With so much noise and busyness in the world, it can feel pretty near impossible to find stillness and be in the moment. Yet, there are so many benefits to being present.
But with so many distractions and seemingly necessary responsibilities, how does one get still and focused enough to come to the moment?
Yoga, breathwork, meditation, and other mindful practices are the best place to begin. And they can be done, in some form or another, almost anywhere.
The Magic of Mindfulness
When you begin to engage in mindfulness practices, they can feel odd, foreign, or even uncomfortable. This is all par for the course.
After all, our minds are problem-solving devices. They thrive when there are things to figure out and are quick to stir up issues and create difficulties when asked to be still.
The cool thing is that over time and with a dedicated practice, the brain relishes this restful state of being present. It’s like pushing a reset button. And soon, you being to notice all sorts of benefits that ultimately help you live with a passion and purpose that may now be lacking.
Practices like yoga and meditation use various methods that teach us how to be with ourselves without giving into resistance. They show us how to respond in a situation rather than react. And the more we learn to focus on the present moment and accept what’s happening, the more we’re able to control our body’s response to thoughts and feelings that arise.
It’s a cumulative practice and it happens incrementally. You may start with one yoga class and 2-3 minutes of meditation a few times per week. It doesn’t take long for the body to recognize though the wonders of a peaceful mind and you can build from there.
With practice, being present becomes more instinctive. Eventually, you notice it in your everyday life whether you’re cooking dinner, attending a work meeting, or sitting in rush hour traffic.
The Benefits to Being Present
Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.”
It may sound hokey, but there’s truth in it. Becoming increasingly aware of the present moment, or the “now,” allows you to experience some of the following benefits in both your personal and work life:
1. Stress Relief
One of the ways yoga teaches us to be in the moment is through breathing. Practitioners learn what is known as diaphragmatic breathing (or ‘belly breath’) where you simply breathe fully into your belly and feel it expand with each inhale and contract with each exhale. Not only do the mind and body naturally calm and relax and blood pressure lowers with these deep breaths, but focusing on the breath brings you to the present moment.
2. Increased Openness and Playfulness
In those moments of being fully present and in the moment, you see the bigger picture without all of your pre-conditioning. Barriers come down and there is a flow that presents itself that you’re able to receive in an open and accepting way.
Furthermore, by getting out from under the heaviness of overthinking and being overwhelmed, space is created for being more playful. It’s just easier to do things when you can view activities from this playful and open place. There are fewer burdens to block you.
3. A Boost in Creativity
If you’ve ever been involved in a creative endeavor, you know how much easier it is when your mind is not inundated with the minutiae of life. You’re able to create from a pure, open, and playful (see above) state rather than getting self-conscious and second-guessing your work. Sure, the work may lack a certain technical aspect while in this state, but that’s easily addressed later.
4. More Authentic Connections
If you feel that you’re a nervous or shy person and don’t ever know what to say, being present can help you let go of self-consciousness. There’s no worry about past or future scenarios and you can truly focus your attention on the conversation at hand.
In addition, presence can also help you listen more attentively. If you find you’re in a conversation and always thinking about what you’re going to say next (future thinking), there’s no space for truly listening. This doesn’t facilitate deep connections.
5. Less Analysis and Labeling
Children are masters of being in the moment. As such, they embrace each moment fully with their senses and unbridled curiosity. If you take the same drive to work each day, and you decided one day to invite a child to ride along with you, you would experience a very different ride through their eyes.
The act of staying present gives all of us this gift we once had as children; this ability to see all of the interesting and wonderful aspects of our everyday worlds with clarity and wonder. And who wouldn’t want that?
Looking for Ways to Be More Present?
The above list demonstrates merely five benefits of being present. There are certainly more. And the practices that teach presence are much easier than you think.
You can even incorporate them at work through mobile yoga, meditation, and mindfulness practices that come right to your school, business, or organization.
So contact us today to find out how to implement these mindfulness practices at your place of business. We offer both on-site and online services.