Life can be incredibly hectic – work, family, kids, and friends all vie for your attention. All of these people and experiences add something to our lives, but they can easily steal our calm and joy also.
Mindfulness – How to Be Aware of the Present Moment
No one is able to completely disconnect and become a hermit in order to find their true center. The good news is you don’t have to! A simple meditative practice of being aware of each moment can bring you the calm and joy you long for – even in the midst of chaos.
A lot of us spend our lives thinking of either our past or our present. When we think of our past, we are bound to it. Bad memories cause us to never leave painful places. Even clinging to good memories can keep us from moving forward and experiencing new things. When we think of the future, we often worry about things that will never happen. We also long for future changes in circumstances, and that longing can make us forget everything we have to be thankful for in our present lives.
Being aware of every moment – also called ‘mindfulness’ in many circles – is not something we are good at right away. However, with practice, it will become a more and more natural part of your life. Here are several practices that can help you in your quest to be more aware of each present moment.
All of us breathe each and every day. However, most of us aren’t mindful of our breathing. How does it feel? Take a few moments each morning or during a break to close your eyes, breathe deeply, and focus on those breaths. Feel it fill you, and then leave you. As you practice this, you will find yourself able to focus for longer periods of time, and you will feel more centered and peaceful.
Focus on what you’re doing right now.
Whatever you’re doing – reading this article, typing an email, or talking to a friend – focus on that activity only. Don’t allow yourself to think ahead to what you need from the store, or think back to a previous experience. It may help you to say to yourself, “Right now, I am typing,” or whatever you are doing. When you really drill down, what are you doing at this moment? Being aware of your activities without racing ahead will help you feel less stressed each day.
Feel without judging.
Many of us have emotions that we label as OK and others that we label as unacceptable. We enjoy the emotions we like, but we often try to ignore or bury the emotions we don’t like. However, that creates inner tension as our emotions try to rise up past our barriers. Instead, feel your feelings without judging them. You don’t have to give in to them, just acknowledge them. It may help once again to verbalize this and say, “Right now I am feeling angry,” or whichever emotion you have. You will find yourself able to identify but not overreact with your emotions. Best of all, you won’t be repressing what’s truly going on.
Make a thankfulness list.
There’s no better way to acknowledge the present moment than to look around you and list all of the things you are thankful for. I’m thankful for my job, for the shining sun, and for the good food I’m eating for lunch. What are you thankful for in this present moment?
Being present in every moment is a big challenge. Don’t get frustrated when you get distracted and go back to old patterns of behavior. Just center yourself, take a breath, and once again acknowledge the present moment.
Bio: Anna Brown is a freelance content writer who wrote this piece on behalf of Psychic Source.