What if I told you anxiety lives in the past and the future, would you relate? It doesn’t however live in the present when we are truly able to live in the now. It doesn’t matter if you work in a fast-paced job or have no job at all. We can all benefit from living in the moment if we can get ourselves there. Mindfulness doesn’t take a lot of time, can add years to your life, boost immunity, lower blood pressure, help you sleep and much more research continues to prove every day.
Here are my top tips to live in the now…
When we can consciously connect with nature, we allow ourselves to connect with ourselves. Going for a walk can actually bring you into a meditative state, similar to when you get your best ideas driving in the car or taking a shower. So when you feel “stuck” with something, go for a 20 min walk and see what happens. Take notice of things using your 5 senses. Notice where your mind drifts to or focus on your breath. It’s all about the process of noticing and engaging with what you notice. That awareness is so important to your well-being in the present moment.
We react to anything that crosses our path internal or external. It’s what we do next that matters in the now. So try to catch yourself before that reaction and get curious?
Where is this feeling or reflex coming from?
What could it mean?
What do I want to do with it?
Allow yourself the moment to bring what is happening into your awareness before it affects you. If you can do this, you can turn any day into a mindful meditation.
Give Yourself a Time-Out
Turns out time-outs aren’t just for disobedient small children. Timeouts give you a space to gain perspective on situations. They give you space to breathe and reflect before reacting at the moment. I like using this tool.
Stop: If you notice your body or mind going into a negative state, imagine a bright red stop sign
Think: Give yourself an out-of-body type experience where you imagine you are looking down on yourself like you are watching a movie, what do you see?
Assess: If you think/do this what will happen? Assess your options so you aren’t reacting from a place of emotions and instead are reacting from a place of intention.
React: After you’ve had the time, which is really just a moment, you can make your reaction from a place of intention that you are comfortable with.
Next time you start to feel tense, your heartbeat quickens or your thoughts start to the race, give yourself a time-out to really dig into that moment and what it’s all about.
I know, I know…who really does this right? These days, especially with remote work there is so much to do, view, and stew in all at once this is hard, but it works! Research tells us that it takes us an average of 4 minutes to get distracted online and 20mintes to get back to the original task. Think, here I am managing my project, and oooh a shiny chat pops up. Oooh look, an Instagram post…ring, who’s calling? See what I mean!
When our brains are overloaded we get farther away from the now and more overwhelmed with all the energy we are putting out to keep up our focus. Test yourself by setting a timer for 20minutes to stay on a specific task. You might just complete it in its’ entirety before moving onto the next one.
Here is the Now
Start with these tips to move from the past and the future and into a present where you can find yourself and find peace at the moment. Mindfulness is a muscle and the more you flex it, the stronger you get. Start today, do what you can, and do a little more tomorrow.
Find yourself exactly where you are.
The time is now!