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Given the fast pace and hectic schedules most of us keep, a base level of anxiety, stress, and unhappiness is the new norm. You may not even realize it, but this tendency to get sucked into the past and the future can leave you perpetually worn out and feeling out of touch with yourself. Read on to find out! Before you read on, we thought you might like to download our 3 Mindfulness Exercises for free. These science-based, comprehensive exercises will not only help you cultivate a sense of presence and inner peace in your daily life but will also give you the tools to enhance the mindfulness of your clients, students or employees.
You can download the free PDF here. We are not distracted by ruminations on the past or worries about the future, but centered in the here and now. All of our attention is focused on the present moment Thum, It is the point between past and future. It is always there and it is the only point we can access in time. Everything that happens, happens in the present moment. Everything that ever happened and will ever happen can only happen in the present moment.
It is impossible for anything to exist outside of it. Being present minded is the key to staying healthy and happy. It helps you fight anxiety, cut down on your worrying and rumination, and keeps you grounded and connected to yourself and everything around you. Although it has become a popular topic in recent years, living in the present is not just a fad or trendy lifestyle tip, it is a way of life that is backed up by good science.
Being present and exerting our ability to be mindful not only makes us happier, it can also help us deal with pain more effectively, reduce our stress and decrease its impact on our health, and improve our ability to cope with negative emotions like fear and anger. Halliwell, Living in the now is so difficult because we are always encouraged to think about the future or dwell on our past. Advertisements, reminders, notifications, messages, and alerts are all so often geared towards the past or the future. It can be tough fighting these factors, but luckily we are not slaves to the tendencies of our brains Tlalka, It is possible to overcome our more destructive or harmful urges and make better choices.
Where would we be if we never planned for the future or prepared ourselves for what is to come?
One of the aims of mindfulness and a key factor in living a healthy life is to balance your thoughts of the past, the present, and the future. Thinking about any of them too much can have serious negative effects on our lives, but keeping the three in balance will help us to be happy and healthy people. Of course, following these guidelines is easier said than done, but it will get easier with practice! When we engage in mindfulness or present moment meditation, we are not ignoring or denying thoughts of the past or future, we are simply choosing not to dwell on them.
The important point is to not allow yourself to get swept up in thinking about the past or future. As Andy Puddicombe of Hepace states. You will probably not be surprised to hear that yoga is an excellent way to get connected to the present and stay in the moment. There are many reasons why yoga is helpful for mindfulness, but one of the biggest is certainly the focus on the breath. The breath is ALWAYS the here and now, it is the ultimate present moment… Our breath is our constant connection to the here and now, and our presence is rooted in its flow.
This simple exercise will bring you straight to the present, even dragging along a stubborn mind that is preoccupied with worries.
Another factor associated with yoga that allows us to boost our present moment awareness is the postures and poses that we make with our bodies. The transitions mimic the changes we experience as we go from working to resting to cooking to cleaning to sleeping and everything else in between. If you enjoy yoga and want to work on your present moment awareness, give this affirmation a try:. If the breathing exercise above sounds helpful, you might want to try some other exercises intended to boost your mindfulness and sense of present moment awareness.
These 5 exercises are some good ways to get started. This simple exercise is a great way to get yourself in a mindful mood and get in touch with your body. Doing this in the morning can also help you get your day off to a good start. While sitting or lying down on your bed just make sure not to fall asleep if you try this lying down! Notice the way your breath enters and exits your lungs.
Starting with your toes, focus your attention on one part of your body at a time. Pay attention to how that area is feeling and notice any sensations that you are experiencing Scott, n. After a few moments of focused attention, move up to the next part of your body i. This is not only a good method for putting you in a mindful state right off the bat, it can also help you notice when your body is feeling differently than normal. You can learn more about the mindful body scan and other exercises here.
Another good exercise that can help you set the right mindful tone for the day is to write in your journal. There is no wrong way to do Morning s—they are not high art. Visualizing your goals is an excellent method for not only making it more likely that you will follow through on your goals, it can also help you become more mindful on a regular basis.
When you have set your daily goals see 15 — Define Three Daily Goals on this list if you need help with this piecetake a few moments to visualize each one Scott, n. See yourself undertaking each goal and completing each goal today. Get as much detail as you can in your visualization, so it feels real and within your reach. When you can see yourself checking that daily goal off your list, move on to the next goal and repeat until you have visualized all of your daily goals.
