Recently we published an article about how important it is to stay present in the moment. Because saying and doing are different things and it’s easier said than done, especially when your brain has been trained to act a certain way for so long.
Retraining your thought process is not easy. In fact, if we were easily able to do this, then quitting addictions would be easy. Retraining your brain means retraining the neuropathways. If neurons are what make up who we are, throughout life we formulate pathways between neurons that dictate our behavior. If we are able to reformulate these pathways, then we are able to change our habitual behaviors. Allowing our minds to wander outside of the realm of now is a habitual behavior.
Here are the five ways to start retraining your brain to be more present in the moment.
Embrace your thoughts, but then learn how to be done with them
Thinking about the past and the future is actually a very important. It’s how we learn, plan, and succeed in our lives. When we are unable to let these thoughts go after we’ve experienced them, that’s when they can become detrimental. In this case, the best thing to do is allow yourself to embrace the thoughts, but then make the conscious choice to let them go and move on. A great way to do this is through journaling. To journal your reflections and your hopes for the future, and then when you’re done put your pen and notebook away and move on to experience the now. Try writing a journal every day. The only way to kill habitual behavior is with habitual behavior.
Focus only on sensation
We are sensual creatures. Much of what we experience in the brain is associated directly with the senses. What you smell, what you touch, what you hear. The sensations have the power to move us backward and forward through time–it’s true. However, they also have the power to keep us secure in the moment. When you feel your mind start to wander, focus only on sensation. Think about what’s happening in the present moment as relates to you. Keep yourself in this place until you are stabilized and able to leave behind your anxious thinking.
Be mindful of your thoughts
Being mindful of your thoughts means you know what you were thinking. Have you ever gone for a drive and realized you were further ahead than you thought? Have you ever thought where did the time go? We see things play out in front of us and we don’t even notice that they’re happening because we’re thinking about other things, and minds are in other places. When your mind wanders, when you start to lose time in the real world. That means you need to be more mindful of what you’re thinking about and take control of your thoughts.
Take control of your thinking
That brings us to the next piece of advice and that is to take control of your thinking. Once you realize you’re lacking mindfulness, or that you’re losing time in the real world, it’s time to take control of what you’re thinking about. Whenever you realize your mind has wandered, bring yourself back to the moment. Take earlier advice and focus on the sensation happening at that very moment. What do you see, what do you hear, what can you savor about the moment?
Savor the present moment
And here we are at the last piece of advice, to savor the moment. Have you ever eaten a mint or a piece of hard candy and thought this tastes so good. You enjoy every second that piece of candy is in your mouth. Your life is like a piece of hard candy. It’s delicious and it should be savored until the last drop. If your mind wanders somewhere else to the point that you no longer taste the candy, then it’s time to bring yourself back to the present moment. Once you start savoring these moments, it feels so good, you won’t be able to start.
Regardless of what you thought in the past or what you’ve been told, life isn’t about what’s to come. You have already lived all there is to live. Life is about living. Best way to do that is to be present in the moment. Life is your movie. Don’t be the actor that doesn’t show up. Wishing you lots of love and luck on your journey to a better place. Enjoy being present in the moment.
Related Article: Why It’s Important to Focus on the Moment
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