Daily life is often fast and chaotic. We dream of taking deeper breaths and longer walks and fewer phone calls. Which all sounds nice— until reality sets in. Reality makes us too busy to smell the roses. Or to creatively spot cloud animals in the sky. Or to squeeze in a few moments of silence. The cell phone crushed that luxury years ago.
It seems we have to work harder than ever before to remain present, in everything from our relationships to our careers. It’s a challenge we can begin to face by making small changes in our day-to-day lives. After all, our routines shape our lifestyle. Here are a handful of ways to make a habit out of remaining present.
FIVE WAYS TO REMAIN PRESENT DAILY
NAME WHAT YOU'RE GRATEFUL FOR
Remaining present begins with how we start our day. When we’re at home brushing our teeth and picking out clothes and packing lunches. Amid all of that, recite what you’re grateful for. You can say it silently to yourself. You can say it aloud. You can shout it from your windows. Whichever you choose, so long as you do it everyday. Gratefulness reminds us to remain present and positive.
GET SOME AIR
There’s something about the outdoors that’s incredibly thought-provoking. Set reminders for yourself to take at least a minute or two (or more, if you’ve got it), to get fresh air during your hectic day. Keep the time all about you and your mind. No phones. No music. No errands.
QUIT THE COMPARISONS
This is perhaps the hardest and most important part of staying present. You’ve got to stop comparing yourself to others. It’s a challenge we all face, especially with the rise in social media. Comparisons will destroy your spirit, your successes, and your ability to find solace in day-to-day life. Celebrate others’ accomplishments, while remaining celebratory about your own place in life.
GIVE YOURSELF A PEP TALK
Much like we should name what we’re grateful for, we should also give ourselves an occasional ego boost. We’ll call this a self pep talk. Remember— always keep it positive. Tell yourself what you do well. Brag about your talents in front of the mirror. Remind yourself you’ll kick butt at work. You’ll kick butt at home. And you’ll kick butt at overcoming even life’s most unwelcome obstacles. You can do this.
Don’t worry, I’m not telling you to skip your occasional nap. Rather, this is about keeping your senses awake! The repetitiveness of daily life causes our brains to become “sleepy.” Routine is a nice security blanket, but it can blind us from daily victories. Aim to make occasional changes to your average day. This can be anything from switching up your typical commute into work, to trying a new recipe, to tackling a health challenge.