4+1 Effective Exercise to Live in the Present

in #education6 years ago


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50% of our waking moments are spent on either in the past or the future.

We think of the things we did yesterday, the events happened few weeks ago, or maybe years ago. We might be stressed out, regretting our mistakes in the past.

OR

We plan what we'll do tomorrow, this week, this month, this year. We think about what we'll cook for tomorrow, what we'll eat for next week, where we'll go for holidays next month, etc.

Do you realize most of your waking moments, your brain is thinking about the past and/or the future?

In fact, studies show anxiety and stress happens when our brain travels to the past or the future. Either something bad happened in the past or the brain predicts something bad will happen soon.

Like, if I don't get this done in time, I'll get fired!

OR

I shouldn't have slapped my son last night.

But hardly, we face stress, anxiety, depression and more when we're in the present.

Let me show you a story.

I used to have a weekly routine to jog with my boyfriend at a nearby park.

Let's compare these different occasions when I was jogging.


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Occasion 1:
While I was jogging, I felt the wind enveloping itself on my skin, I noticed a dark-skinned medium-hair-length lady walking a shining-brown-skinned dog. I noticed 5 kids, 3 boys and 2 girls are playing slides in the playground. I heard the sound of birds chirping. My leg started to get tired.

All of my attention was brought to the feeling on my skin, whatever I see and heard and smell. My brain was occupied in perceiving all these things . Processing no longer happens. I just perceive. I no longer have any attention capacity left to mind-wander.

Best of all, I was totally present, and I enjoyed the jog.

Occasion 2:
While I was jogging, I was doing a recap of what happened on that day! Memories of me waking up, cooking, playing games, going to work, driving, sleeping came to me. I was thinking what am I planning to do in this job, what do I want to achieve, etc. I was reflecting while jogging!

Which is the most ridiculous thing to do.

Why?

Because I almost fell when I was jogging. And I don't remember what I saw, heard, smell and touched during the jog. All I remember was I was kinda stressed thinking about a lot of stuff.

This clearly shows by being present, you'll less likely to be stressed out.

Not just stress but other negative emotions as well such as depression, anxiety, frustration, etc.

Most of the time, you're stressed out not because of the present task, because of what the future will unfold, right?

That is why it is equally important to learn being present at will, with consciousness.

I've learned 5 effective exercises, 4 of them scientific-backed and 1 of them is backed by me.

1. Mindful Breathing.


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Like any other mindful practitioner or yoga instructors said, focus on your breath.

At first I don't get it, why focus on my breath???

But as I kept on practicing, I started to see the benefits of focusing on my breath.

As I bring my attention to my breath ONLY, I began to notice all kinds of different feelings. The feeling of the air coming in and out of my nostrils, the pain on my backbone due to sitting for too long, the expansion and detraction of my ribs, and the energy I am breathing in.

I tell myself these,
Inhale confidence, exhale uncertainty
Inhale power, exhale tireness
Inhale clarity, exhale fogs

2. Mindful Walking


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Like the jog I did on Occasion 1, that is categorized as Mindful Walking.

As you walk or jog or run, direct your attention to your body, your emotions, your surroundings.

For me, I will say out loud in my brain what I saw, what I felt, what I heard and what I touched.

I heard some birds chirping on that tree.
I saw 2 old ladies walking by the street.
I smell delicious food from that direction.
I kicked a tree twig just now.

I was having difficulty being mindful while walking, so I discovered the trick of saying it out loud works!

3. Mindful Body Scan

Imagine your attention is like a beam of light, of 5cm diameter. You control where the light goes.

Direct that light to the skull of your head.

What sensations you have over there?
Is it warmth, pain, pulsing, cold?

Direct that light to your forehead, eyes, nose, ears, mouth, cheek, throat, and moving downwards until the soles of your feet.

What sensations you have at every part the light shines onto?

4. Mindful Observation

Do this exercise when you've become stable from doing Mindful Breathing, Walking and Body Scan.

The total opposite of Mindful Walking, you observe what's actually happening inside of your brain.

Your thoughts.

Sit comfortably and start letting your thoughts come. Do not hold onto them.

Acknowledge those thoughts, categorize them if you can, say "Thank You" to them and show them the exit.

In this exercise, you must be open and must not hold onto any thoughts that pass by.

If you find yourself holing onto any of those thoughts, meaning you keep thinking about the same thing over and over again, do exercise 1 - 3 again.

Stabilize yourself and do Mindful Observation again.

The Extra: How to be Present almost in a blink of an eye

I've learned this quick trick from @tryskele which totally worked like miracle.

I did this when I started to realize I am mind-wandering while I was working. To quickly bring myself back, I practiced Mindful Breathing and this.

Name 5 things that you see.
Name 4 things that you hear.
Name 3 things that you touch.
Name 2 things that you smell.
Name 1 thing that you taste.

Almost immediately, my attention came back to the present!

Thank you @tryskele for sharing this! It really helped me a lot! Sorry if I get the arrangement wrong, hahaha!

What was Tifa saying?

Learning to be present at will is a learnable skill and is useful to live a better emotional life. Less stress, less anxiety, less depression, and other negative emations.

By exercising these practices, you'll reap the benefits of mindfulness. The more your practice, the more rewards you will reap.

Do these for at least 15 minutes a day to reap its rewards.


Small Daily Practices is Tifa's mission to invite you to live an extraordinary life. She is not an expert, not a coach, not certified but learning is constant for her. She shares what she has learned in hope that you live your version of extraordinary life.

You will find her past works on Simple Daily Practices below,
Why did she started this?

RelationshipPersonal MasteryCompassion
"I am grateful for I ..."Check-in With YourselfForgive, Bless and Love Everyone You Meet
Love Out of Choice, Not FeelingAfter Check-In, You Check-Out
2 Simple Systems in Giving Constructive FeedbackWhat Does Your Daily Schedule Tells You?
When You Feel "Underutilized", What Would You Do?
What If You Can Change Your Past

She invites you to live an extraordinary life, starting from making each day extraordinary. Simple Daily Practices is the key she has discovered.

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Love it! Many of the things you spoke about I do already except inhale power -etc.

I practice breathing techniques along side a flame of candle. This way it engages the eyes and mind.

👍

Thank you for writing this. I think/ wish everyone would practice. Make world much more happier.

Hey @ihashblox, thank you for reading and commenting! :D

Wow, you're already doing so many self-improvement stuff, which is incredibly awesome!

The feeling you have when you're aware that you're inhaling power, confidence, energy, magical, abundance, etc is different compared to normal inhale, exhale. I'm not sure why but it feels like you're really inhaling power. Feels real. And eventually, become real too.

My objective is making this world a happier place by enabling each of my readers living an extraordinary life :)

There is no 'correct' one, it's just in a logical sense. You did great!! It's amazing how these little tricks work. I'm very happy that it works well for you :)

Hey @tryskele, thank you for reading :D

Yeah, that arrangement makes more sense to me. Thank youu!!
I'm really amazed by how little tricks and tips can make such a big difference in my life! I really want to thank you for that!

I'm really glad it's helped :)

Our mind is like our muscles.
Mindfulness is like exercise for our mind.
We can train it to be strong, calm and clear.

Hey @buzz.lightyear, thank you for reading and commenting :D

Yes, our brain muscles need exercises as well, and mindfulness is a practice, not a concept :)

You can't explain thoughts any better than this. Meditation and breathing to calm the mind is food for the soul. Mega important. Showing some appreciation by a ReSteem :) Thank you xx

Thank you very much for reading and support @aprilpeerless :D

I cannot agree with you more, meditation and breathing is uber important!

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