In a fast paced, information overloaded world, it can be difficult to “be in the present” sometimes. We are constantly worrying about the future, as well as the past. One of the most important steps of being “in the present” is being able to differentiate the present from thoughts of the future and past. As simple as that sounds, we often do not categorize these three things, so it becomes one big, jumbled, chaotic mess with no real grasp on time, which means no real grasp on reality.
If you’re just starting to realize that separating these three things (Present, Future, Past) is something you have not been doing, it’s time to do that now, right now, at this very moment, before you move forward with the rest of your life. If you’ve never done that before, you may be scratching your head trying to figure out what that means, and how to go about it. Keep in mind that it is a process, and you may not master it right away. We’re talking about breaking bad habits and rituals that you might have been practicing for years, without even realizing it. Here are some ways to start being in the present:
It starts off this simple. Sometimes we don’t pay attention to our own breathing. When we are filled with anxiety or worry, we often take short breaths that are only making the negative feelings feel worse because we aren’t at the very least giving our bodies adequate oxygen to process whatever we are thinking about. So instead of mindless, short breaths, take in deep breaths, concentrating only on feeling the air fill your lungs, and think about the oxygen that is coming into your body, allowing you to live, and to think. Continue to take deep and cleansing breaths, with only the awareness of how you feel.
- Fix your posture.
Try visualizing aligning the chakras, by creating a straight line from each chakra from the base to the top of the crown. This will help clear out any negative energy that may be settling in bad posture.
- Put instant value in what you are grateful for right now, in this moment.
Instead of focusing on the future or the past, which is often negative memories or thoughts, stop and instead think about everything you are truly grateful for in this moment of your life. You will instantly start to feel more positive and less anxious.
- Take a walk or a moment to stretch, or if you can, go for a jog or bike ride! Engaging your physical body in the present moment, and concentrating only on that, will help you enjoy the present and take you out of the anxiety filled frame of mind of the future and past.
These are some quick tips if you’re just starting to realize how much time you spend in the future or past, and how little time you actually spend in real time-the present, which is absolutely crucial to truly living life.
I will be writing much more on this topic, as it is one of my biggest struggles. I’m a natural born worry wort, and I realized how much of my life I wasn’t spending in the present moment, and these present moments quickly became my past moments, in which I would exist in and ask, why didn’t I enjoy this moment when it was actually happening? Yoga helped me practice “being in the moment” and started the mental shift of the practice of being present. I will be writing more about that in a future post. 🙂