Post Updated on March 5, 2021
By now, you’ve probably heard about the importance of mindfulness and living in the moment. Being present allows us to appreciate the little things in life instead of worrying about the struggles of tomorrow.
When life is moving too quickly, being present ensures that we can still enjoy life fully. But what does being present mean? How exactly do we live in the moment?
For starters, being present means creating awareness. Whether internally or externally, it’s about paying attention to what’s going on without attempting to change anything.
The only problem is that staying present is a lot easier said than done. Implementing this change into your daily routine can be a huge struggle.
To make mindfulness a little easier, I’ve put together a list of ideas for cultivating more awareness and presence in your daily life. That way, you can start to enjoy the little things in life even when things gets hectic.
12 tips for being present daily
1. Celebrate the tiny joys.
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I LOVE flowers. Any flower I see, I take a picture of it. Flowers are tiny joys. They remind me of what’s still beautiful in the world. Whether it’s finding an extra dollar in your purse, bumping into friend, or getting to sleep in, celebrate the tiny joys as much as the big ones.
2. Identify the moment.
Take a moment to check in with yourself and identify the moment you’re in. You can do this by asking questions about your surroundings and your current state. Ask yourself questions like: Where am I? What is around me? What noises do I hear? What can I physically feel around me? What do I smell? Who is around? How am I feeling? What am I grateful for right now?
3. Make mindfulness a practice.
Whether it’s through meditation, yoga, or another type of mindfulness practice, carve out time in your day to intentionally be present. Mindfulness is something that takes patience, energy, and dedication, so it’s important to practice it daily.
4. Listen without intending to respond.
When you’re engaged in conversation, how often do you worry about what to say next? Often we’re only half-listening to the other person because we’re constantly thinking about our own stories and what we can add to the conversation. Instead, try inviting more presence into your conversations and relationships simply by listening with curiosity, rather than anticipation.
5. Be okay with not knowing all of the answers.
Part of the reason we get so caught up in future worries is because we want all of the answers to our problems immediately. We feel inadequate for not knowing how to handle certain situations, which only leads to self-criticism and self-doubt. The less you strain to find the answers, the more likely they are to come to you.
6. Listen to your body.
It’s easy to start thinking that you need to eat a certain way or exercise for a certain amount of time every day because other people do it. One of the best ways that you can be present in your life is to listen to what your body tells you instead. Is it craving chocolate? Eat it. Does a run sound invigorating? Go for one. Do you want nothing more than to curl up in bed and forego the gym today? Do it. Your body will let you know when it needs energy and when it needs rest.
7. Feel your feelings.
If you’re prone to over-analyzing your feelings and trying to change them, I encourage you to sit with your feelings and simply observe them instead of trying to change them. Let go of the mentality that certain feelings are bad and that you need to be positive all of the time. Instead, let yourself feel.
8. Reduce distractions.
Most of us are never fully present in our lives because we continually get distracted. Our focus may be on one thing for a few moments, but suddenly another thought, request, or task comes up and we’re onto the next thing. Identify your top distractions and develop a plan to avoid them. Like Ron Swanson says, “Don’t half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.”
9. Savor your rituals.
We all have our little rituals that we do on a daily basis. For me, it’s sipping a cup of tea in the afternoon (these are my favorite teas). It’s something that gives me a little bit of peace and quiet every single day. Try doing something slowly, in peace, without distraction, every day.
10. Find balance between flowing and planning.
When we plan out every single detail of our days, weeks, and months, we don’t allow ourselves the opportunity to go with the flow. While it’s important to plan, it’s also important to be flexible in how you handle your daily life. I shared some tips for finding this balance here.
11. Reflect on your day.
Whether by journaling, writing a list of things you’re grateful for, or telling a loved one, it’s important to reflect on a few things that went well during your day. This encourages you to think positively (even if it was ultimately a terrible day), and it can help prevent the days from blurring into one another.
12. Get away from the digital world.
You saw this one coming ;) Spend time away from your phone and computer every day. Read a book, write (not type!), go for a walk, practice yoga, or eat your lunch without an electronic device nearby. Do something daily that doesn’t require a connection to the internet.