As apart of the Mind Movies community, I’m sure you’ve heard me discuss the importance of mindfulness and embracing the present moment by now. But with so much that has transpired over this past year, I wanted to give a little bit of a refresher on the topic. Successfully knowing how to balance and appreciate the past, present, and future can unlock some of our most treasured moments and experiences. So here are some of my personal tips on how to live in the moment and truly feel grateful for what’s right in front of us.
Have you ever noticed that when you’re experiencing anxiety or worry, your chest feels tight? Or you may have trouble catching your breath? Well, one of the most natural and calming ways to release tension due to a wandering or racing mind is to simply breathe.
Taking a big deep breath and slowly releasing can provide almost instant relief to help calm the mind. And repeating this process, mindfully, provides an influx of oxygen traveling to the brain allowing for inner clarity and peace.
So the next time you find your mind wandering in worry, pay attention to your breathing pattern, as it may be beneficial to take even just a few moments to focus on your breath. This is my instant, go-to remedy for bringing myself back to center and easing my mind. This technique is what helps me understand that worries are only temporary, and that I have the power to shift my vibration.
IDENTIFY YOUR TRIGGERS
There are many things that can take us out of the present moment, which I refer to as triggers. Both external and internal triggers can cause you to wander, like your environment, the people you surround yourself with, stress or burnout at work, etc. It’s important to dig deep and think about what may be causing you distraction, anxiety or frustration. When you identify your personal triggers, it helps you become more aware of what situations, people, conversations or content to avoid and to help you stay in the present moment more often.
When I find my mind racing about the “what-ifs” or worry about the future, I know that it’s time to acknowledge what may be contributing to those thoughts. A great way to organize your thoughts and pin point your triggers is to journal! Jotting down notes about your thoughts, emotions, and feelings is a great way to keep tabs on the low-frequency emotions you could be lingering in, so give it a try!
LEAN INTO YOUR FEELINGS
Acknowledging your triggers is one thing, but taking the next step and actually leaning into those feelings (even the bad ones!) brings you into closer alignment with your higher self. The key here is to acknowledge your feelings and find ways to navigate through them, so they don’t build up and become too overwhelming.
Expert psychologist Dr. Joan Rosenberg speaks about the importance of leaning into awareness and how it can foster unwavering emotional strength. Especially in the challenging times we are facing, worry or fear of uncertainty is completely normal. In order to rise above feelings of hopelessness, we need to accept and acknowledge our unpleasant emotions.
So don’t be afraid to lean into those unpleasant emotions and tackle them head on. It takes a great deal of strength, courage, and mindfulness to be present enough to see your emotions and truly work through them. When you’re able to be present and willing to embrace a moment of discomfort, you are signaling to the Universe that you’re ready for the new opportunities the future holds.
EMBRACE THE UNKNOWN
A part of living in the present is being able to really open your heart and allow yourself to embrace the unknown. As hard as it may be, releasing worry and inviting a sense of readiness for what’s to come is a direct pathway to getting in flow.
Although sometimes we can get too comfortable or even stuck in bad habits of overthinking – usually as a way to protect ourselves from hurt or letdown. And don’t get me wrong, there’s no shame in wanting to be prepared for the future or set up for the best outcome. But you see, no one actually knows what will happen in the future. So worrying about it (or, conversely, dwelling on the past) as it provides no added-value to what the future actually holds.
The better you get at releasing worry and embracing the unknown, the more you are inviting that state of flow to enter into your life. Embracing the unknown is truly a mindful practice that has the power to reveal opportunities beyond your wildest dreams – you just have to give yourself permission to see the future as an opportunity. It doesn’t matter how prepared you are because when you quiet the chatter of fear or worry, you welcome infinite possibilities for a miraculous life.
WELCOME A MINIMALIST LIFESTYLE
Think about the calmness and peace you experience while sitting on the sand, overlooking the ocean – the endless horizon, the seemingly infinite ocean, and the sand underneath your toes. It doesn’t take much other than a mesmerizing seascape to allow you to appreciate the moment. With only the beach surrounding you, you are providing yourself with great abundance and bliss as you bask in the ambiance.
Now consider the peace and serenity you can experience when you remove distractions or things connected to past memories from your personal environment. Embracing a minimalist lifestyle not only means removing mental clutter but also physical clutter from your space. Be mindful of the things that you actually need around you and release the things that seem to just be collecting dust.
When you shed yourself of past triggers, you are welcoming a clear and more present space for clarity. This allows you to feel more connected to your thoughts, your emotions, and your inner self. It can be easy to get distracted and side-tracked by a wandering eye, so at the very least, even tidying up your workspace can keep you operating in the present.
STUDY MINDFULNESS (AND MASTER IT!)
Mindfulness is the practice of only paying attention to the present moment. And in fact, mindful practices come in many different forms. For example, mindful meditation is something I practice daily, and the benefits are incredible! Everything from better attention and cognitive function to improved sleep quality and stress reduction, mindful meditation is the perfect reminder of what it means to embody surrender.
When you allow yourself to slow down the worrisome chatter and relax your muscles, you realize that all you have is the present moment. You get to pay attention to the stillness of your body and the calmness of your breath, filling you with complete gratitude for life itself. This is a great way to give yourself a chance to slow down and get centered, free of past worries or future setbacks.
And the great thing is that mindfulness is not only used in meditation. You can practice mindfulness while breathing, eating, and even walking. Learning about all of the different ways to use mindfulness is a great way to uncover new healthy habits that are specific to your lifestyle. When you master the art of mindfulness, you are providing yourself the ability to savor every moment. And you just might be surprised as to how easy it is to incorporate mindfulness into some of the actives you already practice!
So as you find yourself on the journey of learning how to experience life in the present, we must not forget gratitude. One of the best ways to stay present is to practice gratitude every day. Just like being present, showing gratitude for what’s right in front of you keeps you connected to the life you truly want to lead. And to show my gratitude for you, I have a very special offering of our Rich With Gratitude System. It’s a 3-part system packed with our most powerful tools and technologies for shifting into an unbreakable gratitude mindset. Get instant access now and watch as your life starts to unfold exactly as you’ve dreamed.
Natalie Ledwell is a best selling author, speaker and successful entrepreneur. She's passionate about helping others to achieve their greatest dreams and ambitions through her personal development programs and her online TV show, The Inspiration Show.