HOW TO BE PRESENT IN THE MOMENT
A slew of gurus are calling out to us, urging us to ‘live in the present moment.’ When your monkey mind pulls you in numerous ways and deliberate pauses make you squirm, how can you make the adjustment to live in the present moment without losing your cool? In addition, what are the advantages of being present in the moment?
In this book, you will find a practical guide to living in the present moment, written by a psychologist who has seen firsthand how difficult and rewarding it can be to be fully present.
Future plans against being in the present: Is it bad to be in the present? Is it bad to be in the present?
Parts of the self-help sector might adopt an unduly judgmental tone, which is not always necessary. Any concept of making plans for your future is seen as a source of difficulty. The answer is no. Because the fact is that if you’re going to sit in your yoga pants all day and be totally present, it’s probable that you’ll run into some troubles in the future.
Balance is more important in my life right now, at this time. Every time I sit down to prepare for the future, I strive to do it with a clear mind and with a lot of thought.
As an example, when I’m out with friends enjoying a glass of wine, I’m completely there with them….
In addition, I’m a human person, not a robot, so I don’t always get things exactly right.
In contrast to how I lived four years ago, my current way of life has showed me that the work required to be in the present moment is worthwhile. My interpersonal connections have improved, my productivity has grown, and I am happier, less stressed, and more cantered as a result of this program. I get the impression that I am more present and that I am giving life my whole attention.
WHAT YOU’RE SAYING IS EXCELLENT! What is the best way to live in the present moment, though, and how does one go about doing so?
Maintaining awareness of the present moment and controlling your monkey mind will take some work on your part. However, the good news is that there are some easy exercises you can perform to bring your thoughts back to the present and allow you to live in the present moment instead.
1st, pay attention to your own thoughts.
Understanding that we are not the voice in our heads comes through observing our own thoughts. This is our voice, and we are the one who is listening. When a thought travels through your mind, similar to how a cloud moves through the sky, take note of how you’re able to watch the notion without being involved in it.
It’s easy to think about this in terms of abstraction at first, so let’s put it into practice with a simple illustration. Simply spend a minute to notice your thoughts, labeling them as ‘thinking,’ ‘feeling,’ or ‘hearing’ as they occur. Example: If you are having a foolish sensation while doing this exercise, you will identify that thinking with the word “feeling.” It will be classified as ‘thinking’ if you have the thought ‘I wonder whether I am doing this correctly.’
What this exercise enables you to do is see how you can watch and control your thought traffic from a distance, as if you were a third party observing your thoughts.
2. Keep a journal to keep track of your thoughts and ideas
Flow is a journaling method for flow that I describe in my book Find Your Flow. It is intended to assist us in living with more purpose. In my current way of life, this notebook approach is very important since it allows me to set aside dedicated time each day to plan ahead for the next. In order to achieve this, I must first choose what I must do (those high-value tasks) and then determine what I want to do (high flow priorities). And by creating a routine and scripting my day, I am preparing myself to be in the present moment, allowing it to flow (read here if you are interested about what flow is).
Apps and YouTube videos abound, and they are excellent tools for settling our brains into the present now…. Any amount of daily meditation, no matter how brief, is an excellent technique to calm your rushing thoughts and bring them into the present now.
For beginners, applications such as Headspace and Insight Timer are excellent places to start. It’s vital to remember that while you’re meditating, you’re not trying to shut out your thoughts, but rather softly watching them as they flow by.
IN WHAT WAY DOES LIVING IN THE MOMENT BENEFIT ONE?
Our brains are trained to become completely involved in life when we learn to live in the present every day. As a result of our increased conversational engagement, improved problem solving abilities at work, more awareness of the natural world around us, and increased life experience, Maintaining awareness of our decisions, disengaging from autopilot, and actively participating in life are all aided by living in the present.
Furthermore, the psychological advantages of training the disciple to be present in the present are widely recognized. It helps to control stress levels, enhance sleep quality, and raise productivity levels.
While the advantages of being in the present moment have been widely documented, this does not imply that it should be the only one we spend our lives in. Understanding the control panel of our time-traveling thoughts may provide the largest number of advantages — it is from here that we can learn from our history, have faith in our future, and appreciate the present.
That it is critical to live in the present moment is something you’ve undoubtedly heard before, and perhaps many times as well.
Perhaps you’ve also heard similar bits of advice, such as the following:
“Make sure you are not caught up in the past or the future; instead, live in the now!
“Be present in your own life.” “Be aware of your surroundings.”
“There is nothing more important than this moment.” Make sure it doesn’t get away.”
Everything in this list of (perhaps overdone) proverbs boils down to the same fundamental message:
it’s important to remain in the current moment.
It’s not easy living in the twenty-first century in our present circumstances. Everything in our lives is so well-documented that it’s never been simpler to get lost in the past, and our lives are so well-documented that it’s never been easier to get lost in the present.
A baseline level of worry, tension, and dissatisfaction has become the new normal, owing to the rapid pace of life and busy schedules that most of us follow. Even if you aren’t aware of it, this tendency to get enmeshed in both the past and the future may leave you feeling exhausted and out of touch with your own emotions.
The remedy for this disease is exactly what so many others have been saying all along: cognitive awareness and a dedication to being in the “now.” A issue you may not have realized you had may be solved by being in the present moment.
Some of you may be wondering that although this all sounds wonderful, what exactly does it mean to “live in the present moment?” As though we were somewhere other than where we were at any given time. See what I mean by further reading.
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Understanding the Psychology of Being Present
‘Being in the moment’ is not simply a catchphrase or an arbitrary word; it is a widely accepted and scientifically supported way of living that psychologists are eager to prescribe to people who are dealing with worry and stress in their daily lives.
So, what is the significance of this very moment in our lives?
