In a world that’s full of distractions and instant gratuity, it can be hard to be happy and present in the here and now. Even outside the distractions that are constantly bombarding us, how do we stop worrying about what has happened and what may happen in the future? Being present is a struggle, but to get you started, take a look at these simple tips to try and be in the here and now.
1. Show Gratitude
You’re healthy, you’ve got a roof over your head, there’s food on the table, you have a great support system—believe it or not, there is quite a lot to be grateful for. So, what’s the issue? We tend to overlook the good and focus on the negatives and how to improve them. To try and be more present, consider showing gratitude for what you already have. A great way to do this is to create a gratitude journal. Take some time each night to document what you’re grateful for. It may be hard at first to rewire your mind to focus on the positives, but the outcome is beneficial.
2. Get Your Exercise In
It doesn’t matter if you get out for just five minutes a day, 30 minutes, or a full hour, spend some time each day working out and getting your blood pumping. You don’t need to exhaust yourself, but blocking off time for an exercise regimen will help this healthy habit build up over time. This ties into being in the present by focusing on your breathing and the exercise at hand.
Being able to simply “be” is essentially what being in the present is, and what better way to do this than to incorporate movement and do something good for your body? Don’t worry about anything else. Don’t think about sweating, or what you’re wearing, or if you put on makeup. Simply be in the moment, focusing on your breath and your movement.
3. Avoid Distractions
This may seem obvious, but how many times during the day do you pick up your phone? How often do you have your television in the background while you’re at home? You may even find yourself falling asleep with the television on. All of these little things that we don’t consider on a regular basis are actually preventing us from being in the present.
According to House Method, create a mindful space in the home where you can relax and focus on being present with your thoughts. Take the time to meditate but get rid of that pesky phone while you’re at it. Leave your television off when you get home. Go for a walk without anything on you and simply listen to the wind and nature around you. This may take some getting used to and you may want to start out small. Consider starting in 10-minute increments. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself not even needing to be near your phone and will be able to simply sit and be in the here and now.
4. Give Whenever You Can
Giving goes far beyond simply doling out money to an organization. Giving your time and attention can go much farther. Consider this: not a single person on this earth is given more or less time than the other. We all have 24 hours each day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. What’s different is what you do with your time.
Related: How to Do Your Bit for Charity
When you give, you take your mind outside of your own thoughts so that you can focus on someone or something else. When this shift happens, it allows you to be in the present and transforms you into a happier and more appreciative person. You don’t need to think big but try and consider ways you can give each day.
5. Discover the Beauty in the Unordinary (Or the Ordinary)
There’s beauty everywhere but our minds block it out in lieu of social media or the negatives that are happening in our personal lives. Think about everything that’s around you, both ordinary and unordinary, and discover the beauty in it. Try and focus on a single thing in front of you to discover what makes it unique.
Think about the crack and creases in the sidewalk and how they have aged and withered due to the amount of traffic they’ve undertaken. Think about the tiny little veins in the leaf of the bush you’re sitting next to as you drink your coffee. There’s life and beauty in that cement and that leaf. In fact, according to the Law of Thermodynamics, all of the energy in the world never leaves us, so whatever was once here will always be here. Take a walk and listen to the different birds singing around you and try and decipher the different sounds or the smell of the air and the trees and flowers around you.
Everything around you is beautiful: you just need to be present to find it.
About the author: Kay Pascale is a writer from Durham, NC. When she isn’t writing about home improvement or the latest wellness trends, she enjoys traveling, traversing local coffee shops, and cheering on the Durham Bulls.