As you move from one place to another daily, your thoughts move from one task to another. Naturally, your mind drifts and wanders, making it a challenge to always pay attention to conversations or recall what you were doing. Your body can physically inhabit a space when your mind is elsewhere. This might often occur when you feel bored, stressed, or busy. Being present, or intentionally living, or whatever you want to call it, means you’re focused and engaged in the now and here, without distractions or being mentally absent.
What is the power of being present?
You can think of it as a powerful mental context that enables you to take responsibility for your life and make deliberate choices about how to respond rather than simply reacting to events in a pre-programmed way. This allows you to be in charge of your own life. When you are present, you put more of your attention on the things that you are doing rather than the things that you are not doing.
Why being present is so difficult?
Because of the constant presence of distractions in our environment, it can be challenging to concentrate on just one thing at a time. It can also be difficult to concentrate on the here and now when dealing with anxiety, regret, or stress.
Why Is It Important to Live In the Present?
Being present in the moment is the key to staying healthy and happy. It helps you fight anxiety, cut down on your worrying and ruminating, and keeps you grounded and connected to yourself and everything around you.
It has become a popular topic recently. Living in the present moment is not just a fad or trendy lifestyle tip; it is a way of life backed up by good science.
Being present in the moment and exerting our ability to be mindful not only makes us happier, but it can also help us deal with pain more effectively, reduce our stress and decrease its impact on our health, and improve our ability to cope with negative emotions like fear and bitterness.
How Important Is Being Present
A lot is going on, and it’s not just the latest fad being embraced by wellness enthusiasts. After all, who pays attention to every little thing?
As mindfulness and meditation practice becomes more mainstream, mindful living is you having a moment. Being present appears to live up to all hype. Here’s the reason for it.
It Helps in Managing Stress
Lots of people respond to emotional problems and uncertainty by disengaging from the source. It can certainly seem counterintuitive to stay present when you feel anxious or nervous. Distracting yourself from unwanted or unpleasant thoughts can bring short_ term relief.
You can’t hide from reality for so long. Acknowledge fears and stress triggers, and working to mindfully accept them, can have additional benefits in the long run.
Cultivating present-moment awareness could make it easier to cope with a single stressful event and later stress on the same day and stressful future events.
It Helps Relieve Mental Health Symptoms
When you’re focusing on the present moment, you’re paying attention to the things currently happening. These events might range from joyous to downright heartbreaking.
If you’re experiencing a tough period, you might understandably wonder how increasing your awareness of these experiences can benefit you.
Being mindful helps you recognize anxious or depressing thoughts. You can eventually learn to recognize these thoughts by noticing they exist and interrupting their patterns before you become trapped in a spiral of distress.
It Helps to Strengthen Your Relationships
Have you ever been in a situation where you are with your partner or friend, and all they can do is stare at their phones or say, “Sorry, you said?” or you’ve been the one to lose the train of a conversation when you had something in your mind?
Mostly everyone gets distracted from time to time, but when such happens frequently, it can affect your relationship negatively.
I don’t see anyone wanting to be in that situation. If, regularly, you get distracted or disinterested in what your loved ones have to say, they might feel you don’t care.
Rather than allowing your mind to wander to your partner’s quirks, mistakes, or things you wish they would do, try focusing on the moment-to-moment experience of your relationship. This can make it easier to both enjoy the many things you appreciate about your partner and address problems or concerns as they happen.
Where to Start
Committing to being present can feel particularly challenging in turbulent times, especially if you tend towards avoidance as a coping strategy.
Try seeing it from a different perspective; at first, it might seem uncomfortable and not right. But over time, you may begin to realize that you’re living your days more mindfully without even thinking about it, just like getting a new dress.
These are some of the exercises that can help;
Your five sense observation
Lots of people pay attention to what they see and hear. Do a check on yourself to see whether you use your other senses with the same regularity.
- Not distant sounds, like music, neighbors’ voices, vehicles, etc.
- Bringing out the softness of your favorite sweater
- Savoring the taste and fragrance of your morning tea or coffee.
- Enjoying the warmth of the water on your skin as you shower or wash your hands
If you can use all five senses, practice observing what you feel, smell, or taste.
Get Fixed on the Breath
Breathing in and out exercise helps you remember to take a moment and mindfully connect with your surroundings.
This particular exercise helps so much for people driving who are held up in very long traffic or other times of stress. Breathing exercises help you ground yourself and help to avoid distracting yourself further by ruminating on worries.
This is a concept that helps throw around a lot, but practicing gratitude can make a big difference in your ability to remain present. By taking time to embrace and reflect on your appreciation for aspects of your life, you’re also paying more attention to them.
On different occasions, we feel grateful for something until we’re in danger of losing it. Maybe your present situation isn’t okay. You feel like you don’t have much to be grateful for.
Try to think about these things
- Working internet
- The roof over your head
- Daily provisions
- Loved ones
Being present in the moment
There’s this saying that says, “Live in the moment.” And maybe you heard some advice that says:
- All you have is the moment. Don’t let it slip away
- Be in the moment
- Don’t get caught up in thinking about the past or the future_ live in the moment
All this saying still boils down to the same message: it’s vital to live in the present moment.
There is always something coming up that we need to prepare for or anticipate; it’s never been easier to get lost in the past because our lives are well documented.
Based on the fast pace and hectic schedules, most of us keep a base level of anxiety, stress, and unhappiness as the new norm. Maybe you have not noticed it, but the tendency to get sucked into the past and the future can leave you perpetually worn out and feeling out of touch with yourself.
The remedy for this situation has become an issue of concern to a lot of individuals. Being conscious and aware of staying in the moment, living in the present moment is the solution to any problem you may not have known you had.
To you, everything might sound so good, but what does it mean to live in the present moment? How can we live in anything but the present?
Books About Being Present
Being present is a simple method that anyone can practice. But if you are uncertain about where to begin, here are some books that can help.
Being present is the quality of being fully engaged with whatever you’re doing while remaining aware of your thoughts and feelings, free of distraction or judgment.
These are the books that can help:
SITTING ON THE TOOLBOX: BUDDHA’S WISDOM FOR A JOYFUL LIFE BY VENERABLE BHANTE SUJATHA AND STACEY STERN
Through a mix of humorous anecdotes and ancient stories, the author shows you how to access the treasure of a trove of resources that lie within your toolbox and explains how to use them successfully.
The author and forest medicine expert explains that as a society, we suffer from nature deficit disorder, but studies have shown that spending mindful, intentional time around trees can show you the beauty of your surroundings, help you relieve stress, and reach a place of greater calm
The most amazing part about this book is that it is friendly to beginners. One of my pet peeves about spirituality books is that they use too much jargon and philosophical talk that turns off most entry-level readers.
Being Present FAQs
What is the act of being present?
Being present is, in some ways, a form of meditation without the need to meditate. The quiet here, on the other hand, is the result of activity — breathing, paying attention, witnessing, releasing, and breathing again. This simple cycle has the power to drastically alter our perception of the world.
Why is being present in the moment important?
Being present and using our ability to be aware can help us deal with pain more effectively, reduce stress and its harmful effects on our health, and increase our ability to cope with negative emotions such as fear and rage. 2017 (Halliwell).
What does being present mean to you?
Being present (or living consciously, as the case may be) simply means being attentive and engaged in the current moment, rather than being distracted or mentally absent.