There are plenty of opportunities to be distracted and overwhelmed.
On the global level, consider the amount of information you’re assailed with every day. Most of the national & international news cycles are negative and fear-based.
And on the personal level, there are always plenty of notifications, reminders, texts, and emails to attend to, in addition to all your daily duties.
Whether personal or global, it’s all too easy for our attention to be drawn away from right now and into a newsfeed or a text; into worries about the future.
Add to that the human mind’s natural tendency to wander, and you have a perfect storm of distraction and overwhelm.
It’s no wonder why so many people become swept up in stress, anxiety, and overall negativity.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way.
By cultivating awareness of the present moment and grounding yourself in the present moment more consistently, you can connect with deep peace at any time.
Present moment awareness is actually one of the most powerful spiritual and psychological abilities you have.
Here are just some of the benefits of being present:
There are plenty of secondary benefits that stem from practicing presence as well: reduction of physical health problems that can stem from excessive stress hormones, greater opportunities for insights & creativity, and becoming more accurate in your tasks and less accident prone (just to name a few).
Sometimes however, staying in the present moment can be easier said than done.
So, here are five tips that will help you stay grounded in the present moment.
Whenever you can, take a moment to appreciate something in your present moment—to really feel appreciation for it. Notice it, become aware of anything about it that you appreciate. It’s often very simple things in our present day-to-day that go unappreciated but are easy to appreciate nonetheless. It might be your car that’s carrying you to work, the couch you’re sitting on, something you’re having to eat or drink, a soft and pleasing quality to the air—the possibilities are literally endless. When you practice appreciation, it’s impossible to be stressed, anxious, or negative in that moment. It also strengthens your brain’s neural pathways of positive thoughts & emotions and enhances your happiness & satisfaction in every day life.
Most of us tend to live busy lives, filled with activity and doing. But when you have a moment (maybe waiting in line, waiting for an appointment, or sitting in traffic), just notice what it’s like to be still—to do nothing. Enjoy moments of stillness when you can just be in non-doing to balance out all of the doing you already do! This will instantly bring you into the present moment and infuse your days with peace—guaranteed.
When you find your mind wandering or you notice you’ve been distracted (i.e. not present) bring your attention to your five senses. Really engage your senses and take in what you see, hear, smell, taste and touch. Likewise, bring your attention to your surroundings. Take in the sights, sounds, and activity all around you, simply observing from a place of neutral, spacious awareness. This obviously works well when you’re in a relaxing environment, but works just as powerfully when you you’re in a busy, hectic or stressful environment. By grounding yourself with your five senses, and simply observing your surroundings, you’ll notice that there is a sense of peace within you, amidst any busyness going on around you. Because of this, it’s a great practice for being present in any situation without getting caught up in stress or negativity.
Bringing your attention to your breath is one of the most well-known meditation practices. But you don’t have to be in any kind of formal seated meditation to utilize this shift in awareness. Bringing your awareness to your breath is a wonderful thing to do anytime, and it instantly brings you back into the present moment. Observing your breathing, especially when you can slow & deepen your breathing, is also naturally calming and will help you connect to peace in the present moment.
This is a technique I learned from author & spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle, who explains it this way:
“Direct your attention into the body. Feel it from within. Is it alive? Is there life in your hands, arms, legs, and feet – in your abdomen, your chest? Can you feel the subtle energy field that pervades the entire body and gives vibrant life to every organ and every cell? Can you feel it simultaneously in all parts of the body as a single field of energy? Keep focusing on the feeling of your inner body for a few moments. Do not start to think about it. Feel it. The more attention you give it, the clearer and stronger this feeling will become.”
Connecting with your felt sense of the “inner body” this way helps bring you into the present moment by focusing your attention, and also by grounding you in your body here and now. Usually when people become too lost in thoughts, they lose their sense of physicality, so feeling your body this way will help you feel more grounded, centered, calm, safe and peaceful.
Try these tips as often as possible. Being present has the power to transform your life, inside and out.
And ultimately, staying present in the moment is not something you “do” but a state of “being” – all you have to “do” is remember to bring your awareness to now, and just be. In that spacious, present moment awareness is peace.
What are any of your favorite ways to stay present?
Comment below, and let me know how any of these practices go for you.
Talk to you soon and as always, Be Well!
P.S. For more powerful tips to help you eliminate stress and remain present, peaceful and grounded every day, I highly recommend you check out my eBook, The Stress Solution. Click the image below to learn more!