Inside: Learn how to be more present in your everyday life for more joy and better relationships.
Does it ever feel like you’re living your life on autopilot?
You’re going through the motions and getting through the days. But when you stop and reflect, you find that you really aren’t getting anything out of the actual experience.
Physically, you’re there. But mentally? Your thoughts are constantly pulling you elsewhere.
Whether you’re dwelling on memories of the past, stressing out about things that haven’t actually happened yet, or buried in your mobile phone, endlessly scrolling on social media, the end result is the same – you’re living your life without actually being present for it.
Being more present in your everyday life can make a massive difference in the way you experience the world.
By learning how to stay focused and keep your mind from wandering elsewhere, you’ll find there’s so much to be enjoyed in the actual moment – if you can slow down enough to embrace it.
Why is being present such a challenge?
I’ll be the first to admit that being present isn’t always easy.
In fact, it can be really, really hard.
We’re constantly surrounded by noise and distraction. Social media, 24/7 news cycles, an endless stream of television shows and radio broadcasts – there’s no escaping it.
Whether you’re at home, at work, shopping for groceries, or grabbing dinner with a friend, chances are there’s something going on that can easily pull you out of the moment and make being present a real challenge.
Some of us are easily distracted by these external factors. Others are more distracted by inner challenges.
For some, anxiety can be a debilitating blocker when it comes to enjoying the moment and being fully present – you can’t be focused on the here and now when you’re stressing out over something that hasn’t yet happened.
Some people can’t stop dwelling on the past, reflecting on things that have already happened.
And some are simply lost in their own thoughts – neither forward-looking nor reflective, but altogether in a different place than the present.
Whatever you find particularly challenging about being present, one thing’s for sure – you aren’t alone in feeling that way. And with a little effort, you can overcome it.
Why should you be more present in your everyday life?
Are there actual benefits to being more present?
The short answer? Yes, absolutely.
There are so many ways that being present can benefit you physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Being present can lead to better concentration, improved critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and a heightened ability to recall information later. Your memories will be more clear and crisp, both in the short-term and over time.
It can lead to better relationships, too. After all, spending time with someone who’s endlessly distracted isn’t much fun.
By devoting your attention to your friends, family, and others you choose to surround yourself with, you’ll have more meaningful interactions, forge closer bonds, and strengthen your social structure.
Being present can also boost your emotional well-being. By focusing purely on the present moment, instead of stressing out over things in the past or stuff that has yet to happen, you’ll be more relaxed and at ease – which is a much more ideal state than anxious and distracted.
How to be more present in your everyday life
Ready to live a more present life? While saying “no” to all of the distractions that come your way might be a challenge at first, you’ll quickly see that the benefits of being present far outweigh the struggles.
Here are a few simple ways you can incorporate a greater sense of presence into your life.
1. Turn off your cell phone.
One of the biggest distractions we all face can be held in the palm of our hand.
Cell phones have totally transformed the way we live, work, and connect over the last couple of decades. And while there is no denying the many benefits we get from being constantly connected, we shouldn’t deny the fact that it isn’t all positive.
Instead, our mobile devices have made it difficult – for some, truly impossible – to focus on the present moment.
We’re constantly scrolling, immersed in 15-second video clips for quick dopamine hits. And some of us can’t put them down – not even when we’re in the company of others, or when we should be focusing our energy and attention elsewhere.
If you struggle with the constant distraction that is your cell phone, try setting some healthier boundaries for yourself.
Monitor how much time you’re actually using it and what apps you use.
And make an active effort to put it down when you’re having a conversation or spending time with others. You’ll be surprised to see how much of a difference it makes.
As an added bonus, if you have kids at home, setting your own boundaries with technology serves as a great example to them on how to be more present in everyday life.
2. Tune into your surroundings.
One easy way to slow down and be more present is to focus on the moment.
Pause. Take a deep breath. One by one, focus on your senses. What am I seeing? And what am I hearing? What do I smell? And what can I touch?
You can do this anytime, anywhere, to bring yourself back to the present moment when you get lost in your thoughts or start to feel overwhelmed.
By focusing on building a strong connection with the present, you might be surprised to see just how rich a simple experience can be with just a little bit of effort.
3. Embrace a mindfulness practice.
Like anything else, being more present in everyday life requires practice – especially if you aren’t accustomed to living in the moment.
By practicing yoga, breathwork, meditation, or prayer you can strengthen your connection to yourself and your spirit – as well as your connection to the world around you.
These practices are centered around the idea of being present, living in the moment, and focusing on what you are experiencing at that point in time. These are all skills that will carry over to the way you navigate your daily life.
Not sure how to start a mindfulness practice? Check out the Calm app for tips and reminders that will help you to be more present each day.
4. Journal for perspective and reflection.
A great way to connect more deeply with yourself is to keep a journal. By picking up a pen and notebook at the end of the day and letting yourself fill the pages with your thoughts, you’ll be able to process your emotions, capture memories, and wind down before bed.
A journaling habit can help you be more present in your everyday life by giving you an opportunity to check in with yourself – and your level of presence – on a regular basis.
Journaling can improve your well-being and help to increase your focus.
If you sit down to journal about your day and realize you can’t recall many meaningful details, chances are you were distracted by something – and not as present as you should’ve been.
And by raising your awareness of those moments when you aren’t so present, you’ll be more motivated to navigate your day with intention, purpose, and presence as you move forward.
5. Practice, practice, practice.
The more that you practice being more present in your everyday life, the easier it will become. As you create boundaries and focus on one thing at a time, it will begin to become second nature.
Choosing to be more present takes intentionality as there will always be temptations for distractions. But you can create new habits, one step at a time as you work to be more mindful and present in your life.
We only get this one life. Don’t let it pass you by with the constant noise begging for your attention. Being intentional with how you spend your time and focusing on one thing at a time will help you to be more present and experience a more fulfilling life.
When it comes to being more present in your everyday life, what has worked well for you? Comment here and let me know!
Sign up on the form below to get weekly decluttering and simplifying inspiration sent straight to your inbox. You’ll also get the free 8 Quick Wins for Decluttering Worksheet to help you start to simplify your life today.