Being in the present moment relieves stress, eases anxiety, and assists you to build a stronger immune system. Stress can sneak up on you and create both mental and physical problems sometimes before you realize it has struck.
We are so used to being stressed that it takes an overwhelming amount for us to finally pay attention to it. It does not need to be this way.
I was at Kripalu (retreat and Yoga center) this past weekend and I noticed my stress level dropping more each minute. I spent a bit of time trying to figure out why Yoga class at Kripalu was more relaxing than my Yoga at home, or why my meditation was deeper at Kripalu. Even my walks felt more centered and alive. Then a light bulb went off. It was because I was completely present.
There were no meals to cook, work to do, or anyone needing anything from me. It made it very easy to be in the present moment all weekend. Every morning at Kripalu the dining room has a silent breakfast. It is easy to be present when you have that kind of focus on what you are eating. It is an interesting and cool experience to be in a dining room with hundreds of people being silent. Contemplating this I decided I wanted more of my Kripalu experience to be in my everyday life. In my work, my interactions with family and friends and in my Yoga and meditation practice.
You will see below the three easy techniques I am applying to my life daily. My intention is to stay present as much as possible in a graceful and easy way. Struggle and hard are words that I am trying to eliminate from my life as much as possible. We are all human, so I can’t walk around like a monk, but I can do simple easy things to be more present and relieve stress.
3 easy ways to be present:
Sonia Choquette has a very easy exercise to bring you back to the present moment. Sonia says, “Simply name what you are seeing in the room.” Whenever you feel yourself leaving your body or getting caught up in your head, simply start saying (out loud if possible) I see a chair and it is blue with white stripes, I see a coffee pot that is silver, I see a cob wed in the corner…on and on until you are right there in the room.
One minute meditation. So often we tell ourselves we don’t have time to meditate. I know because I used to do this myself! But you can take one minute several times a day and not even notice the lost time. When you notice you need to get present, stop whatever you are doing, note the time, and then close your eyes. For one minute count your breaths as you breath normally. Breathe in, one, breathe out, two, breathe in three…. You will be back in your body and more relaxed after just one minute.
Penny Peirce during my training at Kripalu taught us to imagine we are inside our bodies looking out through our eyes. This might sound silly, yet it really works to get you present. Take a moment of silence and really feel yourself inside your body. What do you notice? Are you feeling more grounded? Did it shift your perspective?
Being present is living consciously. If you want to learn more about living consciously then sign up for my 6-week tele-class. You can find the details here!