Written by Laura Lafrance, blogger on Unefleursauvage.com
With every passing day, I become more and more aware of how life goes by so quickly. Hours often feel like seconds and days always end much faster than expected. However, it is quite clear that I am not alone in this situation. Truly, we are all so busy; every single day we run around, stuck in the hurry-up mode, hoping to make it out alive. In doing so, do we really take the time to enjoy life? In my opinion, living with such hurry only makes us completely disconnected from the present moment and makes us forget that everything that matters is here and now. Yes, you read that one right: the most important aspects of your life can be found in the present moment, as you are reading these words.
Obviously, I did not always have this perspective on life. Growing up, I had to make the conscious choice of fully living in the present. In the past years, I learned that living in the future’s numerous possibilities and in the past’s remorse did not bring anything positive to my existence. Thus, I had to develop various tips in order to connect to the present moment. Applying these tips taught me how to appreciate the delights of life and how to be: living in the present moment is the art of enjoying life as it is. I know this may seem tough, but it is honestly not that complicated. No matter how you choose to do it, the following tips will help you become more connected to the here and now:
1. Do something for yourself
Whether it is reading, knitting or watching an episode of your favourite TV show, find a relaxing activity that makes you happy. For my part, being a super creative individual, creativity is what allows me to relax and to connect to the present moment. Indeed, I realized that activities that required a lot of concentration helped me being more conscious of the present moment. Just think about it: when you are focused on A, you cannot think about XYZ. You simply are focused on A and, therefore, you become totally connected to the here and now. For this reason, I often choose to draw mandalas or to write a bit. No matter what is the chosen activity, the goal behind this tip is simply to do something for your own happiness without feeling any pressure.
2. Breathe deeply
Yes, I know that this tip seems so obvious. Yet, how many people really take the time to breathe correctly each day? Even though I do not have any stats to prove my point, I think we can all agree on the fact that most people don’t. It is quite unfortunate considering how simple it is; all you have to do is inhale and exhale. While breathing out, let your belly inflate. Then, when you breathe out, let it deflate. Repeat this exercise daily and don’t overdo it; you will know intuitively when you have taken enough deep breaths.
In the yoga world, it is recommended to practice 2-to-1 breathing. This breathing exercise is a powerful technique where we exhale two times longer than we inhale. For instance, if you inhale for 4 seconds, you must exhale for 8 seconds. 2-to-1 breathing calms your nervous system and soothes your mind. If you wish, you can even do it with your eyes closed. Honestly, just try breathing in a way that makes you comfortable: you can close your eyes, you can keep them open, you can put on so relaxing music, you can do it in silence, etc. Sincerely, just use this opportunity to reconnect with yourself. You are alive and that’s all that matters during this breathing exercise.
3. Be aware of how your body feels
Your body is definitely the most useful tool to know how you are feeling at this very moment. Why? Well, your body, unlike your mind, is always living in the present moment! So, ask yourself: am I hungry? Tired? How do I feel emotionally? The answers to these questions will allow you to become more aware of your needs of the moment.
4. Do some meditation, relaxation and/or visualization
This tip helps me in so many ways every day. Even though there are a few differences between the three exercises, practicing any of them allows us to clear our mind and to stop thinking about our numerous responsibilities. While the goal of meditation is to bring awareness to our thoughts and feelings in a contemplative manner, the goal of relaxation is to completely calm our mind and body. Then, the goal of visualization is to use our imagination in order to visualize specific situations in our mind. Amongst others, you can use visualization to unwind after a busy day, to be more confident or to ace a job interview.
If this sounds interesting to you, I advise you to get started with a guided visualization: in this type of visualization, a narrator will slowly guide you through the process, which makes it a lot easier for beginners. Whether you choose to do meditation, relaxation or visualization, you will automatically feel more connected to the present moment. See by yourself what suits you best!
5. Work out
Here and there, we praise the benefits of working out. Experts often present it as the answer to all our aches. However, did you know that working out could also allow you to be more connected to the present moment? Working out, being a very physical and challenging activity, necessarily makes us forget all our worries. Think about it: when you are busy doing squats and lifting weights, do you really have the time to think what you are going to prepare tomorrow night for dinner? Definitely not! For my part, doing sport makes me feel calmer every day. The type of exercise doesn’t matter: you can do yoga, jogging or strength training, as long as it allows you to be fully present in the here and now.
Lastly, the goal of this article is not to convince you to be constantly connected to the present moment; you definitely don’t have to do it 24/7. Truly, the goal of this text is to show you that there are thousands of different ways to achieve it. After all, your happiness is what matters most. Being connected to the present moment is a manner to enjoy life to its fullest; it should not be mandatory! Use the tips provided in this article to relax and to empty your mind; do it because you deserve it! 🙂 If you ever have any questions on this topic, do not hesitate to communicate with me!
With all my love,