With information constantly streaming at us and technology at our finger tips it is easy to multi-task through life. Multi-tasking feels like the only way to get any closer to accomplishing the infinite amount of tasks to be done. But, the more we multi-task the more we miss out on all that life has to offer.
Being present is key to slowing life down a little to enjoy it. It is a conscious choice and tactic to be happier in the everyday struggles, meetings, and conversations. If you struggle with being centered and at peace enough to enjoy being present, learn 11 Ways to Center Yourself. Here are 15 ways to be help you become connected to your surroundings and more present because of it.
How to Be Present: Prepare the Mind and Body
1. Settle In
When you sit down to do a task at your computer or are standing in line at the grocery store, settle in. Become aware of your body. Take deep breathes to become more relaxed. Ask these questions: Where am I? What is around me? What do I hear? What do I smell? What do I feel physically? What am I grateful for, right now?
When look around, or listening really absorb what you are taking in. Don’t jump to judgement but be curious about individuals lives and events taking place around you. You are not there to judge, but observe all that is happening around you.
3. Check In
Now is the time to make sure you are conveying your real thoughts and emotions in social settings. Ask yourself if you are able to get what you wanted to across? Did you convey how you really are feeling or where you saying what was expected of you?
A smile can really transform a moment. Though it may be forced at first, as your observe your surrounding and are able to know what you are grateful for, the smile can become very genuine. It will relax you and make you more present.
Preparing Your Schedule To Be Present
Scheduling time for tasks will prevent multi-tasking while attempting to engage and be present. You are able to choose to not go wash those dishes during family time because you planned ahead for it later. Scheduling smalls tasks to large can help ease the anxiety that everything has to be done now, when you know you have already set time aside for it later.
Carve out time to intentionally be present. This will help build your skill of doing a singular task, which can be challenging when you don’t do it often. It is also a great way to relax, gain perspective, and focus on the now. Try doing yoga or meditation.
Being Present With Others
7. Listen With Out Intending to Respond
Listen with curiosity rather than anticipation. Too often we are thinking about how we will respond, getting ready to respond with our thoughts or rebuttals. We may miss what the other person is saying and often receive the negatives of the conversations. When we listen without intending to respond we are more likely able to see where the other person is coming from, rather than jumping to judgement and negative thoughts.
8. Check In With Others
Just as your checked in with yourself to make sure that you were conveying your emotions and thoughts, check in with others. Ask them for their feelings and thoughts. Make sure to follow number 7, and listen with out intending to respond. This will help you to meet that person where they are without coming in judgement.
Actions to Help you Be More Present
9. Celebrate The Tiny Joys
When you see a cute dog, pretty flowers, a kind act, or even take a breathe of fresh air, celebrate it. Celebrate the small joys that make you smile.
10. Be Okay With Not Knowing The Answers
Spending time trying to figure out the future immediately, can be a drain. Not everything has a answer right now. Often when we feel that we haven’t figured out the answer we beat ourselves up and feel inadequate. That is not helpful and will lead to your mind wondering, versus being present. Maintain your presence and accept that not everything will be solved in this moment and that is okay.
11. Be present with yourself
Listen to your body when exercising, eating, its discomforts and pains. Don't compare yourself to others for those things. You will know when something is wrong. You know your body better than anyone else, so listen to it.
12. Write down the distractions
Some times thoughts persistently plague us. They pop into our heads and we focus on them in order to not forget them. “Remember to get milk on the way home.” These thoughts can happen at the most important meetings and events. They distract us and make it hard to focus on the present moment. So, write those random thoughts down. It will help get you back to being present knowing that you don't need to hold all your thoughts in your head.
How to Be Present When Technology is Involved
13. Put The Phone Down
I know it is challenging. We are used to always having something at our fingertips to do. But, really you are missing everything around you when you whip it out to play a game or be on social media. Try and use your phone for specific purposes at specific times. Otherwise it stays put away and your choose something more meaningful to be present with.
14. When Talking On The Phone, Only Talk On The Phone
I know it is so tempting to multi-task while talking on the phone, especially when conversations go too long. But try to focus on the conversation and absorbing what the other person is saying. With headphones to use instead of the phone itself, it makes it easier to play, text, email and otherwise distract yourself on the phone. If it helps, take out the headphones so that you aren’t able to play on your phone or become distracted by it.
15. Take notes by hand
It is easy with phones, tablets and laptops to take notes on some sort of technology, in a meeting or class. But, try taking notes by hand for better engagement with your surroundings. It will help prevent wondering onto the internet or your email.
Figuring out how to maintain being present can be challenging. But with these 15 tips, you will hopefully be able to take in more of the world and interactions you have. Being present will help you lower your anxiety and create more joy. I hope that you are able to do just that. Let me know in the comments below how you are more present every day?