Updated: Jan 13
One of my favourite life changing books has been, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. He emphasised in that book that most of us are either stuck in the past and depressed for what should have been or transported to the future in worry or anxiety to what could be. According to him, either of the states prevent us from living in the present moment, which is all we have in reality. So I have been researching from various sources about some ways we can be in the present moment. Following are some easy tools that can help you to do so:
1. 54321 Method
This is a very simple and powerful technique which makes us aware of our surroundings and our body using our 5 senses.
Observe 5 things you can see around you.
Listen to 4 sounds you can hear maybe it could be birds chirping, sound of vehicles, pressure cooking whistling, laughter of a kid etc.
Feel 3 things that your skin touches. It could be the seat you are sitting on, it could be the warm cup of coffee you are holding, the wet grass you are walking on etc.
Then bring your awareness to 2 things you can smell.
And lastly, focus on one thing you can taste.
This exercise brings our awareness to our 5 senses (sight, sound, touch, smell and taste) and thus brings our focus instantly in the present moment.
2. Deep Breathing
Next exercise is to focus on breaths. When you feel that your mind is wandering off to the past or future, start taking deep breaths and focus on inhaling and exhaling. This will not only calm your anxiety and worry but also can help you stay centred in the present moment.
3. Single Tasking
Nowadays, multitasking is considered to be a skill. Although in mundane routine tasks it can be helpful to multitask and save time, but for important tasks, this can prevent you from focussing and being conscious of what you are doing. So when you are doing a crucial task, it is important to do Only that and remove any other source of distraction. This helps in being in the present moment and do that task proficiently.
4. I am
Whenever you feel that your mind is wandering, start saying the statement, "I am…" (fill with whatever activity you are doing). For example if you are doing the dishes, you can start centering your mind by saying, "I am doing the dishes", "I am chewing food" etc. This brings your awareness to the activity you are doing & helps you be in the present moment.
5. Taking it Slow
Lastly, slow down in all the activities and savour each process instead of hustling and running in some race to finish first. Instead of starting our day in a rush, slow down and start your day with understanding what you want in life ultimately, journaling and reading or listening to inspiring things that help you stay focused on your dreams and goals without the need for the rush.
Although these tools are effective, but unless you are highly enlightened like the monks, you will still get distracted and slip to the past or future. In those cases, using these tools can help you bring back your focus in the present moment and live your life in the real time! What are your thoughts regarding this? Comment below and share your knowledge