Daily Habits to Connect with the Present Moment
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you will ever have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”- Eckhart Tolle
Let’s look at some different types of activities and habits you can implement into your day to help begin developing living in the moment.
Yoga. It’s probably not surprising to hear that yoga is an excellent habit to get into to connect with the present moment with less stress. Yoga helps you practice mindfulness by having your focus on your breath. When you focus on your breath you are forced to be in the present.
Laugh as much as possible. Laughter releases tension and relaxes our muscles. Can’t find anything humorous in your situation? Try to remember something your kid told you that made you laugh or a funny movie your watched. Keep a small notebook handy with funny jokes. Call a friend for a good laugh. Laugh at yourself when you make a mistake or do something clumsy.
Shrug it off if you can. Not everything will be in our control. Life happens. Change what you can and do your best with the rest.
Relax. Take off your shoes and wiggle your toes. Meditate for one minute. Close your eyes and count to a million. When you relax your mind calms and your body releases the tensions from those pesky things that worry you throughout the day.
Be grateful. Count your blessings and ask for grace to get through the day. Feel gratitude for what you have and for the stress in your life. After all, if you didn’t have stress, you aren’t living.
Smile. You'll be surprised by how just changing your expression can change your whole attitude. A smile helps you change your attitude, giving you a positive outlook. This leaves you calmer and better able to deal with life's little annoyances. Negativity only brings you more negative actions.
Sit quietly in the morning. Morning is the perfect time to begin your day with mindfulness. Instead of rushing through your morning routine take a few minutes to sit and be thankful for the day. Journal, meditate or just concentrate on breathing.
Spend time outside whenever possible. A simple walk around your neighborhood, visiting a local park or take a hike on a nice trail. These are all great environments for getting in touch with nature. Connecting with nature helps you ground yourself and get in the present moment. Observe what you see, smell, feel and hear while clearing your mind.
Focus on a single task at a time. Many of us have been taught to multitask to get things done. But when you divide your attention among several things, you end up making mistakes, rather than the best job, or not finishing everything. Instead focus on the one task at hand. When you are done with it, take a short break and then move onto the next one. It’s more relaxing and mindful way to do your activities.
Feel your feelings. Part of being in the preset moment means being in touch with how you feel. Whether you feel excited, happy, sad, angry, jealous or some other feeling, allow yourself to feel it. Then be mindful of how you react to the feelings.
Get creative. Do something every day that uses your creativity. Spending time doing what you enjoy helps your stay in the present moment. And creative outlets are great at helping relieve stress. Draw, paint, build or take photographs or whatever gets you being creative.
Take part in physical activities you enjoy. Being active in activities you are passionate about puts you in a state of mindfulness. Include some kind of physical activity you are passionate about in your plans, daily if possible. It could be a game of basketball, soccer, surfing or cycling. It could be baseball, handball, or a round of golf.
One habit to develop to stay in the present moment with stress is to take time for yourself on a every day. That time you spend on yourself helps you return to the stresses with a more relaxed and positive mindset.
Take a break regularly. Sometimes we get so busy we forget to take a break. Step away from whatever you're doing throughout the day. Grab a cup of coffee or tea, or an ice-cold water and take a few minutes for yourself.
Count your blessings. Be grateful for something every day. Showing gratitude about what you have puts in you in a positive vibe and in the present moment.
Sing a song that makes you feel good. Even a silly song will reduce stress and put you in the moment. You might even be surprised when others join in.
Perform simple Acts of Kindness to others. Hold open a door, let another in line ahead of you at the grocery store. Buy flowers for a friend. Send an encouraging card or letter. None of these will take much time, but each makes you feel good and more aware of others.
Eat healthy-- fruit, some cheese every day. Drink Green Tea or ice-cold water.
Dance to some lively music. Dancing relaxes your body while having the added benefit of loosening your muscles and helping you release stress. Feel into the motions, the beat of the music and how it makes you feel. Can't dance? Just move your body. No one is judging so let go of your inhibitions and boogie.
Do Nothing. This may be the hardest thing to do. But try it. Just sit quietly for five minutes. Try to clear your mind. Watch kids play. Doodle. Just don't make lists of what you need to do. This is a great exercise to do to help clear your thoughts and just be in the moment.
Act like a kid and play. Do something silly. Color in a coloring book. Play with your daughter's dolls or your son's monster toys. Make mud pies or a snowman. Jump rope. Be a child again and enjoy doing something simple. Notice how it feels to just be open and in the moment.
A way to reduce stress is to relax. It's important to find your own time to unwind with your own way of relaxing. Try deep breathing, yoga, meditating, whatever helps you relax.
If you can't do any of these things, just sit and listen to soothing music for a few minutes. Or read a few pages of your favorite fiction book.
Keep a journal. Write down what is bothering you as well as what you are grateful for. Journaling can be a great way to get yourself back into the present. It helps you organize your thoughts and feelings. It's a great way to keep track of what's causing your stress and to work through the issues.
Spend time working on a hobby you enjoy. Try knitting, photography, scrap booking, gardening, fishing, or painting. Take-up baking or gourmet cooking. Whatever you want to explore, make sure it’s something you enjoy and not something that will add more stress to your life.
Get a pet. Studies have shown pets are great companions. They don't argue, aren't rude and are always there when you need them. They keep in you in the present moment by just being with you and looking for nothing but your attention
Take a long bath. Fill the tub with scented essential oils surrounded by lit candles and your favorite soothing music. Let your mind wander. Afterwards, wrap yourself in fluffy towels, moisturize all over and blow dry your hair. Give yourself a manicure and a facial. You'll emerge a totally relaxed diva.
Be of service and help others. Helping others helps us get our minds off our own troubles and puts us into the moment. Help an elderly neighbor, volunteer in your community, or find some way to help those in need.
Set limits and plan your time. Figure out what you can really do in a certain amount of time. Set limits with yourself and others. Say NO when you have to.
Plan your day with a flexible to-do list. Do the most important things first. Plan time to pray, to play with your kids, to relax, to eat well and to exercise.
Whether you participate meditation, a fun new hobby like belly dancing or spend a few minutes organizing your day, implementing some of these daily habits into your day helps you stay in the present moment. And there will be less stress as well.