Did you ever find yourself overwhelmed with your endless to-do-list, worrying about the future, or fixated on someone else, and all you want to do is feel present and in the moment? We’ve all been there. Our mind can often distract us with feelings of overwhelm, non-stop thinking and keep us on top of everything else but the present moment. When we get down to it, anxiety is just a form of fear and we have full control over ridding this fear - it’s called #mindfulness - and there is great power behind examining your state of mind.
Mindfulness, and the act of living more mindfully, are definitely having a moment right now. If you search the phrase #mindfulness on Instagram, you’ll come across over 4.4 million photos of motivational quotes, serene nature shots, etc. While we know trendy does not always equal worthwhile, in this instance, it definitely is. Since we understand the broad concept of mindfulness, let’s dive deeper into how we can practice it. Here are some healthy tactics to quiet those voices, stop sweating the small stuff and live a more mindful and present life.
- Stop, breathe and connect. Whenever you’re not feeling present, stop and put the moment on pause. Feel your breath. Breathing through the nose has been proven to calm the nervous system and get you out of the fight-or-flight and actually change your body chemistry. Try and see your inhale and exhale happening inside the chest, and then feel the breath moving inside the body — going up and down and in and out. Once you have tapped into your breathing, become aware of the space around you. Feel the feet on the earth. Breathe the air that surrounds you, and feel it flow within the body and connect to the surroundings of your body. That is a first step for becoming more present. Now, you’re actually in your body!
- Share yourself with the moment. You can come into the moment by simply setting an intention. By giving yourself a minute to connect to the power of your intentions and desires, you immediately pull the reins of your ego (mind) and get into the moment that is both with you and intended for you. #positivevibes
- Find gratitude. Get in touch with your ‘tude. Feeling grateful for something in the moment is an incredible way to stay or become present. Tap into your senses and take the time to become aware of your all of your surroundings. Look at everything what's around you and find something, even if it seems or feels mundane, to be grateful for — even that cup of coffee, rose bush or parking spot. Having a sense of gratitude can immediately help you recognize and acknowledge the current moment that is right before your eyes!
- Establish a daily practice. Begin a daily practice that will establish a sense of calm and quiet in your mind - meditation, yoga, gardening, etc. Use this time to sit with yourself, breathe and intentionally bring yourself into the present moment. It’s very easy to get caught up or forget what is right in front of you, but no matter what you do, keep the end goal in mind: to quiet your mind, listen to your intuition, and remain present in your chosen action.
- Shift your mindset. Be mindful of your mind and stop focusing on what’s next. When you do not live in the present moment, you jip yourself of enjoying the “now,” and can find yourself thinking about something you want to have happen, a person you are fixated on or a desire to control an outcome in some way. The minute you acknowledge your desire to control a situation, you can make the impactful shift to let go of the idea or need to be in control. You - and only you - can give yourself this permission. It is incredible presence to let moments happen without needing to control or predict them. The magic of your life exists in the space where you let go and allow something greater to come through and support the present moment!
- Emotional Freedom Technique. If your mind is on overload and you can’t quite move or shift out any of those overwhelming or anxious feelings, try Emotional Freedom Technique (also known as tapping). It helps to very quickly shift the mindset and move energy around in the body.
There’s nothing wrong with having an active mind and wanting to do and be your absolute best. The trick is to give yourself a few extra moments each day to ensure you’re enjoying your life and the present moment. Remember you're not just alive, you're living.