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7 Ways to Staying in The Present

Goodbye 2019, HELLO 2020! Do you find yourself focusing on what you didn’t do in the last year? Have you been saying to yourself “when 2020 begins I will sort my life out”? We all have this tendency to wait until the new year to start things, or to look back negatively at what has been and pray that the future will be better. What happens when you do this is, we neglect the most important part of life, THE PRESENT! This is a dangerous game to play with ourselves because doing this will stop anything from actually happening, so today, right now, in this very moment, we’re going to find some easy ways to focus on the now.

Do you find yourself focusing on what you didn't do in the last year?

I have decided to do this in the way of an acronym, so let’s dive straight into it then!

Pause: Press pause for a second and take a look around you. Put down your phone, step away from your computer and take notice of everything surrounding you, the people, the smells, the sounds, and most importantly check in with yourself. Firstly, your physical body; any aches or pains, stiffness, spaces of ease and comfort, your weight distribution. Now focus in on your mind. How are you feeling, is your mind full of thoughts? and cluttered with to do lists? That’s it, simply taking notice of everything will take you to whatever your next step needs to be.

Writing is a powerful tool we have at our disposal

Reset: This leads on from pause. Once you’ve taken stock of everything, you’ll most likely be able to focus in on what is pulling you out of the present, if you’re stuck as to what it is, I recommend thinking about the thoughts you had and if you have a cluttered mind. To reset the mind, grab a piece of paper and write down everything that’s on your mind, this could be a do list or just a burst of thoughts. Writing is a powerful tool we have at our disposal, it’s the best way to take things from our mind that seem unreachable and make them real by performing the act of writing with a pen (yes, I’m saying I don’t recommend doing this on a phone or computer, if that’s all you have then it’s better than nothing but writing is just that little bit more effective). Maybe it’s not your mind that’s blocking you from the present, maybe it’s something going on in your body. If that’s the case, then my first recommendation is head over to this video of mine to reset the body, if you don’t have time or you’re not in the right space to do a full-on Yoga practice then get in a few stretches and movements wherever you are. Perhaps it’s your current environment, this one can be tricky because there may be little you can do, but perhaps with a good focus you’ll start noticing what might help you to feel better in it right now or maybe you just need to take a step away from it for a moment.

Exit: Now you’ve set the reset button you can remove yourself the past, stop looking to the past for an answer and look to where you are now. Yes, we have to learn from our mistakes, I’m a very big believer in that but we mustn’t remain stuck to them. You know the saying what’s happened has happened, well it’s a good saying, listen to it and then take a step into the now.

Move in any and every way that feels good to you!

Surrender: this links very closely with exit but might seem counterproductive to exit but go with me please. When we are really stuck to the past or maybe even stuck in wishing for what’s to come in the future then sometimes the only thing you can do is surrender yourself to what’s going on for you. What I mean by that is, if what is stopping you from stepping into the present is something that’s pulling you back to the past or trying to pull you into the future, then take some time to focus on it. The thing about the past, especially if it’s holding us back, is that very often we’re trying to run from it. Stop and surrender to it for a while. This could be something you spend a few weeks on. Don’t be afraid to take your time with it. Just because you’re spending time to focus on the past, I promise it will help you to step closer to the present. Grab a notepad and start writing down everything you feel about it, dissect it as much as you can and see if you can figure out what it is about this moment that is holding you back so much. If this is a deeper problem, you might even find it helpful to speak to a therapist about it. If your biggest pull of focus is the future then again surrender to that for a while and make a plan, write down everything you want and then what you need to do to achieve that. You can be as outlandish as you like but just get a realistic plan written down!

Enter: You should now be readier to really enter the present. This will seem easy to begin with because you’ve reset everything but do be aware that we can easily be drawn back to the past or the future so stay connected by following these steps daily. A little daily check in really helps us to remain present.

Note take: To stay focused on the present I have discovered for myself that the biggest thing you can do is keep taking notes or journaling. This doesn’t have to be every single day, but certainly every time you feel you need to unblock your mind. I have now got myself into the habit of writing a to do list first thing in the morning. Sometimes I only write this at the beginning of the week because I might know everything that I need to do that week that will play on my mind if I don’t have it written down. Then throughout the week I can tick off what I’ve done. Or, I’ll write one almost every day. Every week and every day are different, so I just go with what’s needed and I suggest you do the same. I’m not the only one who does this by the way. Journaling is a very popular tool for most of the biggest minds and entrepreneurs in the world!

Take care: Take care of yourself. I’ve definitely covered the mental side of this for staying in the present, but you also really need to take care of yourself physically. As soon as we stop moving, we run the risk of blocking energetic flow and flow throughout the body and the mind. To remain present, you really need to be able to follow what is happening in both the mind and the body. Move in any and every way that feels good to you. This could be walking, running, Yoga, Pilates and so on. If you need inspiration, then follow me on YouTube for weekly Yoga classes.

Take care of yourself!

Hopefully, this will help you get yourself into the present and remain focused on what’s important right now. If this blog has helped you, it will undoubtedly help someone else so please share it with people you know and feel free to comment with your kind thoughts and offer any ideas for future posts that you would like to see.

Big love and well wishes for the year to come from me; Amy at A to Z Yoga. Come and join me for a live class if you’re in the London area. Book here.