Yesterday I wrote about the benefits of presence, so why not extend on the subject?
1. Focus on your senses/breathing/body
The oldest trick in the book and mostly used while meditating, but nothing prevents you to use it in pretty much anything that you do.
2. Become one with what you are doing
Put intense focus on your task, no matter how mundane it is.
Washing dishes, cleaning, walking down the stairs, washing your hair in the shower – everything goes.
Notice how it feels, concentrate on what you are doing with your hands, just be in the moment.
I found it interesting how you can do this while writing too by focusing on your hands.
It doesn’t break my ability to write and I’m not thinking either. It’s highly similar to socializing.
3. Relax your body
A tensed up body will result to tensed thoughts.
Examine whether there’s some tension in your muscles and relax.
4. Feel the ease of being in the moment
When you try too much, you easily tend to lose the ‘ease’ and calmness that often accompanies with presence.
If you find yourself putting too much effort and hitting yourself to be present, take it easier.
Simply be more gentle to yourself.
You may even remind yourself at times that you want to be at ease, not stressing whether you are present or not.
5. When there’s something bothering you
Sometimes we have something that’s bothering us and constantly taking our attention away from the present moment.
You can deal with this by not forcing yourself to present, but rather focus on the feeling that’s causing the negative.
When you can’t get away from a thought, you have to go straight to it. Dive in to it.
You can try to put the thought or the image in your mind and focus on it. Hold it there and soon you’ll notice that your mind will start wandering around again and it will not be pulled back to it again.
It also helps to focus on the feeling in your body too.
The important part of this ‘exercise’ is to focus on not generating the story around the matter. (There’s always a story)
6. Don’t be too hard on yourself
Everyone has their thoughts wandering – even those who have meditated for tens of years.
Don’t judge yourself hit yourself for having your focus pulled to your thoughts. It’s perfectly normal.
Think about it like this: When you notice that you are thinking, you instantly become present again.
When you become present at that moment, be glad about it.
7. Be aware that it takes effort
You will never achieve a state where you don’t have to do anything to be present.
It’s a state of high alertness and as such it requires conscious effort from you on daily basis.
I have to say thought that as you build the habit it will become more habitual to you and through that it will become somewhat easier.
8. Focus on the space
I remember reading this from Eckhart Tolle and I find it really great way to bring your attention to the moment.
Try it out: look at your room or look outside, but don’t focus on any thing. Focus on the space that’s surrounding the things.
It creates a nice sense of awe, which is unexplainable in its essence.
9. Listen to the silence
Usually we only notice noises that are arising from the silence. Turn this around by listening to the silence instead.
It creates a sense of watching something that isn’t there. Trying to listen to something that isn’t.
There’s just you as the consciousness, being aware of itself.
If it’s noisy where you are, try to find the silence and the stillness beneath (and between) the noises.
10. Become aware of the stillness
Stillness is the essence of meditation and it’s an amazing way to become present in your everyday life too.
Noticing stillness also has a calming and soothing effect, which can’t be underestimated.
Just become aware of it, whether it’s the atmosphere or just your own body that’s being still.
11. Feel your current emotions fully
If there’s negative emotion, give in to it. Stop resisting. because that will only keep it alive.
Just focus on it, don’t spin a story around it. You are being present with it.
If you can’t notice any kind of emotion, focus on where you usually feel them.
12. See the details
Look at some object and then start to point your awareness to different elements of it:
The color of it, the little details of it, the texture – is there something that makes it beautiful?
If you have someone around you, look at them and notice the details in them.
This creates a nice sense of appreciation towards your surroundings and pulls you in to the present at the same time.
13. Try to notice the next thought arising
This is something I’ve found highly effective while meditating.
It pulls you strongly to the moment.