“Most humans are never fully present in the now, because unconsciously they believe that the next moment must be more important than this one. But then you miss your whole life, which is never not now.” – Eckhart Tolle
The ability to focus on the present moment is crucial for anyone who wants to overcome their negative thought patterns or anxiety problems. Ironically, your brain is protective and always focused on the possible dangers around you.
Here are 5 of the best techniques you can use to center yourself in the present moment:
1. Notice Your Thoughts
The moment you acknowledge your thoughts as what they are—simply thoughts—they stop being a problem. By trying to suppress them, you’re actually giving them more power. Be mindful of your thoughts. Write them down, especially if you perceive them as disturbing.
This will not only help you get rid of them, but keeping a diary is also a great way to see repetitive thoughts and realize that you can change them with more positive ones. Don’t forget:
You are bigger than your mind. Click To Tweet
Moreover, negative thoughts are often a result of focusing too much on the past or obsessing over the future. And tuning in to the present moment is always the best solution.
2. Focus On Your Breath
The second technique is perfect for when you can’t seem to find time to meditate. The only thing you need to do is focus on your breath.
Put your hand on your belly bottom and feel the air that’s pumping it like a balloon. Then slowly exhale the breath, noticing the squeezing of your stomach. Take 10 deep breaths and simply follow the rhythm of your breath. It’s a great way to get yourself grounded and centered in the present moment.
If you want to find out what my top 3 meditation techniques are, check out this video:
3. Surrender to Your Emotion
There will be times when your body will give you subtle signals that you have accumulated a certain emotion. If you neglect it for too long, it’s going to become bigger and stronger. The best way to get rid of a ‘negative’ emotion is to realize that it was never negative in the first place.
‘Negative’ is simply the label that you attach to that emotion. It’s not the emotion itself, it’s the label that you need to let go of. Surrender to your pain, feel your anger, let yourself be vulnerable and cry. Sometimes, the best way to feel the present moment is to stop running from your emotions and start reconnecting with yourself.
4. Observe an Object
One of the best techniques to be mindful is to simply choose an indifferent object (one without emotional or sentimental value) and examine it. For example, pick a clothes peg and put it on your clean desk/table/bed.
Focus on it for 10 seconds, observing its color, texture, size, etc. Next, distract yourself for a few seconds and then come back for 15 more. Repeat the distracting part and try to observe it for 30 seconds. What you will probably notice is that the more you do this exercise, the sharper the image becomes and the more details you’re going to see.
This particular technique is very helpful because you learn to focus on a certain object and train your mind to be present with your surroundings. The more you do exercises like this one, the more present you are going to be.
5. Try ‘Mindful Physical Activities’
What do I mean by ‘mindful physical activities’? Activities you do consciously by being aware of them the moment you engage in them. For example, practice heightening each one your senses separately. Here’s how:
Try eating an apple slowly, noticing its taste, the texture of it, the way it refreshes your teeth, etc. Then start walking and put your attention to the steps you make and the way your legs feel steady on the ground.
Examine an object, like we did in the 4th step of this article. Close your eyes and notice the smells around you. Pick a silk scarf and touch it gently, feeling its texture. Find beauty in everything you do and focus your attention on the present moment. It’s the only one that matters.
If you want to become less stressed and more mindful, book a FREE session with me and let’s see what we can do about that.