance, it helps to calm the mind,and reduce the effects of stress on the body.
So how do we stay more present and live in the moment?
- Set an intention
Commit to being present and staying in the moment for the moments in life you want to enjoy. It’s easier said than done that’s for sure. Yet when you decide ahead of time you are more likely to be able to commit, rather than reacting in the moment and relying on willpower to save you. Practive fully engaging in conversation, practice effective listening and fully open your eyes to allow the mind to take in everything around you. Take a deep breath and be open.
- Eliminate distractions
Phones, Tv, devices, noise, Notifications, anything that pulls you away from the present moment. Turn it off, put it away and decide that you want to fully engage in the activity, the connection or the experience.
Learn to quiet the little voice inside telling you everything you should be doing, thinking about and focusing on. Stop thinking about the future and the past and bring yourself back to now. In the present moment, there is no thought of what might happen tomorrow during that meeting or yesterday and how your partner was upset with you. When you are truly in the moment, life stands still and you cannot deny that life is good. You have air in your lungs, a roof over your head food in the fridge and running water to drink.
- Create space and opportunities to enjoy life
The more experiences you create in your life that you want to fully engage in, the more likely you are going to want to be in the moment. When we surround ourselves with activities, and behaviours that numb us to life then getting distracted is just a matter of time. If you are finding yourself disengaging from life, it might be worth asking yourself why? What is it about this part of your life that you are so unhappy with that you want to distract yourself?
If you are craving connection and joy in your life, schedule in activities and experiences that will bring you joy, excitement, laughter and happiness. But remind yourself to fully engage. Teach your brain that these are the experiences that will bring more positive emotion and help boost serotonin(the mood boosting hormone) & give you a rush of endorphins (the feel good hormone).
- Transition Better
Daily we undertake dozens of different roles and tasks. Dr Adam’s research and the research he partnered with Deakin University on showed that what we do in this transitional gap (The Third Space) has a huge impact on our happiness, performance and balance. The research also showed that all too often we carry the mindset and emotional state from one activity to the next – leading to negative and occasionally disastrous consequences.
Read the book – The Third Space by Dr Adam Fraser
Allow some time to transition from one activity/environment to the next.
If you want to be a better boss, employee, father, mother, friend or colleague, mentally prepare yourself to show up as the best version of yourself with the best intentions.
Take a moment between each activity or role that you have, to debrief, set an intention and decide how you want to show up for your next life experience.
- Practice gratitude in the moment
Being in the moment and really feeling into the emotion of gratitude allows us to really experience life fully in that present moment. Connecting with those around us, allowing all elements into our spectrum and really experiencing everything this world has to offer.
How can I be more present? How can I connect or engage more?
How can I live more fully? How can I love more fully?
Life is available only in the present moment. If you abandon the present moment you cannot live the moments of your daily life deeply. – Thich Nhat Hanh