Mindfulness is discussed so much these days and it’s now widely accepted as a practice that comes with incredible benefits. But sometimes it can be daunting. The thought of constantly being present and absorbed in the present moment seems almost impossible in our current day. But we don’t need to strive for perfection. The aim of mindfulness is to allow more and more pockets of stillness and peace. And as they say, the more the merrier, right?
We’ve found a few tricks that help us arrive back in the present moment. Perhaps these can help next time you’re stuck in the future, or have delved deep into the past.
A classic and a favourite. Our breath is constantly in the present moment. It can’t possibly be anywhere else. Take three minutes or so to be still, close your eyes and take five long deep inhales and exhales. As you do this, try your best to bring your awareness completely to your breath, letting go of everything else around you. You’d be very surprised how much this can impact your body and your mind.
Change the Mood with a Scent
Scent is such a powerful memory trigger. It can also bring up emotions quite quickly. Simply be becoming aware of this sense can bring you straight back to where you are and what is around you. To go one step further, try having a scent that you associate with being calm, still, and present. Incense or essential oils can be a beautiful touch as they can have other healing benefits as well. Use that when you do yoga or meditate at home, then when you need to be reminded of stillness, light or apply the scent, and eventually, you will start to feel calmer each time you smell it.
Create an Intention
Sometimes we get lost in our own minds when we are lacking direction or focus. We are trying to do a million things, while thinking about another 50. When we have a direction and purpose, it can be easier to hone awareness on one thing at a time. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or lost, sit yourself down and set an intention for your hour, day, week, etc. How do you want to approach it? Rather than a goal, an intention is a way of acting and responding. Love, compassion or openness are all intentions. Then when we feel stuck, we can ask how best to approach where we’re at with love, compassion, or whatever it is we want to cultivate in that moment.
Listen to Listen, not to Respond
Often when we’re having conversations with people, we’re listening but at the same time, thinking about what we’re about to say in return. If you find yourself up in your head while someone else is talking, or find you’re more concerned with your side of the conversation, stop and try to listen to every word they’re saying and engage and clarify their story and intention. Before even thinking about your response. You’ll also find your response is more about them and less about you.