When we are present, we are not thinking about the past or worrying about the future. When we are present, we listen better, and we communicate more effectively. We are available for new opportunities to present themselves to us because opportunities are beyond the thinking mind. They happen in the moment.
How to be more present in your life
So how do you stop the mind from focusing on the past or the future? I suffered from worry loops and anxiety for many years. I felt little relaxation because my emotional brain was stuck in fight or flight. Here are just a few of the tools that have helped me be present and in the moment.
1. Tune into the Senses.
Feel something, listen carefully to the sounds in nature, smell a rose or your soap, taste something you love and eat it slowly. The senses can bring us into the moment. When you are smelling a rose, the smell goes directly into your brain for processing and you are present to it. When we touch thorns on a rose, we can’t think about anything else; It’s immediate and demands our attention. There are pleasurable ways to use senses to come into the present moment; touch someone you love or eat a nice meal slowly can both bring us to the present. An educator and writer, Carla Hannaford told me in an interview, “learning comes in through the senses first.”(1) If you want to really remember something, try to get more of your senses involved: touch it, taste it, hear it, see it. It will sink in more fully.