You’re sitting at the beach with your toes in the sand and your gaze at the crashing waves. You should feel relaxed, but your mind is racing uncontrollably.
Did you turn off the oven? What are you going to make for dinner? Oh, no! You forgot to send that important work email.
The thoughts flood in faster than the waves are crashing on the shore. Suddenly, your peaceful afternoon has turned stressful.
Your own mind is sabotaging your peace.
To find happiness, you must learn to live in the present. Here are some tips for becoming more mindful.
7 Mindfulness Tips to Help You Live in the Present
In today’s rush, we all think too much — seek too much — want too much — and forget about the joy of just being.
– Eckhart Tolle
1. Avoid autopilot
We all have moments in our day-to-day routine where we’re likely to run on autopilot. It may be on the drive to work or during a boring staff meeting. If you want to become mindful, make an effort to avoid autopilot. Take extra care to notice your surroundings in these moments when you’re likely to be the least mindful.
2. Meditate in the morning
Before you do anything else in the morning, sit facing a wall and try to live in the present moment. If your thoughts drift towards anything other than current observations, shift your thoughts back to the moment. Meditation shouldn’t be stressful or complicated. Just do your best to focus on the present.
3. Practice mindful breathing
At least once a day, try to set aside time to practice mindful breathing. This practice may be especially helpful when you’re feeling stressed. The basics of mindful breathing are easy to understand, but the practice can be a challenge. Sit in a quiet space and consciously breathe in and out. Focus on your breaths and nothing else. If you find your mind wandering, bring it back to your breath. Focus on how it feels as the oxygen enters your body and how it feels as it passes through your lips on an exhale.
Too many of us walk through our days with the burden of hurt and hard feelings. Free your mind of this burden with forgiveness. Forgiveness is much easier said than done, but it’s a crucial step in learning to live in the present moment. Remember that forgiving someone does not excuse their behavior. It’s also something you do for yourself and not the other person.
5. Limit technology
When you’re on your phone, you’re not living in the moment. Whether you’re reading an article, posting a meme or watching a video, you are caught up in something other than the reality of the present. The reality of the present doesn’t lie in the video or article. It lies in your physical state and surroundings. To become mindful and live in the present, you must address any underlying technology addiction. Try to avoid scrolling through social media and limit your technology use to necessary things.
6. Shift your attitude
When you think of work as a chore, it’s more likely to weigh on your mind. Try thinking about everything you do as a choice. You go to work because you want to be there. If that’s not possible – if you truly hate your job — find another. Most of us spend five days a week at work and the remaining two are filled with work thoughts, worries and frustrations. Learn to love your job or find one you can, and you’ll find it easier to live in the present.
7. Remind yourself that you are in control
For better or worse, you are in control of your life. It’s true that you cannot control every aspect, but you can control how you react to the things that happen.
Practice these tips throughout the day and whenever your mind seems to be racing out of control. And the next time you’re at the beach, you may find yourself caught up in the sounds of the crashing waves instead of the list of things you have to get done.