By Adam Smith
How The Past And The Future Can Get In The Way
What takes people away from living in the moment is focussing heavily on the past or future. From the past, this could be remembering a bad experience or wishing you were 10 years younger again. From the future you could be living in a negative version of yourself or what’s to come, you expect the worst-case scenario which can cause a lot of stress and anxiety for no reason.
I’ve been in both and it sucks. It’s something I have no control over and I have come to realise it’s not healthy for my mindset. Now I take control of the past or future whenever I spend time there. I only visit the past for success stories I call my victory list and I only visit my future for planning a positive outcome or seeing myself in a moment I want. I do my best not live any negative version of myself because this brings my mindset down to its knees if I let it.
Focus On The Now
Through studies on happiness. Living in the present is a big factor in how you can take control of your inner happiness. It’s something I have been working on daily for a long time building my willpower to withstand the distraction of my past and future self and be present in that moment.
When we live in the present we can be grateful for what we have built for ourself and how we intend to develop ourself today for a better tomorrow. Focussing on the present depletes stress and anxiety and the more we live there the better we are within our mind.
It allows us to be grateful for family and friends we have, the environment around us and the gratefulness to be alive today.
Take a minute to look up and live in the present. How does it feel? As I was writing this I did this too and in the middle of my stomach, a feeling emerged that’s hard to describe but overall a feeling of content and happiness came about. This is a fuel we should keep topped up. Living 80% in the present and 10% in either the past or future. This will help lead a life of happiness and creates an opportunity to get more stuff done and end procrastination.
The Comparison From Yesteryear
We shouldn’t compare but we should be grateful for the privileges we have. If we compare ourselves from the average person living before the 1920s. Our standard of living as a whole is far superior and we take for granted running taps with freshwater hot or cold even an indoor toilet.
These things we can sometimes take for granted whereas it would be seen as a luxury not too long ago. Be grateful for the information we have at our fingertips. The average person can know more now than anyone from their family tree.
How I have Become More Present
Below I will discuss techniques that have allowed me to stay in the present. I’m no Buddhist monk but I’m a work in progress to live a more present life. What’s helped me is catching myself drifting too far into the past or future. If it’s something positive I let myself remain to see it’s full benefits but if it’s negative I get the hell out of there intermediately. From focussing on this I live a happier more fulfilled life. The reason I’m writing this is that I want this for you and for you to go on this journey to find your inner peace and happiness.
So below are my favourite 7 exciting ways to focus more on the present.
Tips to stay in the present
Turn Off Autopilot And Be Conscious
What can zap away being present is living life constantly on autopilot especially a constant routine that you do without thinking. Going day by day doing the same thing. Daydreaming about the future and living in the past are ways that can demoralise the best of us if left there. When you shake yourself off and begin to be conscious of where you are, this is when you can be grateful for the now and what you have in that present moment.
Focus On Your Breath
Breathing is an amazing way to be present in the moment. With all the wandering thoughts that can happen throughout the day. Coming back to the breath is an important way to regain control. Proven with studies it has many benefits to health as well as keeping us alive.
Importance Of Journaling
This is a great way to zone in on the present as you have to be consciously present to able to write what’s happening with your day and life. With amazing health benefits to boot. Journaling for me helps me gain control of my many wandering thoughts and puts them on paper and stay conscious with every thought. Also reviewing your day is a great way to stay present with what’s happening in your life.
Turn Off All Technology
In the digital age, there is nothing that can compete with taking you away from your present life. You can be hooked watching never-ending YouTube channels, streaming services and games. When you turn off your phone and become present you see what you have and what’s actually around you. Set yourself a challenge of putting your phone down and look up and experience what’s around you.
Get Out Into Nature
Getting out in nature allows you to focus on the now and create an abundance of gratefulness for what’s around you. It’s being proven to boost mood when in nature and it can create a feeling of being alive in the moment. Find your spot wherever you are to stay present in nature.
Sometimes we can talk too much or just zone out of conversations. Try staying present and focusing on listening intently to the person you’re communicating with. As well as building a more engaging relationship. This allows you to zone in on what’s happening right now.
This is one of the best physical activities that keep you centred and in the moment. With you focussing on every breath and stance. It’s hard for you to getaway. Yoga teaches you about staying present and from your efforts you feel amazing from it.
All of the above 7 exciting ways to focus more on the present allows you to slow your life down and live in the present. When we do this we start to feel grateful for the moments we have and everything within it. How can you stay more present? Do you feel more grateful when you focus on what you have?