You may not even notice, but getting lost overthinking about the past and the future can leave you feeling out of touch with yourself. The solution for this is awareness of the present moment and staying in the NOW. Indeed, being in the present moment can be the solution to many of the problems your constantly thinking mind creates.
Stay present, be now, accept the present moment… We all hear these common phrases more and more often these days. But what does it mean to accept the present moment? Why will it make your life easier? And why is it sometimes so challenging to stay present?
While living in the moment can be difficult at times and takes practice, defining it is pretty simple.
To stay present is simply to be mindful of what is going on around you at this exact moment. It is understanding that there is no past, no future and that all we have is NOW. The past is only the memory, and the future is the projection of your mind. Even when you think about the past or future, you are thinking about it in the NOW. So, the past and future have no reality of their own.
Understanding this can be genuinely freeing and can help you get out of your head and create a better reality for yourself.
It is normal for our mind to get lost in the past or the future. Constantly overanalysing the situations that have happened in the past: what if I said this instead of that, what if I have done it differently... Or we are getting occupied with the things and situations that have not even taken place yet.
All of this is entirely normal.
When you feel your mind is wondering. Just stop, take a deep breath and simply observe it. Be the watcher of your thoughts. Let them come and go.
The moment you realise that you are not in the present moment, congratulations - you are in the present moment. When you can observe your mind - you are no longer imprisoned by it.
“Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. If you want to take responsibility for your life, you must choose one of those three options, and you must choose now. Then accept the consequences.” - Eckhart Tolle
There are numerous exercises that will help you calm your thoughts and pave a path to a less stressful and happier life. Here are just a few of them:
1. Take a mindful walk in nature.
While walking, use all your senses, notice the colors and patterns of the leaves on the trees, the smells, the cool or warm air on your skin, notice how it makes your body feel. Observe how your mind is feeling before and after the walk.
It does not matter if you have ever held a brush in your hands or not. When you make art, it helps you to let go of stress and be in the present moment. To try mindful painting check Unwindle Youtube Channel for relaxing painting tutorials or become Unwindle member to get access to a full library of creative meditations.
3. Eat mindfully.
Put all distractions aside and give all your attention to the food in front of you. Connect with your body and observe how it feels. First, smell your food and notice the colors. Imagine the journey of this meal to your plate. Feel the gratitude and appreciation. Take the first bite, feel the juiciness and the pallete of tastes in your mouth.
Being present in every aspect of your life helps you stay happy and healthy. It enables you to deal with the daily challenges more effectively and keeps you connected to yourself and all there is around you. Accepting the present moment will not only make you happier but also increase your ability to deal with stress and negative emotions.