Happy Friday! How was your week after a long holiday weekend? It feels as though you blink and you are already at the end of another week. This thought really occurred to me this week when I ran some errands. Suddenly all of the “back to school” signs and supplies had vanished and were replaced by Halloween decorations. The sight of all the black and orange, skeletons, and witches triggered me to start thinking… “Halloween is only a short time away, and almost immediately after that is Thanksgiving… and then it will be Christmas… and then the New Year! I need to start setting aside time for holiday shopping and planning my family’s Thanksgiving dinner!” After a few minutes of “playing out the next few months in my head”, my mind and heart began to race. I was looking so far ahead that I was not present at all. I was creating anxiety and stress over something that was irrelevant to the “here and now”.
How often do you start thinking so far ahead that you forget to be in the present moment, appreciating and experiencing all that is “today”?
We are all guilty of thinking about the past or the future, especially when doing everyday tasks (like brushing your teeth or commuting to work). But, these can also be great opportunities to practice bringing yourself back to the breath and the here and now. Here are a few tips that can also help you relish the present:
Take it one task at a time. Multi-tasking has become the norm, but when you are switching back and forth from one thing to another, you are not giving any of the single tasks your undivided attention. Try breaking each task down and completing it before moving onto the next.
Slow Down. Rushing through life can cause anxiety and stress and take you out of the present moment more easily. Try taking things at a little slower, more relaxed pace, especially when you are starting your day.
Be Aware. Take notice of what you are doing and what you are saying. Be aware when your mind starts to wander. Breathe deeply and bring your focus back to the here and now. Notice your surroundings, your breath, and how you are feeling.
“As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out the present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care, and love — even the most simple action.” –Eckhart Tolle
Have a great weekend! Take Care.