If you’re reading this, it is safe to assume you’re open to leading a life where you are more present. But old habits can be hard to break and our current society is simply very demanding. Also, because mindfulness can be quite a subjective concept, you may find it hard to determine where to start. We’d like to gently lead you in the right direction. Below are 3 easy steps you can follow anytime and anywhere to bring yourself back to the Now.
How to bring yourself back to the Now
Step 1: Take on the role of Observer
The first step to bringing yourself back to the Now is to become the Observer of your own mind. In other words: take a minute to notice what it is that you’re feeling and thinking. The challenge here is to do it without judgement. Let’s say you notice your mind keeps drifting back to that comment your colleague made at work the other day. Do not judge yourself for thinking about it. Do not push the thought away. But also, do not let yourself get carried away by it. Simply observe, and accept that the thought is there.
Step 2: Get out of your own head and into your body
For the second step, I’d like you to shift your attention away from your thoughts and start focusing on your body and how it feels. If you keep getting distracted by your own ruminations, you may struggle to connect with your body. In that case, start by focusing on your breath. Every time you notice your thoughts start to wander, simply bring them back to your breath. With practice, it will become easier to shift that focus to your body. As a result, your body will start to serve as your anchor to the Now.
Step 3: Stop resisting and surrender
After you’ve spend a minute or two observing your thoughts and connecting to your body, make a conscious decision to stop resisting. Let go of any negative thoughts and feelings and accept the things that you are simply not able to change. Then, surrender to the Now. Keep in mind that there is no wrong or right here. You are doing it, and that is enough.
The first couple of times that you follow these three steps, you may not experience an effect that satisfies you. In fact, it may even feel extremely frustrating. But over time, bringing yourself back to the Now will become like a second nature and you will reap the benefits.