Fundamentally, without any doubt, we can all agree that the “present moment” is the only thing which we can really rely on. There are many articles, podcasts, books and scientific researches which give us all different kind of bits of advice on how to start living in the present.
But.. Is it not a bit confusing?
Sometimes we do not even understand what they are actually talking about.
Moreover, is it really possible to start using all these practices suggested in the books, videos and podcasts at the same time and be good at them?
“The present moment is the only moment available to us, and it is the door to all moments." – Thich Nhat Hanh
In order to start all those recommendations in the videos and books, we would have to take months off to get them fulfilled. Most of us, however, cannot leave jobs, families and friends just to learn how to be present.
Accordingly, the fundamental question is: "How to start being more present without leaving our daily lives?"
We all want high-quality life, good health and a happy mind right now. No one wishes to be absorbed by stress, worries and failures. Constant thinking about either the past or the future has really become a tiring disease and disease happens when things get out of control. This results in the present moment becoming absent.
The following three simple techniques allow us to understand why the present moment is essential for living a balanced life.
1. You need to know what is your relationship to the present
If your relationship to the present moment is not right, nothing can ever be right in the future. When the future comes, it is the present moment. Therefore, our biggest goal should always be to feel good right now in this moment. Since the present moment is all you ever have, since life is inseparable from the now, we need to define our relationship to the present. When you are not present, you become a victim of time. Our brain gets tired of analysing past and making false predictions about the future which probably will not happen anyway. Of course, it is natural to spend moments of thought in the past or in daydreams of the future. But when our lives become dictated by thoughts and emotions attached to past events and potential future outcomes, standing peacefully rooted in the present becomes increasingly rare. Accept the past and make the present moment being the primary focus of your life. Nothing is more important than right now.
“A vital question to ask yourself frequently is: What is my relationship to the present moment?" – Eckhart Tolle
2. Mindful breathing is vital
Mindful breathing will save you time, money and it is the quickest tool for transformation.
Why is that? This amazing technique can be practised anytime and anywhere!
Can you meditate or listen to Headspace for 8 hours a day? Probably not. No one is saying it would not work, most likely it would, but it would take you more time and your motivation would drop very quickly. What we need is a shift. Shift between your mind and the present moment - and that is exactly what mindful breathing brings you. Once you know how to breathe mindfully, you can use the practice to help you through challenging times. It is not about denying feelings or changing them; it is accepting them exactly as they are, while opening awareness to the calming quality of our breath.
"Every time you create a gap in the stream of mind, the light of your consciousness grows stronger." – Eckhart Tolle
Every time you walk up and down the stairs in your house or a place of work, pay close attention to every step, every moment, even you breathing. Pay attention to all activities you do throughout the whole day.
Washing dishes? Cooking? Working? Overthinking? Exercising? No problem.
Take a deep breath and count to three.
1-2-3, hold it for 3 seconds 1-2-3, and breath out.
3. Repeat the two steps above
Consistency. To get mindful breathing working for you, it needs to go into your subconscious mind. The only way of how to achieve this is by practising mindful breathing as much as you can until it will be easy for you as driving a car. You cannot expect anything to work for you if you try it only a few times.
Breathing is a vital tool for starting any kind of transformation. However, do not be hard on yourself. Most of the people spend their whole lives by learning how to be more present and how the mind works. Thanks to these people, we understand this science more.
Be present. Breathe. Let it go.