24. be present

Provincetown Candleholder

24. Be present. These two words can make a huge difference in simplifying your life. Living here and now, in the moment, keeps you aware of life, of what is going on around you and within you. It does wonders for your sanity. Read tips on how to do it.

It’s all too easy to let distractions, internal and external stressors take a girl right out of the moment. I can spend an entire afternoon not being present — distracted, daydreaming, stressed out, or procrastinating. Blech!

Some steps that have been particularly helpful for me include routines where I have to ‘check-in’ with myself. One that I have been doing for years is the total body check-in when I sit in the driver’s seat of the car: I square my hips, and do a roving body check starting with my legs up to my head. It takes about 30-40 seconds and if I come up with a complaint it is easy to address before it turns into a problem later in the day. I try to do this same thing when I first sit down at the computer to work for a while and after I take a break.

When I am trying to relax or focus on a project I draw upon mind-body techniques such as: breathing, counting, imagining distracting thoughts going up in balloons to return at a later time when I can better process them, setting a timer/alarm to work or play.

What works for you when you’re trying to be in the moment?

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