Have you ever hesitated to get out of bed in the morning because you didn't want to think about all the things you were going to do that day? Before even getting out of bed, your mind is swirling with all kinds of things.
Often, we create that kind of chaos by ourselves in our head. We blow things out of proportion and make them seem bigger than they really are.
When was the last time you stopped to think about what you were doing and why you were doing it? Because when you stop to think about it and when you start to become more intentional, you'll find that things are actually within your control and not that chaotic at all.
Here are 6 ways to be more present in your everyday life:
1. Start your day by journaling.
When you’re sitting there with a notebook and pen (with your technology out of sight), it really does wonders. You can listen to yourself think and allow your thoughts to easily come to you without the interruption of other peoples’ noise and chatter.
Journal about your dreams, fears, goals, desires, etc. Write down 3 empowering beliefs about yourself every day. Write about what you’re grateful for. Write about how today is going to be the best day of your life, every day. Write about what’s on your mind and you’ll start to see how your daily thoughts affect your actions and behavior.
(Related: 7 Lessons I've Learned From Daily Journaling)
2. Let people talk without interrupting them.
How many times have you had a conversation with someone that felt one sided? Like you were both waiting for your own turn to talk, but neither of you were really listening to what the other person was saying.
Next time you have a conversation with someone, let them do the talking. Most of us just want to be acknowledged - to know that someone’s on the other side listening. Be that person for them - you’ll start to notice things that you usually missed before.
3. Eat more mindfully (i.e. without technology).
When was the last time you actually took the time to enjoy and taste the actual flavors of your food? Slowing down helps us appreciate the little things (and the big things) more. You’ll also start to tune in to how your body feels before, during, and after a meal.
Life is happening all around us, but we rarely ever take the time to take it all in. We’re in a constant state of “go, go, go”, which often means that we’re in a mental state of eating as fast as we can to get on to the next activity.
4. Start single tasking and stop multitasking.
People often put multitasking as a skill on a resume, but what you’re really doing is switching your attention from one task to the next without giving any your tasks or projects the time or attention that it really needs.
Whenever I find myself stressed out and annoyed, it’s almost always because I’ve been switching from thing to thing and a lack of prioritization. Next thing, give something your full attention instead of cutting yourself off every 5 seconds to check Instagram and see how it affects your attention and mindset.
5. Prioritize and be intentional about what you do.
Do you have a to-do list that’s 5 miles long? It’s like once you finally take one thing off your list, there are 10 more things to add on. It’s hard to take things off your list, but it’s also hard being stressed out all the time. Trust me, not everything on your list is as important as your mind makes it out to be.
Ask yourself what the top 3 most important things you need to do today. If something doesn’t need your immediate attention, you can keep them on a separate list of things to get to, but it’s not going to help you to write each and every single thing that you need to do in the next 6 months on today’s to-do list. In fact, it’ll be overwhelming for you to look at (speaking from experience here…).
What are the things that you need to do today? Get into the habit of being proactive instead of reactive.
6. Unplug by a certain hour.
When you’re checking your phone every 5 minutes, your mind is still rushing to actively process all of the information you’re taking in. Your email inbox can wait ’til tomorrow. So can Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and whatever else you use.
Because when you’re constantly plugged all the time, you don’t allow your mind to rest. It’s hard to hear your own thoughts when you’re constantly consuming other people’s ideas, advice, emotions, energy, etc.
When you’re more present in your everyday life, you start to appreciate life more (even the “bad” things that happen to you - because there’s always a lesson to learn from them). You’ll start to realize that life is not as stressful or overwhelming as society makes it out to be.
Share with me in the comments below: How are you being more present in your life?