Ever got in your car to go home and before you know it you’ve pulled up in front of your house with little knowledge of how you actually got there? Yep, that’s autopilot – we’re all guilty of it.
In fact, it is more of a struggle to stay present in our daily lives today than at any other time in history. There are endless distractions and responsibilities, that we forget to take a moment to consider what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. And, before you know it days, weeks, years go by without fully being lived or experienced.
Does this sound familiar?
Thought so – but don’t worry, here are some very easy, sure-fire ways to break the habit.
We are all very busy and often find excuses to shove self-care to the bottom of our priority list. If you are to have any chance of living a happy and healthy life this needs to stop. Make sure you set aside at least 20 minutes to dedicate to yourself. Whether that be practicing meditation, taking a hot bath, or reading a book, it makes all the difference to your stress levels, cognitive function, and productivity.
Often we become so busy or distracted that our breathing becomes shallow and we take in short, quick bursts. This not only reduces the amount of oxygen reaching your body and brain but it can greatly increase the feeling of stress or anxiety. The next time you pick up your cup to take a swig of your tea or coffee and realise that if you’ve already drunk it with zero recollection, take a moment to stop and take 3 deep breaths. This will help to bring your consciousness back into the present moment.
3. Reduce Distractions
This is a biggie and it’s a tough one to crack. An easy way to begin is to switch off the notification on your mobile and make a concerted effort to only check for updates, emails, social media three times a day. With the spare time and energy you have, try looking at the person you are talking to, noticing one new thing about their appearance. Ask questions and stop to take notice of any thoughts you might have.
4. Be Thankful
Make a daily effort to concentrate on things in your life that provide you with true value. Your husband or wife, children, or something as simple as being able to pay your bills or a beautiful day. Try to focus only on your own journey without comparing it to others. By doing so you will bring more happiness to your life and to those around you.
5. Be Mindful
Finally, be intentional about your day. Dedicate yourself to making a daily habit to take notice of how you feel and what is happening in your environment. Don’t judge, just observe. Whatever is happening, it needn’t be labeled good or bad, it just is. Doing this will soon help you come to terms with the motivations you have behind particular behaviours. Once you get there, you can begin working on cultivating positive behaviours and minimising negative ones.
Do you have any other tips to add to this list? How do you feel when you take a moment to focus on the present?
Article by Kathryn Simons – Founder of Body Kinect