Life is hectic. Juggling a career, fitness, finding time for hobbies and squeezing in self care leaves little room for much else. Life in 2019 can often feel like life in overdrive. That’s why it’s so important to equip yourself with tools to help focus on the present moment.
Over seven billion people inhabit this planet. All these people also inhabit that individual space between their ears: the mind. We all approach our individual days with a unique mix of thoughts, emotions, planning and reflecting.
The thing is, when we spend too much time worrying about the future or fretting about the past, we lose track of the moment. And it’s only within the present moment where life truly gets lived.
Mindfulness is without a doubt a popular buzzword, but what does it mean? Put simply, mindfulness is the process of focussing your attention on what’s happening in the present moment. Mindfulness is being in the here and now.
Meditation is the most common way to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life. It’s also incredibly popular now that research totes its many benefits: better sleep, reduced stress, more focus. Basically, life is better when you meditate.
But meditation can feel intimidating. There’s an entire industry built upon making you think you need something to meditate…a cushion, an app, a course. And while all these things can certainly help you learn to meditate, the truth is, all you need is yourself.
It is nice to have a quiet and comfortable place in which to meditate. In the midst of our hectic lives, that zen-like space isn’t always easy to find. So for those moments, I turn to mindfulness as a way to bring myself back into the moment.
Mindfulness is a type of meditation that I can take with me on the go. I try to incorporate little mindful moments into my daily routine wherever it may take me.
Here are some of the tricks I use to bring myself back into the present:
Take ten belly breaths
- After settling into your body, focusing on the breath is the next step in meditation. On the go, it might be impossible to stay still, but you’re still always breathing. Focus your attention on your belly filling and deflating with air. Count to ten. Explore your inner sensations.
Make a tea
- Hours can melt together when you spend the bulk of your day sitting in front of the computer. Getting up to make an herbal tea is a simple way to take a break from your desk. Pause for mindfulness by staying present while the water boils. If your mind wanders, bring it back to focus on your kettle.
Close your eyes
- By drawing the shutters on the outside world, we close ourselves off to external stimulus. It’s the quickest way to drop out and look inward. You can sneak quick shut-eye moments at the desk or during your morning commute.
- This is another great one for the desktop warriors. Twist your ankles, get up and flex your joints to move through that seated stagnation. Stretch out your forward-slouching posture by practicing desk yoga.
Walk without your device
- How many times a day do you check your phone unnecessarily? I try to stop myself from getting lost in my latest notifications by choosing time away from tech. Take a walk without your phone, headphones out. Don’t listen to anything but your surroundings. Plus, taking long walks places you amongst some impressive company. There is also evidence that resisting the pull of your device can lead to healthier living.
It’s easy to drift away on the current of our thoughts. Be easy on yourself, everyone does it! By practicing everyday mindfulness, we become more skilled at bringing ourselves back to the present.
Do you have any tricks for staying mindful of the moment?