06 July 2020

Being present gives us the tools to keep unnecessary worry and anxiety at bay, while keeping us grounded and connected to everything around us. Follow these five simple steps to say “no” to unnecessary stress and be more present every day

2:00 min

The present moment is the only time we can control. The past is behind us, so we are unable to alter it, while the future still lies ahead. We spend so much of our day worrying about things we can’t undo or change, while stressing over things that haven’t yet even happened.

1 One step at a time

In terms of life goals, focusing on the big picture is important. However, constantly overthinking the past or incessantly planning the future hinders us from accomplishing things we can do now. Reflect on the past and plan for the future one step at a time. Don’t let anxiety take over and steal away the present moment from you.

2 Listen to your body

We push our bodies to the limit every day. Whether it’s taking on more challenging projects, cramming in more meetings, or aiming for higher personal goals, constantly over–exerting ourselves physically and mentally can backfire. Nurture your body; drink more water, do breathing exercises, eat healthy meals, and get a good night’s sleep.  All of these will maximise your energy and prevent you from burning out.

3 Savour your meals

Our schedules are packed with juggling commitments – to work, friends, and family. Without giving it a second thought, we often squeeze breakfast, lunch and dinner into our busy schedules. We frantically rush through meals with one hand on the keyboard, one finger scrolling through feeds, with our eyes glued to screens. Take a moment to enjoy your meal and truly savour your food. To help you focus on the present moment, try these tips for mindful eating.

4 Wrap things up

Unfinished tasks tend to drift around in our minds and disrupt relaxation and sleep. Take a moment to wrap up projects and pause before jumping straight into another one, especially at the end of the day. Slowing down during transitions will help you be more present and relish the moment.

5 Reflection

One of the most important steps in being present is taking the time to reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly of the day. Consistent reflection will help you digest and compartmentalise experiences, to ensure your days aren’t just a big blur. It also helps you learn what brings you joy, which might range from a cup of coffee in the morning to going for a run to speaking to a friend. It will also help you recognise what might trigger anxieties or worries so you can avoid those situations or be better equipped to deal with those worries in the future.

The next time you feel worry or anxiety sinking in, recall these wise words: “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment”— Buddha.