Being present is more than a trendy buzzword or a passing fad, it is a life skill that can bring immense benefit to your well-being and quality of life. The concept of being present, also known as present moment awareness, is not a new one. It has been advocated by myriad spiritual leaders and philosophers throughout the ages. And yet, in today’s world of constant distractions with a culture of multitasking, it can be challenging to be fully present in the moment.
Being present means living in the moment, without dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. It is about focusing on what is happening right now, setting aside any judgment or distraction. One of the easiest ways to be present is to connect with nature. Taking a walk in nature and appreciating the beauty around you can be a great way to practice being present. Sitting by the ocean, feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin, and watching the waves crash on the shoreline can also be an excellent way to be present in the moment, or as Ram Dass so eloquently said: “Be here now.”
Mindfulness and presence
Being present is not just about connecting with nature, it is also about being mindful in your everyday life. Taking a five-minute break to focus on your breathing can be an effective way to practice being present. Just set an alarm on your phone and focus on your breath, letting any thoughts that may arise simply float by like a balloon. Stay focused on the sensation of breathing until the alarm chimes.
Mindfully enjoying your morning coffee or tea by noticing your surroundings, as well as the taste and texture of your beverage, can also be a great way to be present in the moment.
Being present is not always easy, as our minds tend to wander to the past or future. However, the benefits of being present are enormous. When you are present, you can let go of guilt, sadness, and fear. When being present, you have complete control over your happiness. Moreover, being present can help you appreciate the beauty in everyday things, which often goes unnoticed when your mind is preoccupied with past or future events.
The practice of mindfulness, including present-moment awareness, has been proven to reduce emotional reactivity and minimize anxiety. A randomized controlled trial published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that mindfulness meditation reduced symptoms of anxiety, depression, and pain, in patients with chronic pain. Mindfulness practices, including being in the now moment, can also help you cope with stress and improve your overall well-being.
“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” — Thích Nhất Hạnh
Being present is a life skill that can bring immense benefits to your well-being. While it can be challenging to be fully present in the moment, by practicing mindfulness and connecting with nature, you can cultivate this skill in your daily life. You can appreciate the beauty in everyday things and find joy and happiness in the present. So take a moment to breathe, connect with nature, and be present in the moment. May you be blessed with a joyful, present-filled life.