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Life Hacks: How to Embrace the Present

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” — Buddha

Do you ever find yourself engaged in a conversation yet your mind is focused elsewhere? It's "just one of those days" you might think, where your mind wanders and you're stressing about the past and future simultaneously. Many of us are constantly wrapped up in our daily to-dos that we are not presently experiencing the here and now. However, the good news is that you CAN control your mind and actively CHOOSE to live in the moment. Outside factors can only control as much as you allow them to. You have the power to direct your day. Following simple steps and routines, can help keep you at the moment and feel, anxiety-free.

Stretch & Get Blood Flowing

Physical, mental, and energetic preparation is critical to starting your day right. Stretching or exercise like yoga is a great way to freshen up your mind for a new day. Every new day is a new opportunity. Remind yourself that it is a chance to get back on track and start anew. Yoga and stretching can help ease the mind and bring your body to the present through physical awareness of your body´s sensations. Stretching increases blood flow to allow your muscles to relax and endorphins to fly. Get in touch with your body, focus, and energize in the morning by adding a few simple stretches to your morning routine or a 5-minute yoga flow. Some great follow-along videos and sun salutations are available on Youtube. Try adding one to your routine and feel yourself become more centered.

Mindful Breaths

Bringing awareness to your breath is one practice of meditation. Closing your eyes and creating a quiet moment, by taking some deep breaths automatically brings you to the present. Focus on your breath as you watch the thoughts come and go. Keep coming back to the breath. Count from 10 to 1, timing your exhale with each descending number. Taking deep breaths stimulates the lymphatic system (detoxifies the body) and leads to better immunity. Diaphragmatic breathing practice is recommended to be done for 3 to 10 minutes, around 4 times per day. Over time and routine practice the technique should become easier and feel more natural. Try these 10 breathing exercises by visiting this link.

Ask your Inner Child

Ask your inner child to emerge and come forward. What does she/he/they feel, see, smell, hear? What does she/he/they want to do? Listen to what they have to say and the emotions they are feeling in their life. You can see this inner child as a direct representation of your early self or as a symbol of your development or youthful dreams and playfulness. When getting to know your inner child, think about the things that brought you joy in your childhood and recultivate those past joys, interests, and creative expressions. Creative activities like drawing, coloring, or painting let your active mind rest, and emotions surface through your expression. By being in touch with the simple joys of your childhood through meditation, breathing, and mental awareness, you will begin to find ease in dealing with challenging times. Express yourself or go play a game of frisbee with an old friend. Whatever challenging time you're in, reflect on what your carefree playful self would be doing in the present moment.

Block out Negativity

Negativity can arise when we’re stuck obsessing over the past or worrying about what could potentially go wrong in the future. In the present moment, everything is most likely well. Therefore to stay present, ask yourself “What is true at this moment?”. By reflecting on what is true and what you're grateful for in your life, gratitude can fortify your positive emotional well-being. Gratitude can transform your energy, by reinforcing positive expectations and bring positive energy back to you. Your brain will actually notice patterns that will easily process all of the input it receives positively. When a bad mood or negative person strikes on your positive energy, practice gratitude. Remove negative triggers such as social media or negative environments, and practice radical forgiveness with others. Let negativity go and positivity in.

Connect with Nature

Humans are incredibly intertwined with nature. Humans not only came from the earth but everything humans need to survive and thrive is provided by nature. Surrounding yourself with greenery and practicing grounding can directly bring you into the present. By observing, and noticing all that your senses can experience, it will pull you into the present moment. Studies have shown that regular direct access to nature can: improve concentration, learning, increase creativity, self-esteem, and self-awareness. It can also create resilience against stress. Nature has positive effects on the human body. Being in nature forces you to be in the moment. Everything you touch, hear, smell, see, feel, like the sunlight on your skin, is all in the now.

Habits to Focus on the Present

- Write down your goals: Evidence has shown that your brain can adapt to the intentions you set. Write down your ideal self, life, and future goals. Setting and pursuing goals can affect your happiness, regardless of whether you attain them or not. It is about the journey you're on.

- Use Positive Mantras: Having a few positive mantras to recite when confronted with a negative mood are great ways to immediately get yourself back on track and lift your spirits.

- Happiness Breaks: Scheduling "happiness breaks" in your day is a great way to rejuvenate yourself and give yourself some space and time during your busy day to become mindful and present.

- Read & Journal: Reading each day can be very beneficial. Reading can increase vocabulary, IQ, keep your brain healthy, reduce stress, create better sleep, and can educate you on something new. Find yourself not wanting to carry around a paperback book? Pick up a Kindle or read from the app Headway. This app is great because you can set a timed goal for how long you will read for each day. Something I have been trying out and loving!

- Creative Expression: Whether that be physically or mentally, release your inner child, and let them create and play. Be it baking, creative writing, painting, or playing football outside, making time for the small things that you've forgotten is a mini joy meditation for your brain.

Wishing you a mindful, healthy, and happy month of November! Don't forget to create an account to keep up to date on my next posts. Thank you for visiting and see you in my next post!



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