Over the past few days, we’ve talking about how mindfulness and living in the present moment helps you become more resilient. Living in the moment supports a healthier stress response. As a nurse and a human and a health coach, I see and experience the tremendous toll that stress can have on health – I’m talking about physical, mental, and emotional health. Stress causes you to gain weight, get sick, and it just wears you down mentally. 

If you haven’t, check out these two posts in the series:

Pandemic Stress? How to Live More in the Present

6 Steps to Experiencing and Practicing Flow

Now let’s take a look at some steps you can take today to be more present in your life!

  1. Celebrate the small joys. What is a small joy you see? Flowers? Finding an extra dollar in your purse? Running into a friend? Whatever it is celebrate it every day. When I’m driving around Denver I like to see what odd/unusual things I can see. I can tell you I’ve seen some amazing things – from a dildo lying in the road (how did it get there?) to beautiful and kind people helping each other out.

  2. Check in with yourself. Identify with the moment you’re in. Notice the noises you hear, your surroundings and how you feel, smell and are grateful for. I currently have a pug snuggled up to my side and my husband is cooking bacon – perfection!

  3. Listen. Be engaged in conversation by listening intently and with curiosity.

  4. Listen to your body. Stay in the present in your life by listening to what your body tells you it needs. Periodically, during your day, do a body scan and create awareness about how you’re feeling and where you’re feeling it. 

  5. Let your feelings come. Feel your feelings, acknowledge and observe them instead of trying to over-analyze and change them -or worse, repress them. I’m diligently working on not putting my feelings into a drawer to deal with later. Because I can tell you that the drawer gets over full, I can’t close it, and shit comes tumbling out at the worst times! Just feel your feelings and get through them. 

  6. Reduce the distractions. Being continually distracted keeps you from being fully present in your life. Instead fully focus on one thing, even for just five minutes. Try deep breathing and focusing only on inhalation and exhalation. See how that feels. It’s challenging!

  7. Savor daily rituals. Maybe it’s a cup of tea and cookies in the afternoon. Maybe it’s a short walk each evening before bed. I like to take a bath at night and read a romance novel! Whatever it is try doing it slowly, in peace and without distractions every day.

  8. Reflect on your day. Journal and create a list of things you’re grateful for or telling a love one about your day, it’s important to reflect on what went well that day. 

  9. Step away from the digital world. Turn off the phone, computer and other digital devices that distract you. Do something daily that doesn’t require being connected to the internet.

  10. Exercise. It’s incredibly difficult to exercise hard and think about other things. Exercise often forces you to be in the moment. Try a HIIT class or workout. Get on that Peloton bike or treadmill and work hard. 

 

Choose one or two of these steps and try them out today. Consider which steps you can integrate into your daily routine. Being more present in your life is something that happens over time, in increments. Every day that you work on it, you improve. As you improve your ability to stay in the present moment, stress is reduced because it’s easier to keep things in perspective, you spend less time looking into the past and stressing about the future, and you learn to appreciate right now. 

If you have other tips or practices that you use to stay present, share in the comments. 

101 Things You Can Do TODAY to Improve Your Health

Simple steps you can start taking today to have more energy, look better, feel great, and lose weight.

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