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How to stay in the present moment in everyday life: 5 simple habits




How to Stay in the Present Moment in Everyday Life
How to stay in the present moment in everyday life

“Don’t dwell on the past, don’t dream of the future, concentrate your mind on the present moment.”

There is only one time and place you can be and have control over.

The present moment.

But most of us still spend a good portion of our ordinary days in memory, reliving a sunny vacation or perhaps more often replaying an old conflict or negative situation over and over in our minds.

Or we get lost in scenarios about what could happen in the future. Maybe because of wishful thinking.

Or maybe by building monsters in our minds as our thoughts go round and round creating scary and dangerous mountains out of molehills or just out of the sky.

Or your thoughts may become divided and unfocused between different things and tasks.

If you spend a lot of your daily moments and time in the future or the past, or if you have difficulty concentrating and you think this could have a negative effect on your life, then you may want to learn to live more in the present moment .

Here’s what works for me to do that. Just a few simple things I use in my normal day.

1. One task, not just your work.

I and many others have written and spoken many times about the importance of dividing your work into one task to get it done more effectively.

I have found that doing everything as best I can in one task makes it easier for me to stay present longer during the day.

That means I don’t have to use tabs when I surf the web, I have to do one thing at a time online. It means not using my smartphone or my computer while also trying to watch TV.

Or to use one of those internet devices during a call.

Start your day right and set the tone for it by doing one thing at a time as soon as you wake up.

If you need to multitask, try to set aside a specific time during the day to do so. Maybe an hour or so in the afternoon.

2. Take it slow.

When you wake up and start doing your first thing of the day, slow it down a bit.

Do it and the following at a relaxed and easy pace. It probably won’t take that much longer than if you do it quickly.

And you will have an easier time staying present, focusing on whatever you are doing and finding a simple joy or stillness in it.

Do that instead of immediately increasing your stress and getting stuck in worries or thoughts about what might happen today before you’ve even had breakfast.

And as you go about your day, try to take it slowly if you can.

3. Tell yourself: now I am…

As I do something, I simply say this to myself: Now I am X.

For example, when I brush my teeth, I say to myself: Now I am brushing my teeth.

This habit is perhaps most important when you do things that can easily cause you to drift into the future or the past. It could be when you brush your hair or teeth or when you take a walk to the grocery store.

I don’t say this phrase to myself all the time, but I repeat it a few times throughout the day.

4. Minimize what comes into your head early in the day.

When I check email, Facebook, and other websites online early in the day, I notice more thoughts bouncing around in my head.

And so it becomes a lot harder to focus on anything, stay present, and not get drawn into some negative thought loop.

So the kind option to myself has become not to check anything early in the day. And to check things as little as possible.

When I minimize such things, my day becomes lighter and simpler and not only does it make it easier for me to stay present, but I also tend to get more important things done.

5. No, no, no + reconnecting with the here and now.

The four tips above make it easier to stay in the present moment, use it and enjoy it to the fullest.

But every day I still wander into the past or the future. Or my thoughts become divided about different things.

If you’ve read anything from me self confidence then you know that I often use a safe word or phrase to quickly disrupt and stop the inner critic or a harmful train of thought. I do the same here.

As soon as I notice my thoughts have wandered, I tell myself, No, no, no.

Then I quickly follow that up by focusing just on my breathing for a minute or two or just on whatever is happening around me in the moment, using all my senses, to pull myself back into this present moment.