It’s easy to get lost in the past or worry about the future.
But what if you could be in the present moment?
Would that change how you live your life? Would it help you be happier?
Would it help you be more productive?
In this article, I share how to be in the present moment in 9 ways, so you can have more control in life and live with more freedom and joy.
Let’s dive in.
9 Things You Can Do to Get More Present
1. Take Deep Breaths
Deep breathing is an effective way to bring your attention to the present moment.
It can also help you get a better handle on your emotions and calm down before you have a panic attack.
If you find this happening, you can try some breathing techniques for anxiety, which will calm down your nerve and help you get present at the same time.
2. Practice Self-Acceptance
We can often get lost in thought or allow our emotions to take over because we are rejecting or denying our reality.
This is why self-acceptance is so important.
Just accepting the way things are can bring us into the present moment and help us think more clearly.
If we keep on pushing our emotions down or denying the situation we’re in, then it’s impossible to move forward.
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To be able to let go of the things we don’t like, we first need to accept them.
Try some self acceptance exercises everyday and you’ll notice yourself being more present naturally.
3. Focus on Your Body
The body and the subconscious mind are connected in a profound way, and it’s usually our subconscious that takes us away from the present moment.
So when you focus on your body, you get more grounded and stop your subconscious mind from wondering.
It doesn’t matter which part of the body you focus on either.
Try putting your awareness on your hands or soles of your feet, take a deep breathe and feel the sensations in your body.
This is an effective way of getting really present and melting away the stresses of the day.
4. Try a Guided Meditation
Guided meditations will guide you into the present moment, which can often feel easier than doing it yourself
They might guide you in different ways, some of which can reflect some of the other tips in this article.
For instance, a guided meditation for acceptance will help you get present by letting go of what you might be resisting.
You can also try this meditation, specifically designed to create the habit of being more present.
5. Do Something Fun
Do you often put off having fun and enjoying yourself? Do you find yourself feeling guilty for relaxing?
We feel like we are always running from one thing to another and that we have no time for ourselves.
However, it is the simple things in life that make us happiest, and having a few moments of peace and quiet is something that will benefit us greatly.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and unable to find time to just relax, try doing something fun.
It doesn’t have to be an entire weekend away or a big night out with friends.
It can be a simple as watching a funny clip on YouTube, listening to your favorite song, or learning how to juggle.
Think back to when you were a kid. What were some of the things you loved to do that made you laugh?
Try thinking of things that are different to your usual daily activities, like watching Netflix or going on social media.
These habitual activities can make us more unconscious and take us further away from being present.
6. Go for a Walk in Nature
Walking in nature has a ton of benefits for our wellbeing, including burning body fat, elevating mood, and improving mental alertness.
It also gets you very present because you’re focusing on your physical environment.
Also, this study found that eye movements can deactivate the amygdada, which is the part of the brain that puts us into fight or flight.
Therapy such as EMDR, where patients move their eyes from left to right while recounting negative past events, then shift their focus into a more positive feeling, can heal their relationship with the past event.
This short video with Dr. Andrew Huberman explains further:
It turns out that walking in nature can have similar effects to such therapies due to the movement of the eyes.
7. Do Something Scary
I’m not talking about jumping out of a plane here. Doing something scary doesn’t need to go to that extreme.
Eleanor Roosevelt said: “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
Scary in this context means moving out of your comfort zone and going through this process can promote hyper awareness.
This hyper awareness, although may feel uncomfortable, brings you closer to the present moment and potentially uncover some profound insights about yourself.
What have you been putting off for a long time that scares you? Maybe it’s time to stop making excuses!
Mine has always been starting a business and putting myself out there. It took me years to start a YouTube channel because I was affrain of being judged.
Now that I have done it, it is so much easier.
Fear is an indicator. Sometimes it shows you what you shouldn’t do. More often than not it shows you exactly what you should do. And the best results that I’ve had in life, the most enjoyable times, have all been from asking a simple question: What’s the worst that can happen?Tim Ferriss
8. Focus on Your Senses
Like focusing on a body part, your five senses bring you into the present moment and helps stop negative thoughts.
It’s a common habit to dwell on past events or worry what the future might hold.
But nothing happens in the past of present, only in the now.
Activating your senses connects you to your body and grounds your attention to the now.
Try this now:
- Touch something close to you, like an object or surface.
- Pick something up and analyize it with your eyes.
- Smell the room you’re in or go outside and smell the fresh air.
- What can you hear in your environment? Cars, birds, the trees rustling in the wind?
- Now go eat something you enjoy and really highten your tastebuds by tasting every mouthful.
You can develop so much presence when activating all your senses.
Exercise isn’t just about getting into shape. It help you relax and make your mind clearer.
In addition, you have to get really present when you exercise.
Like some of the other tips on this page on how to be in the present moment, exercising gets you to focus on the body.
And you can’t be aware of the body without being totally present.
What if you don’t like exercise?
Well, you could try strentching instead, which will have the same effect on bringing you into the here and now.
Conclusion: How to Be in the Present Moment?
That concludes my post on how to be in the present moment. I hope you found it helpful.
In summary, when you are living in the present moment, you are fully engaged in the here and now.
There’s no past, no future, and no worries about what happened or what’s going to happen.
Instead, you are fully in the moment and fully present. When you are fully in the moment, you are more likely to make better decisions and be more creative.
You are also more likely to be happier. And when you are happy, you are more likely to be successful.