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Bringing yourself into the present moment


Have you ever had days pass within the blink of an eye? Or maybe you have gone days without taking a break and don't even realize? Many of us can resonate with feeling this way, and it can become even more apparent when we experience anxiety.


Anxiety causes us to pull away from the present. Anxiety is fuelled in the past, future and the 'what if'. Now I place the 'what if' in a separate category because many of us may relate to having MANY scenarios run through out head when we're anxious that aren't based in facts, they are simply based in the 'what if'. Even if we have had a past experience, we will often alter the facts of that experience to only focus on the 'what if' worst case scenario portion. These thoughts can cause us to dissociate and fully pull away from the present moment. Often times the only time we are present is when we feel anxiety within our bodies and we begin to hyperfocus on those physical symptoms we are experiencing.


This pull away from the present can often cause us to miss out on important moments in our lives, and cause us to struggle with embracing rest and breaks. When we don't actively practice being present, those quiet moments can often feel overwhelming when our minds flood with thoughts. This used to happen to me a lot when I would attempt to rest. I was so anxious that as soon as I gave myself a quiet moment (after an entire day of suppressing anxiety) I would be flooded with thoughts and physical sensations of discomfort. This feeling made me fear the present moment because it felt as though I couldn't handle it.


Over time I explored what sitting in the present moment felt like, and I began to reflect on how powerful the present was. It not only allowed me to slow down to truly enjoy the moment, but it also gave me the space to rest and recharge that was VITAL for my overall wellbeing.


Lets dive into a few practices you can begin to incorporate into your life to help you live more presently.


ONE. Take note of your surroundings and engage your senses. Now this may sound straight forward, but you'd be surprised how little we actually take note of what is going on around us. Begin by setting an alarm on your phone, or putting a note in your phone every few hours to simply pause and take note. This doesn't have to take more than 30 seconds, but its a practice that can catch on quickly. Simply describe in detail the things around you, include the scents, and sounds and of course what you can see. This will help you feel more grounded in the present.


TWO. Take a quick walk in nature. Often times a barrier to exercise and movement is feeling like there isn't enough time to get it done. Try setting aside 5-10 minutes to simply walk around the block. During this walk, try the practice above to begin bringing yourself further into the present moment.


THREE. Take a moment every hour to stretch. Even if you don't have time to go for a walk during your day, you can take a few minutes every few hours to stretch. During this practice your focus can be on the sensation while your stretch your muscles along with really centring on your feet grounded into the floor. This is best done without shoes on, but it isn't always possible, so with shoes is totally okay too!


FOUR. Bring curiosity into your daily tasks. Often times we begin to live life on autopilot when we form habits that we can perform without even thinking about it. During these tasks (like driving to work/school, getting dressed, getting ready, cooking a meal) a valuable practice can be to bring curiosity into these tasks. Bring awareness to your surroundings, or ask yourself questions about what you're doing or what is going on around you. This will help you to be more present in daily habits that you perform. This won't take any more time out of your day, its simply a practice to bring your mind and body into the moment as often as you can.


When we learn to lean into the present moment, we can begin to find calm and joy again. As we move away from the 'what if' we can shift into the power of the present.


I hope these are helpful for you.


Sending love,

Carly

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