Live In The Present Moment: Ways To Practice Mindfulness
There is more to life than increasing its speed. – Gandhi
You need to be completely engaged within the present moment and release the need to stop wanting to be somewhere else. Just be where you are, live the moment with all your senses. When you live life like this your mind becomes razor sharp and super clear, you are able to see the beauty that surrounds you along with being fully alert to any opportunities that come your way.
How often have you eaten a meal and not really tasted it, or completed a chore without truly thinking about it? Many of us let our days pass by while our minds are somewhere else.
Being present is about living in the moment, experiencing the here and now with all our senses. It is about savouring everyday activities and not wishing we where elsewhere. When we choose to be present and aware in the moment, we are aligning and connecting with the universal energy.
It is natural to think about our future and ponder on our past, however we can still do it while being in the moment. Experiencing the moment is about being completely aware of our thoughts and what we are experiencing ‘in the now’.
Ways To Practice Mindfulness
We’re all busy, and many of us feel like we don’t have time to be mindful. Mindfulness doesn’t require time, it just requires you to bring your attention onto the here and now. These exercises will help you become aware of your surrounds, your body, your breathe, your thoughts and your emotions. You can practice the exercise as a whole, or in parts – using any part of the exercise that resonates with you.
Take Moments Throughout The Day To Stop And Be Present In Your Surrounds:
As you’re walking, or just sitting quietly somewhere, imagine that you are viewing everything that surrounds you on a big movie screen. As you look around notice what you see. What are the colours and textures of the objects? Notice the sounds in the air. Are they loud, vibrating or soothing? Take the time to breathe in and smell the air. Is it filled with the freshness of nature or is it artificially perfumed? Allow yourself to get completely absorbed within the surrounds, take advantage of all your senses and truly experience the wonder of the show. No one encounter is exactly the same, choose to live it with all ￼your senses, choose to experience it as if it is for the first time, when you do this you will notice that you get a different perspective – it is a little more colourful, energizing and sharp. You are so crystal clear in the moment that you will be alert to any messages or opportunities that come your way.
Be Present In Your Body:
Take a moment to bring your awareness to your body. Take a deep breathe in and on the exhale feel a wave of energy flow from your head to your toes. Now with each inhale and exhale work your focus up your body. Start with your toes. How do they feel when you wriggle them? Now flex your foot and feel the stretch in the back of your calves. Take note of the sensation. Lift your leg and notice what your thighs and stomach muscles feel like. Bend, stretch and move about. What are those physical sensations? Spend a little time paying attention to your bodily sensations, and then visualize taking your body for its first ever walk.
Be Aware Of Your Thoughts And Emotions:
Allow your thoughts and images, feelings and emotions to come freely to you, be with the feeling and then let it go, don’t let the feeling drag you out of the present moment. Simply feel the feeling for what it is, have no attachment with it, just be present with it in the here and now. Simply just notice how it feels, do not allow your body to react, just simply sit with it. Words and images, sensations and feelings: they come, and they go, and that’s okay, because that’s just what the human mind does.
Be Present Within Your Breathe:
Bring yourself to the present moment. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing, notice the sensation of the air as it enters your nose and fills up your lungs. Feel your lungs expand and then on the exhale notice how your lungs fall. Try to clear your thoughts and just focus on the sensation of breathing. If other thoughts come up, be aware of them, acknowledge them, let them go (but don’t try to force them away) and then return your focus to your breathing.
Pick an activity that you regularly do first thing in the morning, such as brushing your teeth, sipping your coffee or taking a shower. Then when you actually do the activity dedicate your entire body and soul to focusing on what you are doing. Take note how it tastes, what it feels like, your body movements, how you feel, what are the sounds and how it smells etc.
For example, when you’re taking your morning shower, listen to the sound of the water spraying out of the showerhead and take note how the water feels when it splashes onto your skin. Notice the temperature of the water, how it uplifts the senses and the feel of it on your face, on your shoulders, and running down your back. Notice the smell of the soap and the feel of the loofah on your skin. Savour the feeling of cleanliness.
Notice the water droplets running down the walls or shower screen and the steam on the glass. Notice how your body feels when you move your arms to wash your hair. When thoughts arise, acknowledge them, let them be, and then bring your awareness back to the shower. Your attention will continue to wander, so stay aware of your thoughts and gently bring them back to the here and now.
Mindfulness Of Domestic Chores:
Pick a chore that you normally try to avoid, rush or dislike. For example: ironing, mopping the floor, cleaning the bathroom or cooking dinner. Now make it your goal to turn that chore into a mindful practice. For example: when ironing clothes take the time to notice the colour and feel of the fabric, the smell of the fabric softener and the hissing sound of the steam escaping from the iron. Notice the creak of the ironing board, the crispness of the freshly ironed collar, and the flowing movement of your arm and your shoulder.
If boredom or frustration arises, simply acknowledge it, and bring your attention back to the chore at hand. When thoughts arise, as they will, acknowledge them, let them be, and bring your attention back to what you are doing. Your attention will continue to wander and you will often become distracted, however stay aware of your thoughts and gently bring them back to the here and now. Read my collection The Art Of Living – How To Turn Daily Chores Into An Act Of Grace [Click Here]
Write down some informal mindfulness exercises for yourself:
- During my morning routine, I will practice mindfulness of…..
- During my evening routine, I will practice mindfulness of…..
- During the week, I will practice mindfulness of the following chore(s)…..
Now write down any other mindfulness practices you could do during the week:
Eg: practice patience at the traffic lights, listening to people talk instead of zoning out or eating dinner and savouring every biteBe present in your surrounds:
Try This Mindful Exercise:
Sit quietly, take a deep breath in and imagine that you are viewing everything that surrounds you on a big movie screen. As you look around notice what you see. What are the colours and textures of the objects? Notice the sounds in the air. Are they loud, vibrating or soothing? Take the time to breathe in and smell the air. Is it filled with the freshness of nature ? Allow yourself to gently melt and fall into the space that surrounds you. No that no one encounter is exactly the same, choose to live this moment with all your senses, choose to experience it as if it is for the first time, With your next deep breath notice how everything is a little more colourful, energized and sharp. Your mind is so crystal clear at the moment, you can connect and hear the wisdom within. If distraction or frustration arises, simply acknowledge it, and bring your attention back to your breathing. When thoughts arise, as they will, acknowledge them, let them be, and bring your attention back to your breathing and your surrounds. Your attention will continue to wander and you will become distracted, however choose to stay aware of your thoughts and gently bring them back to the here and now.