Have you ever been so lost in your thoughts that you simply lose sense of where you are? What is presence beyond being being physically here? Why is presence important in our daily lives?
Do the quality of your life diminish because of anxious thoughts and worry? Read on to learn about why being present n the moment can change our lives.
Do you have any brain fog moments? I sure had my episode yesterday. So as I was driving, I absentmindedly came to a slow roll, then to a full stop as I approach a green light. I stopped there for maybe a good minute or so, until I notice other drivers zooming past behind me.
I looked up to see the light, and to my horror, it turned amber, then red! What was I thinking? I stopped at a green light unknowingly, my brain clouded with things of future, past and whatnots. I could not believe how I allowed my thoughts to consume me. I was so occupied that I did not know I stared blank at a traffic light, and my mind is somewhere else.
The day before that, I nearly caused a big damage to our bathroom as I left an immersion water heater plugged in and without water! And there was no way I could have remembered what I did until I saw a strobe of orange glowing against the bath tub. Needless to say, smell of burnt coils enveloped the room and I was in shock, ashamed and in disbelief.
I tell you, I have lots of moments that are similar to these but these two are top notch and stand out. So I told myself that very day, I need to check on myself, assess and re-visit my wellness toolbox.
Are You Present?
Most of the time, we go on about our days without knowing how much we lack presence and awareness in our daily lives. In my case, threats to my safety and of the people around me has had to happen before I become aware of it.
What is Presence?
According to my one of my favorite spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle, we reach a state of presence when we tap into our inner awareness to become fully conscious of the present moment.
As you know, the presence we are talking about is not just the physical presence. Presence is more than that. When you are fully immersed in the moment physically, mentally and emotionally, you are fully aware.
For you can be present anywhere, yet your mind is wandering. It is a simple act, yet many of us can be found guilty of this.
The simple act of being present, of being aware and not being consumed with thoughts affect the quality of our lives, and our relationships.
How Awareness Brings Positive Changes to Our Life?
- Presence allow us to enjoy the good things around us, which we may not notice if we are always filled with anxious thoughts about the past and future.
- Awareness keeps negative, anxious thoughts at bay. If we are aware, you can stop a negative thought in its track simply just by noticing it. If we do not have the presence, we allow these thoughts to carry us away, until these thoughts give birth to another similar thoughts. Before we know it, it has become your normal way of thinking. And negativity, our normal way of living.
- When we are manage anxiety this way, you are present enough to know that these are thoughts, and that they are not your reality. You become more focused on what is in front of you rather than on your imagination.
- When we are present, we learned to live life. The actual life. Not our life situations. You notice the tree swaying with the wind. You hear the delight in a child’s laughter. You taste just how good your breakfast is. Life is in front of you. I mean, how many magical moments have we wasted because we chose to focus on our minds.
- Awareness allow you to enjoy life.
Personally, I think awareness gives way to more beautiful state of being such as gratitude and joy. Being aware makes it easier for us to feel happier, as it allows us to examine our thoughts closely and not be carried away by them.
Simple Ways to Practice Presence
- Take deep breaths and be mindful of your breath.
- Notice your thoughts but don’t attach to them.
- Question negative thoughts. I love Byron Katie’s approach in her method The Work. Is the thought true? and how do you react to this thought?
- Practice meditation every morning.
- Be aware of the sensations in your body, and the thoughts in your mind.
- For several times a day, really feel your feet against the surface, your hands against every thing you touch. This practice allows you to be fully present in the moment.
- A favorite practice I got from my favorite yoga teacher, Adriene Mishler: Inhale, and when you exhale, consciously drop your shoulders down. Try it. It’s calming and grounding.