It’s so easy in our busy world to constantly be thinking about something other than what you’re doing.
To distract yourself with Instagram or TikTok.
To text a friend instead of talking with the person in front of you.
To worry about tomorrow, or that time last week when you did or didn’t do that thing…
It’s all part of the emotional disjointedness of modern living. But when you’re not mentally present in each moment of your life, when your bodies are here but your thoughts are anywhere else, then you’re missing your true potential.
- You’re not being the friend, partner, parent or colleague you could be.
- You’re not enjoying the beautiful gifts right in front of you.
- You’re not noticing challenges and opportunities that you could be addressing.
If you realize that you only get today – that yesterday’s gone and tomorrow isn’t promised – then you can try to focus even more narrowly on each present moment. Here are some ways to do it.
- Breathe. Nothing brings you back to the here and now like closing your eyes and taking three deep breaths. You don’t have to stop at three.
- Go deeper. You can meditate, use an app to help you focus, or practice yoga.
- Unplug from social media. Nothing takes you OUT of the here and now as quickly. Plan times each day to catch up and scroll. Set notifications for anything that’s important. Otherwise, forget it.
- The news, too. The advent of 24/7 news makes you anxious that you’re missing out on something important. Or that everything’s going to come falling on your head. Like social media, the news business benefits from your continued watching. You do not.
- Exercise regularly. And purposefully move on those days when you’re not actually exercising. A 15-minute walk on your break can clear your mind and bring you back to the present.
- Practice gratitude. Write in your journal each day a few things for which you are thankful. Express gratitude every day in some way large or small. Smile at someone; everybody needs that.
- Set boundaries at work. That might mean pausing between tasks, turning off your phone at night, or declining to take on more than makes you comfortable.
- Forget multi-tasking. Some people insist it’s the way to go, but it can also keep you from doing your best on the task at hand.
- Focus on what’s right in front of you. What do you see? What do you smell? Do you taste anything? Is your mouth moist? Are your feet touching the ground?
Some people say they get frustrated with these kinds of focus techniques because it’s hard to STAY focused. And they’re right. In fact, it’s IMPOSSIBLE to stay focused. Our minds are always wandering – and that’s okay. Don’t fight it or get distressed.
Just do what you can to bring yourself back to right here, right now. Over and over. It’s an endless task, and there’s something profound and reassuring in that, since the next moment inevitably replaces this one.
Just breathe. Take it easy. And pay attention. You’ll get the hang of it in no time.
PS – See if fitness coaching, nutrition & lifestyle coaching, endurance coaching, performance coaching, or any combination of these is right for you by scheduling a complimentary Action Call with me HERE today so you can start working towards your goals before 2023 ends (we have one month to go)!