Being more present is all about focusing on the NOW, this instant right here right now. As well as being fully engaged in the current situation. This can involve paying attention to your thoughts and feelings, as well as the sights, sounds, and sensations around you. It can also mean being fully present in your interactions with others, listening actively and responding thoughtfully. Practicing mindfulness and being more mindful can help you to become more present.
Many times in my life I have been praised about how peaceful, grounded & present I seem to be. Although I agree there is truth to it, I am also aware that, this is not a constant truth and that I am ALSO working on it.
In this article, I give you some tools to practice how to be more present.
Some reflection first
I want you to ask yourself these simple questions :
- Do you find yourself wanting to be constantly distracted ? Even on an unconscious level.
- Are you uncomfortable in silence or being still ?
- How does being more present look like to you? And how can you apply it in your daily life?
Write your answers down. Take a few moments to process and meditate on what you see on paper.
What does being more present look like ?
Everyday, I make a conscious effort to :
* Be away from my phone when I spend time with people (PRESENCE)
* Catch my thoughts’ pattern and negative self-talk (AWARENESS)
* Connect to my body (BEING)
All the time ? Absolutely not.
But do I try ? Hell yea
How do you practice presence in your daily life ?
One way is to try mindfulness exercises, such as paying attention to your breath or noticing the sensations in your body. This can help you to stay focused on the present moment and let go of distracting thoughts and worries.
You can also try setting aside regular times throughout the day to practice mindfulness, such as when you are eating or commuting.
Another way to practice presence is to engage fully in the activities that you are doing, rather than multitasking or being distracted. For example, when you are talking to someone, give them your full attention and listen actively.
You can also try to be more present in your interactions with others by practicing gratitude and showing appreciation for the people and things in your life. By practicing presence in your daily life, you can improve your well-being and enjoy your experiences more fully.
Connect to your body
One thing that has helped me along my journey was to pay attention to my physical sensations, thoughts, and emotions in the present moment, without judgment.
You can try bringing your awareness to different parts of your body, starting from the top of your head and moving down to your toes. As you do this, try to notice any sensations or feelings that arise, and simply acknowledge them without trying to change them.
You can also try doing some gentle stretching or movement, such as yoga or tai chi, to help you connect with your body.
Additionally, paying attention to your breathing can help you to ground yourself in the present moment and connect with your body.
Don’t get stuck in the ‘planning and doing’
This can prevent us from achieving our goals and living in the present moment. Instead, we should strive for a healthy balance between planning and action. It is important to plan and prepare for the future, but we should also be open to new opportunities and experiences as they arise.
We should also make time to be present and fully engage with the world around us, rather than constantly focusing on what needs to be done. By finding a balance between planning and doing, we can lead fulfilling and rewarding lives.
Catch your thoughts’ pattern and negative self-talk
Two years ago when I started doing Shadow work, I became more aware of my negative inner thoughts, which looks like this :
- Negative self-talk happening,
- Catch the thought,
- Turn it around
It can be helpful to pay attention to your inner dialogue. Notice when you are speaking to yourself in a negative or self-defeating way, and try to identify any patterns or themes in these thoughts.
For example, do you tend to focus on your weaknesses or shortcomings?
Do you often doubt your abilities or compare yourself unfavorably to others?
Once you have identified the patterns in your negative self-talk, you can begin to challenge and reframe these thoughts.
You are a constant work in progress
It is true that we are constantly evolving and changing as individuals. We are constantly learning and growing, and our experiences shape who we are and how we see the world.
Because of this, it is important to be open to new ideas and experiences, and to be willing to change and adapt. It is also important to be patient with ourselves and to recognize that growth and change take time. By accepting that we are a constant work in progress, we can embrace the journey of self-improvement and personal growth.
Stillness of mind and soul
It refers to a state of inner peace and calmness. This can be achieved through various practices such as meditation, mindfulness, and prayer. When your mind is still, it is free from distractions and negative thoughts, allowing you to connect with your inner self and find a sense of inner peace.
This can also lead to a deeper connection with the world around us and a greater sense of well-being. Stillness of mind and soul can help us to cope with stress and challenges, and to find meaning and purpose in life.
Zooming out to see things clearly
Something I have been doing lately is to zoom out. Imagine pulling your consciousness out of your body and looking at it from the outside so you can get a better perspective.
Doing that will help you realise that what’s happening for you is not happening to you.
None of us are perfect and able to stay present all the time. And that is partially because the ego is pulling us out of the present moment. Once you see the ego for what it is, it loses its power.
And once you start to see your ego creep back in, start to tell yourself :
‘Let me Zoom out and see things from a wider angle’.
This technique gives you the opportunity to see what’s important, and what’s not relevant. Try to implement this all throughout your day.
“Wait a second, let me zoom out. What is happening, why is it making so triggered, what can I do to alleviate the pain I’m feeling.”
Whether the ego is taking you to the future or pulling you back into the past. Zooming out allows you to get in the middle of that. In real time, zooming out is a great tool as it helps you to respond instead of reacting.
Remember, don’t be hard on yourself.
You are a lifetime project.
If you have enjoyed this post and feel like you are just getting started, check out my Shadow work Journal to dive deeper into your thoughts, habits and triggers.
Marieme, The Healing Collective.