Author Eckhart Tolle refers to mindfulness as a “choosing to emerge in a given moment.”
Being present simply means having the mind completely engaged and connected with where the body is at that exact point in time.
It’s not trying to think about what you want next or worrying about what happened in the past. It’s about where you are in that exact moment and observing and appreciating that moment as it is.
No matter how much you practice being more present, you never fully arrive. It is an art – a work in progress and something to aspire to each and every day.
There are many benefits of practicing mindfulness. It can help relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, and improve our overall mental health.
Here are some simple qualities that can help us to be more present.
Self-Awareness. This is the foundation for all mindfulness. As an observer of our own behaviors, we can developing a curiosity and an understanding of ourself. What is it that I do? Why do I do it? How do I do it?
Body Connection. Being fully present requires us to be consciously connected to our physical body. How does my body feel right now and why does it feel that way? It can take some effort to be fully comfortable in our body and to stay connected to it without judgement.
Emotional Intelligence – This is about tapping into why and when we are triggered by another person, event, or circumstance and and learning to shift our feelings from negative emotions to more positive ones. We can practice replacing emotions like fear and anger with higher vibrational emotions like gratitude and hope.
Courage. Being present requires us to have courage in that we need to be willing to tell ourself the truth about our own experiences. This can be challenging when we’re not living in the moment as we get caught up in expectations and illusions of how things should be vs how they really are.
5 Senses. One of the easiest ways to practice mindfulness is to connect with our five senses. Slowly and mindfully focus in on what you see, smell, hear, taste and touch and gently observe what you experience.
As you walk through the senses, look for the joy in the simplest of moments…
-Embrace the many colors in the bright blue sky as you gaze up into it.
-Savor the warm comfort and taste the flavor in a cup of tea.
-Smell the fresh scent of the newly cut grass.
-Listen to your child’s laughter as if it was the first time.
-Walk outside in your bare feet feeling grounded as your toes touch the earth.
With these simple practices, you’ll learn that anything can be an amazing experience, anything can be a miracle, if you consciously pause long enough to notice and appreciate it.
Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.
-Thich Nhat Hanh