Living in the moment
Health & Wellbeing

Mindfulness: How to Be More Present

Many people have a tendency to dwell on the past or plan the future, without ever being fully present in the moment.

Our lives are heavily reliant on technology, which means there’s often a million and one temptations pulling us out of the present moment. Oftentimes, these distractions are a welcome way to switch off from stress, but at some point too much distraction can have an adverse effect on your mental health.

Why is it important?

Mindfulness allows you to be more in touch with your emotions, relationships and the world around you. Simply put: more engaged with life.

To regulate emotions

When you’re distracted, it’s easy to let positive emotions wash past while your mind is taken up with other things. On the flip side, suppressing negative emotions and not allowing yourself to feel can cause them to bubble up in uglier ways like chronic stress, anxiety or rage. Anchor in the present moment to take in the full range of your emotions, notice and embrace them, and then simply let them pass.

To increase productivity

Taking on too much can leave you feeling burned out and overwhelmed.

To appreciate your relationships

It’s social media’s greatest cliche: we’re more connected than ever, but distanced from those around us. Embracing the present moment helps you to appreciate those physically around you in the moment.

How can I practice mindfulness?

Embrace idle moments

It might sound counterintuitive, but boredom is good for your brain. Without boredom, our desire for adventure, learning and creativity decreases. Give your brain a break in idle moments by doing absolutely nothing. Friend late for your meet-up? Try to just sit, without reaching for your phone. Taking the bus? Take a deep breath and notice your surroundings. Idle moments create drive and appreciation for the more exciting times in life.

Here’s how to start enjoying time spent alone.

Focus on the task at hand

Multitasking is one of the most efficient ways to tear your attention away from the moment, and it rarely makes for better work. Give your undivided attention to your tasks and watch your productivity (and satisfaction) soar.

Meditate

Like any other new skill, alone with your mind often can sound intimidating. But the truth is, whether you practice meditation for one minute or an hour, every little helps. Try starting slowly, taking deep breaths before bed to clear your mind. Notice distracting thoughts and allow them to pass gently, guiding your attention to the moment. The Body Scan moment in Halo can help you do this.

Journal

Use your journal to center your mind and notice how you’re feeling in the present moment. Ask yourself a simple question: How am I feeling right now? When you slow down to check in with yourself, the answer might surprise you.

Learn how to get started with journaling for mindfulness today.

If you’re looking for more ways to return to the present, explore the mindfulness Moments in Halo. Moments like Savoring, Connecting Joy or Mindful Mornings help to guide your mind into the present moment and shift your mindset to mindfulness.

Ready to start your journaling practice? Download Halo for free from the App Store, and follow us @HaloJournal for more tips!