In this fast-paced and hectic life schedules, it has become increasingly difficult for us to be present consciously in all the different tasks that we do. There is always something in line to bother you with lots of worries. Anxiety, unhappiness, and stress have become common issues to be dealt with. You get tied up in so many things that it becomes impossible to attend to things fully, even if you want to. At times, you may lose touch with yourself.
What Does “Be Present” Mean?
The term simply means to stay focused, composed and alert in your present moment. Be present means to be mindful of your thoughts, feelings, and actions without getting caught in distractions. When we are present at a particular moment, we become aware of the things happening at that moment. We keep on thinking about things that have either happened or may happen in the days to come.
As a result, you are never just living in your present moment. Being present is a connection between your inner self and the outside world. It helps you to relax and live a joyful and fulfilled life. Since our present moment is guaranteed to us, we do not give value to it. Every moment becomes a past, once it’s gone. The moments give us absolute peace if we attend to it. Staying present helps to enjoy the moment you are in.
10 Roadblocks to “Be Present”
Have you ever noticed that most of your precious time and energy are spent contemplating the past or making plans for the future? Nowadays, it is a real challenge to live in the present moments. All wishing, hoping, planning, regretting, and missing things take away our precious moments from us.
You may feel disconnected from your present moment. You get tied up into all sorts of unnecessary and irrelevant thoughts that make your life unhappy and complicated. Now let us see a few obstacles or roadblocks to “Be Present”.
1. Engrossed in past or future thoughts
A human mind is never empty and is overcrowded with various thoughts. You always remain occupied about past events and future happenings. The thoughts keep on coming as a chain of events and takes away your present moments from you.
2. Wandering mind
Your mind is wandering all the time. It lacks focus and concentration. You are consciously working on various things at a time and as a result, you are unable to live in a particular moment. Your attention gets divided into various activities. Taming the wandering mind is important for being present.
3. A big “to do” list and being rushed
You have to do multiple tasks at a specified time, so you cannot be present whole-heartedly in any one of them. You have a long list of unfinished work; thereby you are in a rush. You are always in a hurry and multitasking, which further takes away your precious moments from you.
4. Feeling tired and exhausted
You feel tired after a hectic day, so you cannot live your moments. Your physical and mental resources have gone down and you are unable to be present. You do not have enough resources to keep your mind alert and aware of all the things happening at a particular moment.
5. Social media and digital distraction
We are all busy with social networking these days. You can’t even think of a few hours without the Smartphone in hand. We are addicted to social media. Our thoughts are nurtured with online messages and we are getting hooked up by the digital world. Simply put your smart gadgets away and enjoy a cup of coffee with your friends and family members. Thus, we are unable to find peace and happiness by being present.
6. A lot of needless interruptions
Too many things are coming to you one after another, so it becomes difficult to be mindful in a specific moment.
7. Daily hustle-bustle
Our daily life has become very hectic. You will have to rush with time. There is not a single moment of calmness. Nothing seems fun as life has become monotonous. This is a great roadblock to be present.
8. Judging and criticizing the situation or the people around us
Our precious moments get lost because we talk more about people and situations bothering us. Criticizing and blaming your experiences as good or bad, judging others and making remarks about them get us distracted and we are unable to focus on our moments.
9. Lack of social interactions
Meeting friends and family is an old art now. We hardly find time for a wonderful conversation, so the art of listening and attending and then “being present” is not there at all.
10. Lack of satisfaction
You are never satisfied with your work and worth and desire to achieve much more than what is needed. So it’s likely you are always planning for the next big thing. As a result, you cannot be present in your here and now moments. Your mind is jam-packed with plans.
Signs of Not “Being Present” in Your Daily Lives
The continuous juggling from one line of thought to the other keeps you occupied all the time and you are unable to focus on your present moment. Few warning signs of not “being present” are as follows.
- Many unfinished tasks keep you bothered and frustrated.
- Always obsessed with what to do next. You have a long list of tasks that appears to be never-ending.
- Forgetting what was told to you or what you must have said to others.
- You are focusing only on achieving and attaining different things in life.
- Your achievements never felt good enough for you.
- Racing thoughts may keep you awake, even at night
- Very poor recall of events a few minutes back. This is a sign that you were not present in your moments.
- Getting hooked on technology and avoiding people around you.
- Everything is boring as you are doing things only for the sake of doing it. You do not show any genuine interest in your routine tasks.
- You never have enough time for yourself. Every moment of your life is filled up with some work or an irrelevant thought.
- Poor decision making can happen as you are not aware of what to do? And what to do?
- You get caught in a vicious circle of daydreams. Too much planning about the future is in line for you. It keeps you occupied and you are unable to stay focused.
- Poor focus as you cannot think reasonably.
- There is no awareness of time. You are unsure what happened a few minutes back.
- You make a lot of silly mistakes in your daily life because you are inattentive.
- Poor social relations as you are not listening and responding accurately. So, others find it difficult to connect with you.
What is The Significance of Living in the Present Moment?
Your past and future exist in your thoughts. They can never become a reality. The present is the “now” and you have it with you. Focus on the present moments and live only for today.
Be Present is a state of absolute calm; where you can be with yourself. Your senses are open to receive outside information. The flow of connection with your surroundings will appear effortless and soothing. Your intentions, perceptions, emotions, and actions are fully tuned with your inner self. Being present is the highest level of spiritual attainment.
It is easy to say but hard to practice. If you are present in your moments, you can become fully aware of what’s going on in and around you. This increased awareness helps to get feedback from others. You can make better choices and decisions in your life. When you are present, the more connected you feel with the people around you.
Advantages of “Be Present”
Being focused on the present is an amazing skill that is difficult to attain. But, once achieved it can have far-reaching benefits.
