Have you seen the someecard that goes, “Men, if you ever wanna know what a woman’s mind is like, imagine a browser with 3,241 tabs open. All. The. Time.”? I don’t know about you ladies, but couldn’t me more true for me. Being present is honestly one of the hardest things I’m trying to work on these days!
Some of the most common things that prevent people from having a peaceful day are work, internet, social media, digital distractions, children, chores, lack of control, and our own crazy minds.
I know one of the biggest issues I personally have with being fully present is comparing myself to others, both in my personal and work life. I’m constantly comparing myself to other bloggers (their pictures are prettier! their websites are prettier! they have more followers! don’t we all do this??) which I know needs to stop. InspiredRD wrote a great post about this yesterday about being careful not to measure our self worth by numbers on a screen.
In my personal life, I feel like I am constantly surrounded by people getting engaged, married, buying houses, and having babies. It’s hard being in your mid-20’s (eek I’ll be 25 in July!) and having that constant reminder of what people are doing around you. Nick and I know that we want to get married and have a family someday, but we need to do it in our own time and not let the pressure of what everyone else is doing affect us.
I can honestly say that I’ve been sucked into the “Pinterest Black Hole of Self-Destruction” (you know what I’m talking about…). Looking at hundreds of pictures of engagement rings, flowers, wedding dresses, cute photos of babies etc, it’s hard not to want all of those things. Staying in the present and appreciating what is going on in our lives at this moment helps. Like coming home to this little noodle every day.
No matter how out of control your day is, or how stressful your job or life becomes, the practice of being present can be your comfort. It can change your life, and it’s incredibly simple.
How Being Present Solves Problems
When you look at all of the “problems” that we seem to have, most of them are entirely in the mind. Sure, there are external forces at work like a stressful job, chores, kids, interruptions etc. But how we handle those external forces in our minds is the problem. If we are completely present, there is only us and the one problem, and not a million other things you need to worry about at once.
If your job demands an urgent task, you can stress out because you have a million other things to do and not enough time. Or, you can be fully present, focus completely on that one task, and now there is only that one task and you. When you’re done with that task, you can move on.
Being present becomes a way to handle any problem or distraction. It allows everything else to fade away, leaving only you and whatever you’re dealing with right now.
How to Practice Being Present
Learn to focus completely on one thing. Pay attention. What you’re doing, what you’re feeling, what you’re thinking. You’ll notice thoughts start to jump around to different things. That’s okay, you are not trying to force your mind to think certain thoughts. Just by becoming aware that you’re unfocused is the tool for bringing yourself back to the present task. Lovingly come back to the present. Be joyful in what you’re doing, grateful that you’re able to do it, and fully appreciate every moment of the task. Anything can be an amazing experience.
Meditation is a great way to practice mindfulness, because it allows you to be aware of your mind, and to help you practice bringing you back to the present moment. As part of my 12 Habits in 2015 series, we’ll be discussing meditation further with lots of fun articles and tips this month!
What distracts you, and how do you come back to the present?