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Maybe you have heard about the importance of mindfulness, contentment, and being present.
Being present gives us the opportunity to appreciate life, even the little things. But what exactly does it mean to be present? And how exactly is it done?
For starters, being present is all about awareness. It’s about paying attention (like really paying attention) to what’s going on within us and around us.
The only problem is that being truly aware is actually much easier said than done.
To help, I’ve put together a list of simple ways you can be more present every day.
1. Actually Listen
Are you really listening? Often when we are having a conversation, we are half listening and half thinking of what we are going to say. But to be present, we need to stop our inner dialogue and fully listen.
Listen to what they are saying, process it, and then speak. Or better yet, let the other person do most of the talking. Doing this will not only help the person you are talking to feel valued, but it will help you retain what was said and allow you to respond in a meaningful way.
2. Relish The Small Things
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I love love love flowers. At any moment, I have at least one vase with flowers in it. They remind me of what’s beautiful in the world and they bring me such joy. For you it may be how the grass feels between your toes, finding money in your pocket, getting to sleep in, or fresh towels from the dryer. Whatever small things bring you joy, take the time to relish them.
3. Eat With Intention
If you are interested, I have written an entire post on eating with intention. I’ll give you the short version here. When you are eating, take time to actually eat and taste your food. And put the phone down. You’ll have a few minutes to be in the moment and you’ll be in better tune with your own body.
4. Stop Multitasking
Did you know that it has actually been proven that you can’t really multitask? In reality, you are quickly shifting from one task to the next without giving each task the attention they need. Give what you are doing your full attention. This goes for doing things you enjoy too.
5. Stop Trying To Control The Uncontrollable
We get so caught up in past regrets and future worries because we want to control the uncontrollable.
How many of you spend time at night replaying your day? Maybe you relive an argument in your head? In the past, I couldn’t sleep because I was obsessed with reliving the past. But no matter how much I rehashed a past mistake, it didn’t change what happened.
Being prepared is always a good idea, but being obsessed with potential problems is not. Instead of worrying about every likely outcome, pick a couple of likely scenarios to be prepared for and then let things be.
If you are a working professional, you likely spend a lot of time on your phone or in front of your computer. But in order to be more present, you are going to have to put the phone down (turn off the tv and log out of the computer too).
Spend time away from your phone and computer every day. Read a book, journal, or go on a walk. Do something every day where you are disconnected.
Whether by journaling, writing a list of things you’re grateful for, or talking to a loved one, it’s important to reflect on a few things that went well during your day. This encourages you to think positively (even if your day was less than ideal) and it will help you to distinguish between the days.
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