How to Be More Present In Your Daily Life
“The ability to think about what is not happening is a cognitive achievement that comes at an emotional cost” said researchers Killingsworth and Gilbert from Harvard University. They conducted a research which showed that people spend approximately 47% of their waking time thinking about something other than what they are currently doing. In other words, almost half of our time is spent not present in the moment.
A wandering mind is not a happy mind. Research has shown that people are most content when they are present in the moment and paying attention to what they are doing. As Killingsworth and Gilbert said, being able to think about something other than the now is a cognitive achievement – this skill enables us to plan the future and to consider different possibilities. However, this skill comes at a cost - we are unfocused and unhappy.
By becoming more present, we can increase our happiness and emotional wellbeing. Here are three easy ways to practice being more present in your daily life.
Stop multitasking – By paying attention to what you are currently doing, you become more focused in the present – and you’re likely to do a better job. Your mind will wander at first, that’s okay. Just keep coming back to the moment.
Listen attentively – The next time you’re having a conversation, make sure you’re really listening. Often we keep focusing on when it’s our turn to talk and what we’re going to say next. Try and empty your mind from thoughts, and just listen.
Come to your senses – What sounds do you hear when walking outside? How does your breakfast taste? What does the water feel like when you’re washing your hands? By paying attention to our senses we naturally ground ourselves in the moment.
As a result of being more present, we may also become more creative, more focused, and our relationships tend to improve as well! You can also practice staying present by meditating or using affirmations. Pick one activity you are going to do today and set an intention to stay present and mindful through it. Pay attention to how different it feels to do something with full focus!