As I lay on my mat, I silently say to myself, “I am breathing in. I am breathing out.” I am breathing in. I am breathing out. Slowly, my shoulders begin to relax. I am breathing in. I am breathing out. My jaw loosens and my cheeks soften. I am breathing in. I am breathing out. My whole body surrenders.
Here, in this moment, I am no longer haunted by my past nor held hostage by the fears of my future. I just am. I am breathing in. I am breathing out.
So many of us get caught up in the thoughts in our head. One thought pops in, then we begin to chase that thought down a rabbit hole until we finally come back, only to realize 20 minutes have escaped us. Similarly, we mindlessly scroll through Instagram or Facebook then wonder why there is never enough time.
The more we chase these thoughts, the more outlandish they can become if we allow them. A simple thought of forgetting to pack a school lunch can lead to thoughts of being a failure as a parent - not true - which is why it’s so important to become aware of chasing thoughts.
Constantly living in your past and replaying a scenario over and over while asking yourself “what if” is pointless. The moment has passed. The same goes for playing out different scenarios of your future. (Side note: I encourage you to think about your future so you can take steps today to set you on the right path. But when your fears of what if this or what if that keep you frozen, you need to check the thoughts you’re chasing.)
By constantly being in your head you miss out on the here and now. You lose out on the precious moments you’ve been given today.
So, how do you remain present when you’re busy working, carpooling, and planning for the future? Here are 6 ways to get out of your head and come back to the present moment.
Bring your awareness back to your breath. Try a mantra like I use above - I am breathing in. I am breathing out.
The average person checks their phone every 10 minutes! Leave your phone in your purse, car or another room. Remove your Apple Watch or fitness tracker so you’re not distracted by incoming texts or calls. Give your attention to the person or scenario you are in.
Take a walk outside. Be present with nature. Notice the sky, the trees, listen for the birds, and if possible, walk barefoot in the grass.
Set down the camera. Or the camera phone! When you are busy capturing the images, you aren’t actually living them. Take in the sights, sounds and smells around you. Commit them to memory as you enjoy the present moment.
Run your thumb over the tip of your pointer finger, middle finger, ring finger and pinky finger. That simple touch can bring you back to what is, not what was or what will be.
Wherever you are, pause. Listen. Look around. List 5-10 things you see, hear and smell at that moment.
Tell me, sweet peeps, what tips, tricks and mantras do you use to stay present