How to Be More Present

Maneuvering through adulthood, there are a number of things that prevent us from being present. Phones, technology, work fatigue, the daily multitasking that comes with adulting. Many of us have a tendency to constantly think about the future, and even the past, instead of the present. Our lives are full. Our lives are distracted. All these aspects make it really hard to be present sometimes.

Maintaining a work-life balance, actively pursuing opportunities to advance in my professional and personal life, remaining social, trying to maintain all-around good health, etc. has recently made me feel like I need to slow down, and give my mind and body a rest. You may not have had the time to think about it, but you need to give your mind and body a rest too. We all do.

Practice slowing down and being more present. Try mindful meditation.

This may sound easier than it actually is for some, but I tried mindful meditation and I felt an instant change/shift in my mood. It's pretty cool how you can go from a chaotic state of mind to feeling more centered, at peace, and ready to tackle the next challenges of your day.

Sometimes I walk past my roommate meditating, using guided audio practices. I leave her be but I watch her, siting with her eyes closed, processing her thoughts. I'm proud of her, knowing her body's needs and caring for herself in such a manner. I'm a huge proponent of practicing self care.

There are multiple ways to practice self care so spend some time understanding what you need, and then spend some time catering to that need.

I also envy my roommate at times. Envy how she's made time to care for herself, envy how peaceful and at ease she looks during her meditation session. I told myself to practice meditation, and after seeing her, I reminded myself to do it again. That never happened, until recently. To combat my current thoughts and feelings, to be more present, I tried mindful meditation. I only spent 5 minutes meditating but I felt better afterward, and the great thing about meditation is that you can indulge in it for as little or as long as you need to.

Integrating meditation into short quick sessions of mindfulness is perfectly fine. Shorter sessions can be more convenient, and can be done before work, during breaks, after work, or before meeting up with friends.

Meditation can improve focus, lower your stress, connect better, and reduce brain chatter, which we all can benefit from.

Tips for becoming more present:

  • Find a comfortable but alert position

  • Slow everything down - take deep breaths, inhale and exhale

  • With each breath allow your body to slow down and allow yourself to be fully present in this moment

  • With each breath, become more fully relaxed, just be

  • Close your eyes and allow any tension in your temple to slip away

  • Let go of tension in your jaw

  • Allow your body to settle - when your mind settles, your body settles

  • Allow feelings of overwhelm, frustration, anger, negativity, etc. to melt away

  • If your mind tries to wander, bring it back to the present

At the end of the day, we could all use a little slowing down. Sometimes we need a little break to get back to being ourselves.

I came across an article that states there are 9 popular types of meditation practice (below). Not all meditation styles are for everyone so figure out which is right for you so can get started.

  • mindfulness meditation

  • spiritual meditation

  • focused meditation

  • movement meditation

  • mantra meditation

  • transcendental meditation

  • progressive relaxation

  • loving-kindness meditation

  • visualization meditation

I fully plan to practice being more present and try different types of meditation. I plan to develop a routine for meditating because it's something I feel I need more than just very now and then.

There are countless resources available in the realm of meditation. A simple Google search will provide you with multiple articles from what is meditation to guided video/audio practices. Spotify has playlists dedicated to meditation. The resources are there so please utilize them for your benefit.

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