What Does It Mean To Be Present In Life?

Being present involves having a conscious awareness of the moment you’re in right now. Here are some examples of being present. Ponder on the following questions:

  • Are you feeling warm or cool?
  • Is your body moving or still?
  • Are you breathing fast or slow?

By pondering the answers to these questions, you were just actively focusing on the present moment. You were putting attention towards the sensations within you. You could also put attention towards the sensations around you.

We can think about what we’re seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and tasting. We can pay attention to the thoughts crossing our mind, the emotions weighing on our heart, and the pictures playing in our head. When you’re putting attention towards these things, that’s how you know you’re living in the present.

When we’re practicing mindfulness, it’s often the case that we achieve more peace and relaxation. We’re doing less ruminating over the past, less worrying about the future, and more living in the moment.

Woman sitting on beach as wave approaches

How can I be in a more present state?

With achieving most things in life, it takes practice. It’s natural for our minds to wander. It’s okay to not to be in a present state of mind sometimes.

Reflecting on the past is helpful to personal growth. Pondering the future we want can help us plan and prepare for it. One study actually found living in the present can sometimes be bad, noting that mindfulness can make you selfish.

In general, living in the moment can be good for us. When you want to be more present, there are many exercises and tools that can help you out. Your mind can slowly become more aware of your life as it’s happening.

All the good sensations, the bad sensations, and everything else in between. All of the thoughts you like and the thoughts that you don’t like.

You can recognize yourself as simply an observer to the reality you’re experiencing. When you think of life that way, in a way, it kind of makes it seem less intense.

What is the point of being present? Why is it important?

The point of being present depends on what benefits you desire to gain from it. The main point is of course to be more aware of your present reality. But it also helps you achieve more feelings of calmness and emotional control.

Here are a few studies on the benefits of mindfulness:

Tips to practice being present

1. Focus more on your senses

Make a mental note of the texture of the items you touch. Pay careful attention to the sounds you hear and the smell of the rooms you’re in. Practice mindful eating by savoring the taste and feel of the meals you eat.

Allow yourself to enjoy the feel of warm water from a shower. Enjoy the softness of your bed and pillow when you lie in it to sleep.

2. Be grateful

When we’re caught up in what we don’t have and what we’re not happy with, we don’t experience much peace. Actively reflect on things to be grateful for in life. It can help you to focus on what’s presently around you.

Be thankful for the roof that’s over your head and the walls that give you privacy. Express gratitude for the things that you own or the loved ones around you. Being thankful is a good way to put you in the space of now.

3. Pay attention to your breath

One of the most common ways people advise others on how to be in the moment is focusing on our breath. It’s one of the few things in life that’s almost always present until our time is up.

Focus on your breath as a way to anchor yourself in moments you feel out of control. You might be surprised how much it helps you to feel calm in life.

Final thoughts on being in the moment

Some like to say all we have is the present, but I don’t agree with that. Along with the present, we have our positive memories to enjoy from our past. We have our hopeful expectations for the future.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying those things. But when the past brings up too much negativity, and the future brings up too many worries, focus on the now. Experience the calm of being aware of this current moment in your life.

Helpful articles on being more mindful

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