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Tips for Staying Present and Reducing Struggle

Is your resistance to ‘what is’ causing you suffering? When you wake up, does your mind wander about every other time rather than your present reality? In these instances, it is hard to bring your thoughts to focus on your present. This virtual mind travel is a coping method that creates the struggle with reality. We all have things in the present that are unpleasant, but they must be faced to be fixed.

Happiness is about allowing yourself to be contented with ‘what is’ rather than worrying about ‘what is not.’ To move past your overthinking, you must let yourself be entirely okay with ‘what is,’ rather than being concerned about ‘what is not.’ Most people don’t like to face a challenging reality because it is not what they want. This is where the disconnect can happen. Ignoring how things are in the present and focusing on what you think might happen in the future can cause suffering. No one can control everything that happens to them, but they can control how they respond at the moment. The only way you can change your reality is by staying present and finding solutions to resolve it in the future. It is only in the present moment we can change our reality. 

Here are a few tips on staying present and reducing struggle.

Slow all the way down.

Try your best to slow down as much as you can. When you slow down, you practice doing things at a relaxed and calm pace. This will probably not take you much longer than if you do it quickly, but it will help you stay present. Focus on what you are doing enables you to concentrate on the task and reduce the mind clutter.

Fully engage in one undertaking at a time.

Focus on where you are and what you are doing. Don’t let the long list of to-dos get to you; concentrate on completing one task at a time, then move onto the next. This keeps you engaged in the now.

Narrate what you are doing in your mind.

Part of being present is avoiding the “what is not” mind chatter. Do your best to continually change the conversation in your mind by narrating what you are doing.

As you do your day-to-day tasks, say to yourself, “Now I am doing X.”

For example, if you are brushing your teeth, then say: “Now I am brushing my teeth.”

This practice can keep you from drifting away to the future or past, and when you do, just bring yourself back with the narration. You don’t have to do this all day, only when you need to reset your mind to present.

Morning routines can change your entire day.

What you do when you first wake up can determine the tone for your day. Start a new routine and build on it as you perfect one habit at a time. Allow yourself to build momentum. Routine can keep you focused on creating new healthy behaviors.

Morning routines can include some or all of the following:

Meditation – spend time focusing inward. This pratice can improve your mindfulness and help you find what you need to create more.

Journaling – write down the thoughts that can limit you, then build on them to find what you need to improve. Facing your thoughts on paper can help you resolve and process through them.

Exercising – this can be any way you choose to move your body. A healthier body helps build a healthier mind.

Creating – this can include gratitude lists, an affirmation for the day, poetry, drawing, anything that helps you relax or improves your mood. The more you create positive things, the easier it is for you to do it throughout the day.

Feeling – focusing on how you want to feel is key. Every morning ask yourself, “how do you want to feel today?” and “what can you do to create that feeling?”

This list can be extended; just remember it is your routine, try new things, and find what works best for you. Some or all of these can help you create a solution to your reality at the moment. Being present is the best way forward.

That’s it for this week. Until next time. 

The more you practice happiness, the better you become, and the more joyous your days. If you practice living life, you enjoy and understand it a little bit better. To make your happiness a priority, grab one of our journals today!

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