- If you are “be present”, you can improve your listening and attention skills.
- You can develop your focus and awareness.
- Vastly improved memory skills.
- You are persistent in your actions.
- Increased ability to focus and learn new things.
- Less conflicting situations and better conflict resolution.
- They can develop harmonious relations with others.
- Improved physical health and less mental tiredness.
- You can enjoy open and effective communication at home and workplace.
- Good emotional connection with family, friends, and colleagues.
- You can develop better self-control by not thinking about your past and future.
- There is an immense feeling of self-worth and personal security because you know what you want from life
- “Be present” reduces unnecessary worries and stress. So, no fidgeting and nail-biting. You are fully in control of the situation you are in.
- Being present helps you to give more time to your valued relationships.
- It helps you to slow down in everything you do. You do not rush from one task to the other. Even you learn to appreciate the taste of your everyday meal.
- Your state of presence helps you to like your daily routine. You can do things smartly, without feeling bored and tired.
- It allows you to accept and feel “what you feel”? You can accept all your emotions smoothly. It reduces the propensity to evaluate your thoughts and feelings.
10 Simple Ways to “Be Present”
The secret to a good physical and mental well being is neither to think about your past nor worry about the future. The present moment is precious because, in due course of time, it will again become your past. Every moment counts thus make the maximum use of it. Here are a few tips to consider how to be present in your everyday life.
Start your day with a positive note by smiling and feeling happy. Each day brings in new opportunities. Even if you do not find anybody around, smile within and feel fortunate about all the good things that you have. Do it intentionally every day, until it becomes a habit. A smile gives an optimistic flavor to your attitude. If you have a positive attitude, you are in a better position to accept everything with ease. You can be “present” in your moments happily.
2. Appreciate every moment of today
Consider every day as a new beginning. Accept the good and bad happenings of that day. Do not accuse yourself, if anything goes wrong. Never try to be perfect in everything. Appreciate everything that comes your way without being judgmental.
3. Clear out unnecessary thoughts
You should remove your irrelevant thoughts immediately to live in your present moment. Attend the important ones only and avoid having racing thoughts.
4. Love your duties
Love your work and daily routine. Do not try to survive on negative thoughts about the work that you do. Then, it will feel like an additional pressure. If you do your regular work happily, it will look easy and interesting. You can become more mindful of it.
5. Forgive people who have hurt you
Do not harbor bad feelings for anyone. Forgive them and move on in your life. Faulty relationships and negative thoughts associated with it bring in brooding thoughts that keep you away from the present state of mind. Let go of things that you do not like and learn to be present in your precious moments.
6. Stop Worrying
If you worry too much about your uncertain future, you will not be able to enjoy your today. Worries will take away your peace of mind and will rob you of your present happiness.
7. Shut off your electronic gadgets
Take time out for yourself. Keep all your gadgets like phones, laptops, and tablets away for at least 30 minutes a day. Switch off your digital world and enjoy the essence of the moments you are in. Gadgets are killer distractions that won’t allow you to be present.
8. Take regular breaks
You should take regular breaks from work as it helps to improve your focus and awareness. It can be a cup of coffee with your loved ones, pursuing a hobby, spending time listening to good music. It gives you renewed energy to focus on your moments.
9. Mindfulness practices
It includes yoga and guided meditation to keep your mind calm. You can improve your concentration levels. It improves memory and is the best way to connect with oneself.
10. Be a good listener and a poor speaker
Do not engage in a conversation with the intent to reply. Be quiet and listen well. Good listeners can “be present” in the conversation because they do not think about their stories to add to the conversation.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the deliberate practice of focusing or paying attention to your present moments. It helps to reduce racing thoughts. It is a meditative technique to improve concentration. The process involves tuning our mind and body in a particular manner. It helps to remove distractions and you can connect with your mental vibes. Mindfulness improves happiness and reduces stress. In a great article on “what are the benefits of mindfulness”, written by Daphne M Davis and Jeffrey A Hayes, elaborate usefulness of this practice has been spoken about.
9 Steps To Practice Mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness is a kind of meditation where you focus your senses and feelings in your present moment. Here, you must not judge the situation you are in. Accept all your thoughts and feelings as it is. Mindfulness practices include yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises. The technique is very useful in reducing stress and anxiety. There are few simple steps in mindfulness practice such as
- Sit in a quiet and comfortable place away from distractions.
- Set a timer and ensure that you do not overdo it in a day. Start slowly and increase your time thereafter.
- Close your eyes and rest your mind to peace. Enjoy all the sound that comes and do not react to it, just accept it.
- Focus on deep breathing, as much as you can. Count your breath slowly from one to ten and then repeat.
- Deep breathing enables you to enjoy your present moments.
- Your wandering mind will move from one thought to another. When this happens, start counting your breath again from the start.
- Be aware of the various passing by thoughts and feelings. Accept them as they are and avoid doing self-judgments.
- Do not get carried away by your thoughts. Be peaceful from within and accept your free-flowing thoughts.
- Continue purposeful breathing until you feel peace and happiness.
“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly”– Buddha
“Be present” is an art that you can master with little effort from your end. Celebrate your everyday living and find happiness and joy in whatever you do. It is a powerful tool that can change the way we live our lives.
A teacher by profession, postgraduate in applied psychology and a former school psychologist, Chandrani loves to live life simply and happily. She is an avid reader and a keen observer. Writing has always been a passion for her, since her school days. It helps to de-stress and keeps her mentally agile. Pursuing a career in writing was a chance occurrence, when she started to pen down her thoughts and experiences for few childcare and parenting websites. Her lovable niche includes mental health, parenting, childcare and self improvement. She is here to share her thoughts and experiences and enrich lives of few, if not many.