The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of happiness and overall wellness. Yes, you can choose happiness and learn to practice happiness-boosting habits.
Remember that day where you didn’t have a single thought or your mind wasn’t distracted by messages, phone calls, a television screen? Neither do I!
A wandering mind is less happy than a mind focused on what it is doing and for most of us, our minds wander about half of the time we spend awake. Many of us over-think or experience anxiety, which limits the quality of our personal and professional lives.
Being in the present means to be aware of what you are doing in the present moment, with full focus on every little thing you do, with your mind and body are aligned and connected. For example, don’t think about that phone call you need to make while your child is telling you about something that happened at school. Don’t eat at your desk. Don’t plan for your weekend get-away while you’re working. When you drink a cup of tea, focus on its smell, taste, and feel. Always be fully present and let your mind focus 100% on what it is you’re doing.
This grants the benefit of using all of you, and 100 percent of your capabilities, to do what you need to do to move forward – and we only move forward in the present.
How can we learn to be present?
Try these 5 simple yet powerful practices:
There are many deep breathing techniques easily found and explained online, that help you focus on the present moment and can be performed anywhere, even in the midst of chaos. You can always place your attention on breathing in and out and use it as an anchor. As you focus on your breath, living in the “now” will feel pure and peaceful. This practice is not meant as a prescription for tuning out the world but for tuning in to your inner world with open awareness.
Practice meditation, not because you should, but because It actually helps you achieve your goals in life. Without gentle training, your mind is likely to run on auto-pilot mode and most likely your life won’t turn out as you wish for.
Keeping a thought journal will help you become aware of what goes through your mind and to evaluate your thought process. Are you thinking too much? Are you thinking repeatedly, negatively, pro-actively? Are you constantly distracted? As long as you’re not aware, you can’t improve your thinking and change anything.
Observe and acknowledge your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. Separate yourself from your thoughts – the only time your thoughts become harmful is when you start identifying with them.
One technique that helped me to steer my thoughts in the right direction and to become a positive thinker, is to ask myself this question: “How I can I change this into something that helps me instead of holds me back?” This question really allowed me to constantly redirect and re-shape my thoughts, thus becoming more positive, grateful, and happier as a result.
Learning to pay attention to the details of the current moment will take your mind off the past and off the future and bring you into the NOW for greater happiness and well-being. Take charge of your present right now!
Keep choosing happiness and happiness will keep choosing you back!
To your happiness!