Do you find yourself regularly getting distracted by the thoughts rolling around in your mind?
Do you struggle to focus on a task, downgrading your productivity and making things take way longer than they should?
Do you start a task, only to find partway through that you forget what you were doing?
All of these are indications of a struggle to remain present and in the moment, an issue not uncommon in today’s fast paced world where we are expected to routinely jump from one task to another, or do several tasks as the same time.
Being present however, improves your focus and mental clarity, helps reduce stress and enhance sleep, and allows you to be more productive and better able to manage your time.
Here are three things you can do today to be more in the moment.
Commit to Alone Time
Even if you are the type of person who thrives well on the energy and interaction of others, and you gain energy from being surrounded by groups, you need to give yourself an opportunity to unplug, step away and recharge. Being constantly surrounded by other people, on your phone, computer, or laptop, scrolling through social media feeds and letting your mind be continuously bombarded by the influx on information coming from online, means we hardly ever have a chance to think independently. We often don’t take in the world around us, or think about ourselves independent of the opinions and influence of others. Sometimes, letting all of that go, and just being present with only yourself is the best thing you can do.
Screens off Before Bed
Establishing an evening or night-time routine that will allow you to wind down and quiet your mind is an important part of becoming more mindful and present. Going to bed with many thoughts from the day in your head, being distracted by the stresses from work and the to do list for tomorrow, not to mention, the affect the screen can have on your eyes and when you are going to be going to sleep soon, is undesirable in the leadup to bedtime. Start by creating a routine that you can follow every night, and as part of it, be sure that you eliminate all screens, including phone, iPad and television.
Many people are turned off by the suggestion to try meditation because they picture hours of time spent in the cross legged position, eyes closed in the dark, hands on knees. But the truth is, meditation takes on many different forms and looks differently for everyone. It doesn’t have to be a set amount of time or in a certain position. The goal is simply to bring mindfulness and attention to your mind at that moment, and only that moment and to make you resist the urge to allow your mind to drift off, get distracted or take on other thoughts. Find a version that works for you and commit to a regular practice.
While any of these may seem challenging at first, things worth doing and worth gaining success from are challenging. Let yourself take on the challenge and watch how much you can improve as a result.
By: Laura Peill, RHN, BScH