“Wherever you are – be all there.”
– Jim Elliot
Being fully present at any given moment is extremely hard for most people. With all that we have going on in our lives (school, work, families, social lives, etc.), we tend to always have something else on our mind no matter where we are or what we’re doing. This, combined with everyday distractions, makes it really difficult to be mindful and fully present. However, being present is such a vital part of living a fulfilling lifestyle, and the only way to get better at it is by practicing every day! In today’s blog post, I’m sharing some tips on how you can practice being present on a daily basis.
– Start your day out right –
I don’t know about you, but for me, the way I start out my morning will affect the rest of my day. If I wake up with a million things on my mind that need to be done that day, chances are I will be freaking out and super anxious all day long. On the flip side, if I wake up and take some extra time to relax and have a good breakfast, I will likely have a relaxed and calm day. It seems like something so trivial, but you’d be surprised at how easily your morning routine can affect your mood for the rest of the day, and how that in turn will affect your ability to be mindful and present. My advice? Wake up 20 minutes earlier than you normally do each morning, and spend that time to take care of yourself before the daily rush begins.
– Live in the moment –
Easier said than done right? One of the hardest things is to truly live in the moment. It happens all the time – something really special is happening right in front of you, and what’s the first thing you do? Rather than just focussing on what’s going on, you reach for your phone and your focus shifts to getting the right picture for Instagram or a good video for Snapchat. Sure you have a picture to prove you were there, but you didn’t get to enjoy it or feel the moment. Or how about when you go on a first date with a guy you’re really interested in? Rather than really enjoying the moment, you find yourself worrying about whether he likes you back, or whether he’ll want a second date. This sort of thing happens way too often, and our lives tend to fly by before we realize it. It’s so important to try to focus on what’s happening right in front of you and live in the moment rather than worrying about how quickly it will go by and wondering what will happen next.
– Get rid of the distractions –
Distractions! They’re all around us, and rather than shutting them out, we welcome them with open arms. How many times have you been in the middle of a family dinner, yet you’re constantly interrupted by the constant buzzing of your text messages or social media alerts on your phone? We all do it! And although we enjoy keeping up with everyone else’s lives, it takes away from our own lives because it distracts us from being fully present. A great way to practice being present is to eliminate the distractions, whether that means turning your phone on silent (or completely off for those of you brave enough) or walking away from a physical distraction that is taking your attention away from what you should be focussed on. Once the distractions are gone, it makes it a ton easier to fully live in the moment.
– Be aware of what’s around you –
How often do you go from point A to point B, and yet you don’t remember anything from along the way because you were too consumed by something else? It happens to me all the time! A great way to combat this and practice being present is to really be aware of what’s around you. For example, go for a walk and actually stop to smell the roses (or at least notice them!). Take the time to really notice what’s happening around you and you’ll find that it gets easier to be present in a specific moment.
– Do one thing at a time –
Most of us are at a stage in life where we are always on the go, and because of that we find ourselves trying to juggle multiple tasks at the same time. For example, instead of just enjoying a Netflix movie night with my husband, I tend to take that time to also reply to emails or catch up on my social media responses. However, trying to multitask really takes away from our ability to be present in the moment. So how do we change that? Do one thing at a time! Immerse yourself in whatever one task you are doing at a given moment, and move on to the next thing at a later time.
– Space out your tasks –
As we just talked about above, it’s so important to focus on one thing at a time rather than trying to multitask and get everything done at the same time. But if we’re just speeding through one task so that we can move right along to the next one, then we aren’t really practising being present. In order to really be present, it’s critical to not only do one thing at a time, but also to space out your tasks so that you can take your time and be fully present for whatever it is you may be doing in that moment.
– Be patient –
Because we tend to always be on the go, we expect the rest of the world to be on the go with us. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way and we end up getting frustrated at having to wait and that frustration ends up ruining our mood and takes away from whatever we’re doing. My advice to practice being present is to also practice being patient. When you can be patient at the things you have no control over, it allows for you to be fully present and enjoy the moment more.
There we have it – my tips on how to practice being present on a daily basis. If we practice these tips everyday, eventually it will become effortless to be fully present in whatever it may be that we are doing. That in turn will make experiences more fulfilling and more memorable, leading to a happier you!
Let me know your tips for being mindful and practicing being present down below.