Wanting to live in the now isn’t enough. Like anything new, present moment living needs commitment and daily practice. Think of exercise as an integral support to your heart. Being present and exercising mindfulness in everyday life are a critical components to well-being. So here are everyday tools and practices that will keep you living in the present moment.
Living in the present moment everyday is not constantly reflecting on sunsets, mountaintops and rainbows (although that’s really nice). Alternatively practices like mindfulness meditation and yoga are very effective exercises to incorporate into your life. Taking the time to learn how to be mindful in everyday life in a variety of ways is crucial to your emotional well-being. Take comfort, mindfulness doesn’t completely encompass just meditation practices. But if you’re interested here’s our most popular article with more information on meditation and centering techniques. This particular post focuses on the tools and practices you need to find happiness, fulfillment and yourself in the ordinary daily routines of life.
Mindfulness in everyday life does not come easy. With all of the distractions today, like the new mail alert on your device, happenings in the news or social media upkeep, it’s more important than ever to live in the now. To be in the moment as much as possible needs to be consciously practiced throughout each day.
There are lots of simple things and mindfulness exercises for beginners you can do everyday to help you focus on the here and now. If you are a beginner in mindfulness practice it can be especially challenging because life is busier and more stressful than ever. You’re not alone. Even for the best, most mindful, of us, when we’re not obsessing about anything in particular, we somehow still miss out on the present moment! This is because we are already subconsciously looking for what is next. While we are lost in a different world of past, made up future and inner dialogues, we sadly miss out on the real world happening right in front of us.
Here’s a common example of not living in the present moment:
Have you ever driven your car someplace only to ask yourself, “How did I actually get here?!” Like you were on autopilot?
Do you get home from work and dwell on the responsibilities you have to deal with tomorrow?
How about scoffing down your dinner without noticing how delicious it was because you need to move on to the next thing.
When was the last time you had a meaningful conversation with your partner, colleague, child, or friend where you found yourself actively listening to them. Listening to listen … and not to answer?
So the answer is simple really. We are not always “there” are we? And that’s totally normal, but it’s also fixable. The only and best remedy for not living in the past and not worrying about the future is staying in the moment. Something that is within you power even though at times it feels rather elusive, doesn’t it?
Here’s are some great tips that will prove to you that the little things in life just may be the biggest:
Living in the Present Moment Daily Tools and Practices
The following mindfulness tips are highly effective yet cannot happen unless you recognize that you are drifting back to the past or worrying about the future. So while learning how to be mindful in everyday life will take conscious effort, it will be more rewarding than you ever imagined. The practice and act of self-awareness is the key to keeping you where you need to be. So don’t worry, the more you practice the more you will find yourself enjoying the actual exercise.
How to Be Mindful in Everyday Life
Let’s start with your most used, habitual, everyday actions and apply these as mindfulness tools and practices:
Literally ask yourself, “Am I breathing?” You know you are but take notice to the air…your breath. This is life flowing in and out of your body. How wonderful! At this moment you are present. It may only be a brief moment but that’s okay. This is what this exercise is all about – becoming.
Become acutely mindful of your senses while you are experiencing small, seemingly insignificant actions. For example consciously notice the nowness of everyday actions, such as washing your hands, taking a shower, folding laundry, retrieving your mail from you mailbox.
While you do such activities, look for what senses you notice. As you wash your hands: the warmth of the water, the smell of the soap, the look of the lather.
You can apply this mindful tool for lots of things (anything!), such as the smell of the fresh laundry, boiling water and so on. But sometimes we need more guidance.
Once you get in to the process of retraining your mind it becomes habit-forming.
If you think about it, your daily life, each and every day, is filled with these small actions. Take advantage of this. It won’t cost you anything, not even your time. This is because are you are getting back the precious time you did not even realize was escaping you.
The 7 Minute Mindfulness technique is a highly effective way to gain inner peace, happiness and feel ‘uncluttered’ in your life.
They’re also currently offering a Free Giveaway called The 7 Day Mind and Soul Cleanse but use this link instead for the freebie.
“When you’re stirring soup, it is not just stirring soup.”
Mindfulness in everyday life is moment by moment. The more you bring each seemingly small moment of presence in to your daily life, the less you will drift away into either the past or the future.
It’s amazing how all of the small things you do and that are around you can be used as the staying in the moment exercises you need!
Living in the Present Moment Daily Tools and Practices for When You are in Emotional Pain
What does wishing away a challenging experience ultimately accomplish? The answer is that it generally will add more pain to whatever emotional suffering you have. This added suffering will often present itself in forms such as worry, anxiety, short-temperedness, possibly even added physical problems.
Eckhart Tolle, one of the greatest thinkers and influencers of our time, teaches that during such situations being in the present moment in daily life empowers you to cope with these challenges.
Here’s how: you must completely accept the pain for what it is and accept the situation and the feelings for what that are.
First what does this not mean?
- It does not mean you are free to wallow in misery
- Nor does it give you permission to give up hope for happiness or success
- It does not show that you are unworthy or weak
Contrary: Acceptance means you are strong enough to acknowledge what is happening at the moment and cope with it.
If accepting pain still sounds harsh, reflect on the philosophy of the acceptance exercise…
- If you are unhappy about something – don’t deny or ignore it – this delays healing.
- Don’t “do” anything except find out if it is possible for you to allow those feelings to just exist. In other words, be unhappy, or whatever the emotion may be.
- Acknowledge the uncertainty of said situation. This is Accepting it.
- The inner acceptance of whatever you are experiencing is your present moment.
- Feeling the emotion itself will slow down any overactivity your mind can create from the tendency to resist.
- We can still have sad thoughts and be in the present moment through this way of acceptance.
Think of the present as a gift (pun intended). The present is a gift that only you can give to yourself. So do it on a daily basis, in the morning, afternoon, while at work, driving, or washing dishes. Throughout the day, do your best to become more self-aware. Consider this everyday life mindfulness practice just as you would with a healthy diet, saving money, or taking care of your skin. Conscious mindfulness is a critical tool to add to your well-being toolkit. Before you know it you will be living in the present moment without even trying.
Leave a comment here or on social media and let me know how your living in the present moment everyday tools and practices are going!
Life is available only in the present moment.Thich Nhat Hanh