Be Here Now: Ways to Stay Present

Woman doing Yoga
By Kathryn Hummel
Posted by: Unison

We spend too much time stuck in the past, or worrying about the future. Staying in the present moment can be a struggle, but at Unison, we know how important it is to living a positive life. To make mindfulness a little easier, we’ve compiled together a list of ideas for cultivating more awareness and presence in your daily life. That way, you can start to enjoy the little things in life even when things gets hectic.

  1. Pay attention to thoughts. Often times, we let our mind wander away from the present. Thoughts can become so clear and certain that they can almost feel true or real — even when they are about things that haven’t happened yet. When you become aware of what you are thinking, you can direct your attention back to the now. The tip is to pay attention to your thoughts, to realize that they’re just that. Focus your mind on your present situation, and take time each day to think about only what’s going on right there in the moment. Thoughts aren’t necessarily facts and the more you’re aware of them, the more likely you are to stay away from thoughts of the past or future and stay focused on the present.
  2. Feed your 5 senses. When you find your mind wandering into future or past territory (and you are aware that it’s happening!), use your five senses to bring yourself back to the present. Instead of allowing yourself to be governed by your thoughts, take control and ask yourself: What do you hear? What do you taste? What to do feel? What do you see? What do you smell?
  3. Make mindfulness a practice. Whether it’s through meditation, yoga, breathing exercises or another type of mindfulness practice, carve out time in your day to intentionally be present. Mindfulness is something that takes patience, energy, and dedication, so it’s important to practice it every day.
  4. Feel your feelings. If you’re prone to over-analyzing your feelings and trying to change them, I encourage you to sit with your feelings and simply observe them instead of trying to change them. Let go of the mentality that certain feelings are bad and that you need to be positive all of the time. Instead, let yourself feel.
  5. Reflect on your day. Whether by journaling, writing a list of things you’re grateful for, or having a conversation with a loved one, it’s important to reflect on a few things that went well during your day. This encourages you to think positively (even if it was a terrible day), and it can help prevent the days from blurring into one another.

Learning to live in the moment is a process, but that does not mean it is unattainable. Learning to live in the moment, slow down, and single-task can be achieved by dedicating just a few minutes a day to practicing to focus on the here and now.