Staying present is one of the intentions I set for September – and it’s something I’ve started to prioritize this summer. The last few months were a period of growth for me and I learned a lot of lessons that I definitely want to bring with me into the remainder of the year. Staying present is so important because it lets us see everything in a new light without any judgment or worry. Which lets us experience life versus just getting through it. Being fully present is the very essence of mindfulness and it’s easier said than done. I know for me, I tend to live more in the future than the present – but learning to be more mindful is all about focusing on the here and now instead of what has been or what will be. Here are 5 tips on staying present.
Limit screen time
Not only does the blue light from screens raise your stress levels but it also keeps you from observing and being present in your surroundings. Limiting screen time throughout the day may not be practical for everybody – but I like to make my morning and nighttime routines screen-free. I fill the time I’d usually be on my scrolling through social media, reading the news or checking emails by scanning my current environment and thoughts and paying attention to one activity at a time. Limiting screen time also helps minimize what I let into my head early in the day or right before bed.
Check in with your body
It’s important to take a break from all the busyness of the day and check in with your body. A full-body scan is a good way to practice mindfulness and stay present. The goal is to reconnect with your physical self by tuning in to your body and noticing any feelings and sensations that come up. Paying attention and bringing awareness to your body will give you the opportunity to release any tension before it builds up. Breathwork really helps me with this!
Pause between activities
Multitasking can make us feel more productive and efficient but that’s actually a myth! Fulling engaging in one thing at a time and pausing between tasks will noticeably help you stay present. Not to mention help you stay focused and find joy or stillness in what you’re doing. The transitions between tasks often feel rushed, so I like to make it a point to pause and notice my surroundings before moving onto the next thing on my to-do list.
Pay attention to your thoughts
Letting your mind wander is how you often find yourself NOT in the present – and sometimes you’re not aware that you’re doing it. Paying attention to your thoughts will help you quickly notice whenever you drift into the past or worry about things that haven’t happened yet. Realize that your thoughts are just that – thoughts – versus facts. This helps me redirect my attention back to the present and stay away from thoughts that may be more focused on the past or future.
Use your 5 senses
Using your 5 senses helps bring you into the present moment. They’re the perfect mindfulness tools to come back to whenever you notice yourself slipping into the past or future throughout the day. Tune into any sounds in your current surroundings, notice how the sun feels on your face, take a minute to taste what you’re eating and so on.
How do you stay present? I’d love to hear your favorite tips!