You may have already heard about the many benefits of present moment thinking. When you live in the present, the many stressors of the mind do not bother you.
However, if you’ve ever tried to stay in the present for a long time, you’ll notice that your brain automatically travels to your past and future. This is expected as you transition to focusing on the present moment.
It Takes Practice!
Even some of the most skilled present moment thinkers encounter times when they have difficulty concentrating. With practice, it becomes easier, but there will always be times when you get distracted.
When you first begin to think in the present moment, you may be tempted to feel impatient and frustrated. Frustration will only worsen things, and is the opposite of what you’ve set out to accomplish. Instead, look at it as a good thing. If you’re frustrated, you’re noticing when your mind starts to wander and you can return it back to the present.
Starting With Meditation
Meditation is based on the notion of being in the present moment. Therefore, it’s an excellent practice to pick up in your life. Try to make time to do it every day. Try to meditate around the same time each day, too, for the best results.
You can look up traditional methods of meditation, or simply discover your own practice. It’s best to get yourself into a comfortable seated position, and then begin following your breath. Take slow, deep breaths, one at a time, because you’re in no rush.
Meditating allows you to practice staying in the present moment during a time you’re alone, and avoid distractions. You’ll notice the times when your mind is active versus the times when you’re calmer. Once you’ve mastered this awareness, you can begin to apply your skills to other portions of your day to expand the amount of time you spend in the present moment.
Making Time for Yourself
It sounds simple enough, but one of the most difficult obstacles to present moment thinking seems to be just making time for you.
You might tell yourself that it’s time to meditate, but your mind nags you to accomplish one more chore before bedtime. Before you know it, you feel as if you don’t have any additional time for yourself. This is when you need to put your foot down and make it a priority.
Practicing During Everyday Life
The next step is to practice while you’re going through the motions of everyday life. Of course, you’ll want to reference your past and future during certain times. It’s expected; however, make an effort to avoid letting your mind dwell outside the present. Make your decisions using the past and future as necessary, and then move on with your life in the present.
After you’ve mastered some meditation techniques, try meditating during those times of the day when you’re doing something on autopilot. Instead of allowing your mind to wander, stay present as you engage in activities like brushing your teeth or waiting for the coffee to be ready.
As you continue to practice, you’ll notice many opportunities where you can stay in the present moment. Seize these opportunities whenever you can, and enjoy the many benefits!