In the present moment, or the “now and now,” we are conscious and attentive of what is going on around us at the instant in which we are seeing it. The present moment is not clouded by ruminations on the past or concerns about the future, but rather by a focus on the now. Every ounce of our concentration is devoted to the here and now (Thum, 2008).
According to author Myrko Thum, the present moment is all that genuinely exists: “There is nothing else there is.”
“The only thing in which there is no time is the present moment.” Between the two worlds, it is a moment of transition. It’s always there, and it’s the only moment in time that we can get to when we need it. The present instant is the only time in which anything may happen. Everything that has ever occurred and everything that will ever happen can only take place at the time in which they take place. Everything that exists cannot exist in isolation from it.”
For what reason is it important to be mindful in the present moment?
Healthy and joyful living requires that you remain in the now. Practicing mindfulness may assist you in combating anxiety, reducing your worrying and ruminating, and maintaining a sense of groundedness and connectedness to yourself and your surroundings
While living in the present is a hot subject in recent years, it is more than a passing trend or fashionable lifestyle advice; it is a way of life that is supported by sound scientific evidence.
In addition to making us happy, being present and exercising our capacity to be mindful may also help us deal with pain more effectively, reduce stress and the bad effects that it has on our health, and increase our ability to deal with unpleasant emotions such as fear or rage. Halwell (2017) defines formalized paraphrase as “the act of putting words together to make a sentence that expresses a thought or a feeling.”
How Living in the Present Moment Can Be Difficult
We are constantly urged to worry about the future or ruminate on our past, which makes it difficult to stay in the present moment. Advertisements, reminders, notifications, messages, and warnings are all often focused towards the past or the future, with little regard for the present.
Just think about how many times you are engaged in anything else, maybe even completely absorbed in it, when your phone’s unexpected “ding!” interrupts your flow. Consider how often that message or notice assists you in being present and aware of the current moment.
In my experience, the most common answer to that question is “Just about never.” However, although our phones are fantastic pieces of technology that enable us to accomplish so much more and do it so much more effectively than we ever have in the past, we really need to take a break from them every now and again.
In addition, there are a number of other variables that contribute to our incapacity to live in the present:
Our memories are often edited to remove the unpleasant aspects of our history, resulting in a more pleasant appearance than it really was.
While living in the present, we are confronted with a great deal of ambiguity, which may lead to feelings of stress.
The fact is that our thoughts are prone to wandering.
Fighting these forces may be difficult, but we are fortunate in that we are not enslaved by our brain’s natural inclinations (Tlalka, 2017). In order to make better decisions, we must learn to control our more destructive or dangerous impulses.
Keeping the past, the present, and the future all in balance
Every now and again, it’s beneficial to pause and consider the past and future.
Without looking back and learning from our previous triumphs and failures, we would be in a bad situation. What would be the state of affairs if we didn’t make any plans for the future or prepare ourselves for what is ahead?
We’d be in a bad position in any scenario, most certainly.
The ability to think about the past and the future is critical to living a healthy life, but it is uncommon that we do not think about the past or the future sufficiently; rather, our issue is that we concentrate too intensively (or even obsessively) on the past or the future.
To achieve balance in your thoughts about the past, the present, and the future, one of the purposes of mindfulness, as well as a critical aspect in living a healthy life. Too much time spent thinking about any of them may have detrimental impacts on our life, but maintaining a good balance between the three can allow us to be happy and healthy individuals.
It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact ideal balance, but you’ll know when you’ve achieved it when you worry less, feel less stress on a daily basis, and find yourself spending the bulk of your time in the present now..
Practicing being present and living in the moment might help you become more productive.
If you want to achieve this healthy balance, try to remember the following rules:
Consider the past only in tiny doses, and be certain that you are focused on it for a valid cause in the present (e.g., to relive a pleasant experience, identify where you went wrong, or figure out the key to a past success).
It’s important to think about the future in tiny doses and to do it in a healthy, low-anxiety manner (for example, don’t spend too much time worrying about the future; rather, think about the future just long enough to prepare for it before moving on).
The large bulk of your time should be spent living in the present moment.
It’s true that following these standards is easier said than done, but with time and repetition, it will become second nature.
Keeping your feet firmly on the ground while making plans for the future
It may seem difficult to achieve this delicate balance, but it isn’t nearly as difficult as it first appears to be.
In mindfulness or present moment meditation, we are not rejecting or denying ideas of the past or future; rather, we are simply choosing not to focus on them while we are doing so. Accepting and labeling our past- and future-focused thoughts, categorizing them, and being aware of their significance are all acceptable strategies for dealing with these types of feelings.
Most importantly, avoid getting caught up in the past or the future while you’re contemplating these topics. “As the founder of Headspace, Andy Puddicombe says, “
As opposed to getting caught up, distracted, and overwhelmed by the past, we may be present while intentionally reflecting on events that have taken place in the past.
It is unnecessary to be concerned about being entangled in memories of the past or fear about the future when we are conscious and present; we may revisit our memories and anticipate what is to come without losing ourselves.
Making Use of Present-Moment Awareness in Order to Reduce Worry
Being mindful of the current moment, rather than dwelling on your worries, is a terrific method to reduce your stress levels.
If you want to become more present and free yourself from excessive worry, follow these six steps:
Cultivate a sense of unselfconsciousness by letting go and not worrying about how you look.
Practice savoring: by completely enjoying the present, you may avoid worrying about the future.
Mindfulness is about paying attention to your breathing and allowing it to make you more tranquil and smooth your relationships with others.
Learn to lose track of time in order to make the most of your time.
Improve your capacity to accept by moving toward the source of your dissatisfaction rather than away from it or ignoring it.
Raise your participation by focusing on eliminating times of mindlessness and recognizing new things in order to improve your mindfulness level (Dixit, 2008).