5 Ways to be Mindfully Present Throughout the Day
Now that the world is back to business as usual, many of us have returned to the hectic and chaotic pace of our pre-pandemic reality. It is so easy to focus on the past and the future that we often forget to simply be in the moment. The present is happening right now, yet all the distractions vying for our attention make it difficult to appreciate the things in life that make it special. You can train yourself to stop and be in the moment, while finding inner peace and tranquility. Here are a few simple practices that help me stay in the here and now:
1. Focus entirely on a specific action
Take a moment to stop everything you are doing and concentrate on one thing only.
This allows you to ground yourself in one task and completely clear your mind of everything but the present moment. For those with ADHD, this can be a powerful coping skill. The mindful practice of noticing my thoughts helps me get back on track to complete the task at hand. For example, when I drink a cup of tea, I consider how it tastes when you drink it. I concentrate on how the warm cup feels in my hands. What’s the temperature as it touches your lips? All goals, concerns, and objectives should leave your mind as you focus your attention on the experience of drinking tea. By focusing on one action, you will be able to appreciate and enjoy the small, seemingly insignificant actions in life. You’ll feel calmer, more at peace.
2. Switch off your phone
Screens are an integral part of our lives. I notice that if my phone is not on silent the notifications interrupt me constantly. By switching off my phone and disconnecting for a short time I find that I am able to focus on what I'm doing in the present moment. Perhaps have coffee with a friend or engage in discussion, focusing on nothing but the conversation or the activity.
3. Go for a walk
A walk is one of the best ways to achieve a present moment mindset. It allows me to clear my head of unnecessary or intrusive thoughts and concerns for a short time. As I walk I consider where I am, listening to the birds chirping, dogs barking and wind in the trees. Appreciating how the ground feels beneath me and what the temperature of the air might be. This allows tranquil, calming thoughts to fill my mind as I enjoy being outside and concerning myself with only what is around me.
4. Consider what you appreciate in the present moment
Gratitude is the secret ingredient that turns irritation into peace. So often we forget what we are grateful for and what we enjoy. I try to take some time out to write, think about, or even record a list of things I appreciate. For example, I might list the things I appreciate about my family, friends, my work, or my house. Considering what brings me joy in the present moment allows me to feel a sense of positivity, warmth, and excitement.
5. Consider your senses
Smell, taste, hearing, touch, and sight allow us to experience the joys of life. Our senses are powerful tools that allow us to experience the world around us. Unfortunately, we take these sensations for granted or they go unnoticed. I like to practice mindful eating at times, slowing down to taste each bite of food or I will allow myself to clear my mind, thinking of nothing but how my body and senses are responding to the world around me. I like to call it making a sensory memory- searing a mental picture of that moment into my brain.