Practicing visualization of goal completion can not only help you improve your focus and mindfulness, it can also lower your stress, improve your performance, enhance your preparedness, and give you the extra energy or motivation you might need to accomplish everything on your list. Taking advantage of the natural beauty around us is another good way to cultivate greater mindfulness.
Be intentional with your awareness; notice your feet hitting the ground with each step, see everything there is to see around you, open your ears to all the sounds surrounding you, feel each inhale and exhale, and just generally be aware of what is happening in each moment. Add these benefits to the known benefits of walking regularly—lowered stress, better heart health, and improved mood—and you have one handy exercise! It can be easy to get tired and worn out by the end of the day and let things slip.
To help you keep that mindful tone at the end of the day, try this exercise. Think back to the start of the day and remember your mindfulness exercise that kicked it all off. Think about how it made you feel. Think through the rest of your day, being sure to note any particularly mindful moments or memorable events.
Take stock of your mood as you moved through your daily routine. One of the best tools to keep yourself in the present moment is meditation. Any meditation will do, but there are some meditation practices geared specifically towards present moment awareness. Although mindfulness meditation is a pretty broad catch-all term for the types of techniques that help you be more mindful and more committed to the present moment, there are some specific kinds of mindful meditations that you can try.
Present moment psychotherapy is like any other type of therapy, but it adds a twist with its focus on present moment awareness. You may find this focus on being present and mindful to be a powerful complement to traditional, evidence-based methods of treatment. To get a quick, comprehensive explanation of living in the present, learn about why living in the present is so good for you, or get some guidance on being present and mindful, give these YouTube videos a try:.
You can also check out our comprehensive list of the top 50 mindfulness books. For a great list of quotes on living in the present moment, check out this piece from Habits for Wellbeing. Their 20 quotes include:. Life is available only in the present moment. If you abandon the present moment you cannot live the moments of your daily life deeply. The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.
Unease, anxiety, tension, 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. The message, therefore, is clear. Do it! Develop an appreciation for the present moment.
Seize every second of your life and savor it. Value your present moments. When you are here and now, sitting totally, not jumping ahead, the miracle has happened. To be in the moment is the miracle. The only time we suffer is when we believe a thought that argues with what is. The only time you ever have in which to learn anything or see anything or feel anything, or express any feeling or emotion, or respond to an event, or grow, or heal, is this moment, because this is the only moment any of us ever gets. Remember then: there is only one time that is important—now!
It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power.
Stop acting as if life is a rehearsal. Live this day as if it were your last. The past is over and gone. The future is not guaranteed. The meeting of two eternities, the past and the future… is precisely the present moment. The more I give myself permission to live in the moment and enjoy it without feeling guilty or judgmental about any other time, the better I feel about the quality of my work.
You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land, there is no other life but this. What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind. Living in the present moment means letting go of the past and not waiting for the future. It means living your life consciously, aware that each moment you breathe is a gift.
The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness. When you have an intense contact of love with nature or another human being, like a spark, then you understand that there is no time and that everything is eternal. I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.
Simply stop a few times a day and take a mindful moment. What are your thoughts on living in the present? Do you have any tips or tricks to share? What do you find are the most impactful benefits of living in the present? Let us know in the comments.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article. How useful was this article to you? Not useful at all Very useful 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Submit Share this article:. Courtney AckermanMA, is a graduate of the positive organizational psychology and evaluation program at Claremont Graduate University. She is currently working as a researcher for the State of California and her professional interests include survey research, wellbeing in the workplace, and compassion. Thank you for this. I was having a hard time focusing on the present, I was having worries and anxiety about the future but this article helped me a lot and I will start doing these things in my daily life.
A really engaging article and for me one of the most helpful I have ever read. So far I have lived a life constantly planning 2 weeks to a year out. I took my first steps today, tried some of the exercises and I feel beautifully calm and grounded.
Is this possible so soon? Thank you so much for showing me a path to follow. So glad you enjoyed the article and congratulations on taking the first steps toward living more mindfully. It is quite possible to glimpse the benefits of some of these exercises quickly. To me, living in the present is so difficult because my mind is addicted to distraction.
Before you know it, all these things end up colliding and, when you actually do manage to be at peace in stillness, you realize how crazy all this really is. Living in the moment…. This is not easy, we forget ourselves, we fall asleep to ourselves, by this I mean, we are distracted by external forces all the time, which keeps us from the aim of being present in the moment.
You will see you forgot to remember yourself doing this exercise.
You barely got ten yards and you fell asleep to yourself. One must first distinguishes between two types of sleep.What you need at the moment
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10 Tips to Start Living in the Present Moment