In my last post I wrote about reminders for practicing presence.
I know it’s hard to practice something you’re not sure how to do in the first place so let’s get back to the basics and talk about how to be present.
Many things are easy to understand conceptually but applying them is a whole other thing.
Along my journey, I’ve found that having a few tools in my tool box ready to use for being present has helped tremendously.
This way, when my mind starts playing its tricks, I’m not scrambling to figure out what to do.
With this guide, you won’t be either.
Get Into Your Body
The first thing I do to come into presence is send energy to my feet.
Sending energy to my feet grounds me in the moment by bringing my awareness into my body.
“Sending energy” may sound like a metaphysical woo woo kind of thing.
Perhaps it is, but it’s also a simple one.
Without touching, moving or even looking at your feet, can you feel them?
Place all of your attention on your feet.
When you do this you’ll begin to feel a very slight buzz or tingle in them.
Now your energy is in your feet.
When your energy is in your feet it is no longer in your mind fueling thoughts.
You are now in the moment.
Pay Attention to Your Breath
Bringing my attention to my breath has proven to be a relief in times of anxiety and stress.
When I’m in those emotions I know it’s time to pay attention and be where I am.
For the most part, simply bringing my attention to my breath will change my breathing pattern.
Once I notice my breathing, it instantly gets deeper and longer.
Taking ten slow and mindful deep breaths is a super simple way to bring your focus to the present moment.
This breathing technique is my number one go-to because it is so simple and yet so effective.
Notice What’s in Your Atmosphere
Looking around and noticing where I am and what’s going on around me also helps ground me into the present.
When my mind is running wild, my consciousness is not in the moment.
It’s in next week or last night, planning or ruminating.
Noticing the people, places and things in my vicinity and giving them undivided focus and attention helps to bring my full consciousness to where my body is (the present moment).
Over time, I’ve found this particular practice to be, at times, almost overwhelmingly beautiful.
Just noticing and being.
Feeling into the fullness of the moment.
This practice can make even the most mundane feel like bliss.
Slow Down to Remember
At times, I notice that I am rushing for no reason.
I mean, is there ever a real reason to rush?
If there’s a problem, rushing seems to only worsen it.
Anxiety and overwhelm are signs that I need more presence.
Slowing down brings me into the present moment as well.
Slowing down helps me to remember.
I don’t like to rush in the first place so when I notice I’m doing it, I intentionally slow down and begin to employ some of the other techniques mentioned in this post like “attention to breath.”
Sometimes all it takes is a bit of a reminder to be where I am in order to snap me back into reality.
When I first started paying close attention to the present moment and noticing when my attention was elsewhere, I remember going full days without remembering and getting a little frustrated with myself.
Setting gentle alarms on my phone to remind me throughout the day was a sweet little helper.
Setting an alarm for the morning, afternoon and evening to just take a few deep breaths and be here now has been of great assistance in creating the habit of being present.
Along with the morning, noon and night check ins, I’ve also created a ritual around checking in and getting present.
For instance, taking some time to smell my favorite essential oil, taking some deep breaths, saying an affirmation, meditation.
Whatever floats my boat.
I’ve found that creating little rituals around aspects of my life that are important make them so much sweeter and easier to habitualize.
When we tap out of our present moment we are truly doing ourselves a disservice.
In a way, we are tapping out of reality.
There is so much beauty and deep simplicity right here and now.
There is so much to see, hear, feel and experience.
Life truly is a miracle and so is everything in it.
So the next time you find yourself frazzled and feeling everywhere but here, maybe a few of these tips will come in handy to bring you back home.
How to heal past trauma. (feel your feelings)
Breathing techniques to cultivate more presence.