You know how there are some moments where you’re sitting at a table full of people, everyone’s enjoying themselves, you’re trying to do the small talk thing, but you can’t let go of something that happened an hour or day ago or maybe you’re over thinking things and just thinking ahead about something, or what about those days where you just can’t get over that hump and do things you need to do because of ruminating thoughts. These moments right here are a perfect example of not being able to be present, you aren’t able to enjoy the moments or company in front of you when you’re stuck in your head. Staying present at times can be difficult especially when an unexpected situation impacts you tremendously but let me see if I can help out with that. Like I’ve mentioned in a prior post, you can control how you allow situations out of your control to affect you. Staying present is ideal but I can understand how some situations may cause you to think otherwise. Just like anything, if you make it a focus to get to a point of staying in the here and now, you start to apply techniques to get there, there may be days where you stray off track but when you have some essential techniques in your back pocket to utilize consistently overtime it becomes a habit, so in staying present, see if any of these are helpful.
- Apply those Senses: Yes, those senses, we need to shift your focus a bit and keep you present so use your senses to help you out with that. You get out of your head a bit and really become mindful on your 5 senses. In the moment, think or say 5 things you can touch (This fur on my coat feels great, this table is pretty smooth, etc), 4 things you see (That person just smiled at me, I have on this nice blue top, I see this journal full of words, etc.) 3 things you can hear (I hear typing, I hear someone talking across from me) 2 things you smell (This candle smells nice) 1 thing you can taste., You can use what senses come easy to you in that moment but once you’re done, its being able to focus on the present, focus on that conversation, focus on one thing you can pay attention to after you practice this technique.
- Name It: Give this thought a name, the more tangible it seems the more it can be something you know you can overcome. Maybe before it seemed like just a thought and out of reach but when you give it a name, place a label on it, it becomes easier to wrap your head around the idea that just like anything else, you can control how you allow it to affect you. Be in a sense with this thought because in these moments where you have situations and interpersonal relationships that you can decide how you allow them to impact your life, apply this same process to your worries, so name it, claim it for what it is, you can take charge of these thoughts. When you name it, you’re ready for it to pop up when it wants because you will know how to handle it and this is a good way in staying present, when you prepare how you will cope with things, you don’t give it power over you.
- Meditate: Yes, I have added this again but it really can be helpful once you get the hang of it. When you learn the basic techniques to meditation, you learn to focus on one thing at time, even when other distractions try to mess with your focus, you learn that they will pass, you allow moments to happen where thoughts can come in but can still get back to your main thought and what you’re working on trying to do with that thought. These other thoughts can just float on through, you see them, you know what they’re trying to do but you have your focus so down pact that they don’t faze you. True meditation goals.
- Think About Triggers: Get to the root cause of this thought. Why are you having this thought? Is it coming up in place of a fear, are you anxious about something or maybe hurt by a situation? Figure out what it is that is triggering these thoughts and learn to fix what is triggering your worry.
- To Be Control or Not Be In Control: That is the question, think about what’s within your control, you have the power to make a change, break things down into steps. If you can’t fix these situations and the more you think about all the possibilities of something happening the worse you may get, you worry more, anxiety may increase but in these moments, how can you just deal with the thought? When this thought arises, can you give into it for 1 minute, then shift your focus to something else? Can you practice your mantra for the day? Maybe write about this constant thought to release it, the more you release your thoughts out in some way the better you feel so instead of letting the thought control you, how can you control it?
Learn to enjoy the moments of each day, good or bad, be in that moment, take things for what they are, don’t try to escape reality by getting involved in all the thoughts that don’t matter going on in your head.
“Living in the moment means letting go of the past and not waiting for the future it means living your life consciously, aware that each moment you breathe is a gift.” –Oprah Winfrey
Thanks for reading