In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to find yourself running on autopilot. You may be razor focused on accomplishing tasks, worried about the future or simply distracted by the hustle and bustle of daily life. Luckily, there are simple, easy ways to cultivate mindfulness so that you can feel more present and grounded this year.
Whether you’re looking to reduce stress, improve your relationships, or just find a little more peace in your day-to-day life, here are 12 actionable ways to be more present in 2023.
How to Be More Present This Year: 12 Tips & Tricks
From scrolling through social media to multitasking at work, our attention is constantly divided. These tips and tricks will help you refocus your attention on the present moment.
1. Take Breaks From Technology
In today’s digital age, it can be difficult to escape the constant pull of technology. From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed, we are bombarded with notifications, emails, and social media updates. It takes a lot of intention to disconnect from these technological devices when we live in a world that relies on them so heavily. But it’s important to disconnect from the outside world in order to reconnect with the present moment.
The best way to take a break from technology is to set aside specific times each day to put the phone (or laptop) down and focus on being present.
Below are some easy places to start:
- Put your phone on airplane mode before bed and don’t take it off airplane mode for the first hour of the day. This will allow you to start your morning free of distractions.
- How often do you find yourself pulling out your phone when you’re waiting in line for something? I’d guess, pretty often. Avoid scrolling while waiting in a grocery line or at the doctor’s office. Instead, take this time to simply notice the world around you.
- Avoid the urge to turn on your TV for ‘background noise’. It’s good to give your senses a rest from constant stimulation. Work on simply enjoying silence and the subtle sounds around you.
- Resist the temptation to scroll on your phone while eating. Eating should be a time to relax and savor the food, rather than multitasking on your phone.
2. Practice “Single Tasking”
Speaking of multitasking, cut that out! Multitasking divides your attention, forcing you out of the present moment. Instead, practice what I like to call, “single tasking” this year.
Unlike multitasking, when you are “single tasking” you are focusing your attention on one task at a time. This allows you to fully immerse yourself in whatever activity you are engaged in. It will help you be more mindful and present in your daily activities.
3. Use “Anchors”
This one is a bit silly, but hear me out. Use “anchors” to bring you back to the present moment. This can be a physical object, such as a stone or a bracelet, or a mental practice, such as repeating a mantra. Find a mantra that resonates with you and repeat it to yourself whenever you notice your mind wandering. My personal favorite is “I am present, I am grateful.” It’s simple, effective, and kind of cheesy (in the best way).
4. Take Up a New Hobby
Take up a new hobby that requires your full attention. This will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the present moment. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just something that you enjoy that fully engages your attention. Whether it’s painting, woodworking, or knitting, a hobby can be a great way to escape the distractions of everyday life and focus on the present moment.
5. Try Out “Conscious Commuting”
Try out “conscious commuting.” Instead of scrolling through social media on your way to work, take the time to be present with your surroundings. If you currently drive to work, ditch your car every once in a while and bike instead. Biking is such an incredible way to slow down and appreciate the world around you.
6. Take a Hike
No, I don’t mean hit the road (although a change of scenery can sometimes be helpful). Going for a hike in nature can be a great way to get out of your head and into your body. The fresh air and beautiful surroundings can help you feel more present and grounded. If you don’t live somewhere with access to nature, take a “sensory walk” instead. Pay attention to your five senses as you walk, noticing the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and textures around you.
7. Make Time for Relaxation and Self-Care
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but it’s important to set aside time for relaxation and self-care. Whether it’s taking a bubble bath or snuggling up with a good book, make sure to take some time for yourself each day. These self-care activities are great opportunities to practice presence.
8. Get Outside Your Comfort Zone
Life truly begins outside your comfort zone. Think about it. Do you feel most alive when you’re warm, comfortable and in bed before 9pm? Or on a backpacking trip, exhausted, cold and wet but surrounded by the most breathtaking natural beauty? For most of us, it’s the later. This is because discomfort forces us to be fully present in the moment.
Going on cold dips in the ocean is a great example of how stepping outside of our comfort zone can help us to be more mindful and present. The discomfort of the cold water forces us to pay attention to our bodies and the sensations we are feeling, rather than getting lost in our own thoughts or distractions.
By stepping outside of our comfort zone and taking risks, we are able to fully engage with the world and find a greater sense of presence and connection. So don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and step outside of your comfort zone – it’s where you’ll find true presence and engagement in life.
9. Take a Break From Your Usual Routine
Take a break from your usual routine and try something new, like learning a new skill or taking a walk at lunchtime. This will not only shake things up, but it will also give you the opportunity to fully engage in the present moment by being open to new experiences.
10. Become an Active Listener
Make a conscious effort to listen to and engage with others when they’re speaking. This means no multitasking or checking your phone while they’re talking. Your full attention will not only show that you respect the other person, but it will also help you be more present in the conversation.
11. Practice Mindfulness Meditation
Don’t worry, you don’t have to sit cross-legged and hum “ommmm” (unless you want to). Mindfulness meditation is simply about focusing on your breath and noticing when your mind wanders. It’s a great way to calm your mind and bring yourself into the present moment. Plus, you’ll get to sit down and relax for a few minutes, which is always a win in my book.
12. Romanticize Your Life
“Romanticizing your life” can mean different things to different people, but in general, it refers to the act of finding beauty, meaning, and value in the ordinary and mundane aspects of daily life.
You can romanticize your life by listening to your favorite soundtrack while you cook or lighting a candle while you mill around the house. The idea is to make every moment as beautiful as it can possibly be.
Taking steps to romanticize your life will help you focus on the present and appreciate the small joys and pleasures that are often overlooked.
Living in the present moment can bring a sense of calm, joy, and meaning to our lives. By implementing the tips mentioned in this blog post, you can start training your mind to focus on the present and cultivate a more mindful and fulfilling life. Whether it’s through the practice of mindfulness or finding joy in the mundane aspects of daily life, there are many ways to bring your attention back to the present. So don’t wait – start incorporating these strategies into your daily routine today and see how it enhances your life.
Here’s to living in the present, one mindful step at a time!
About the Author: Barefoot Minimalists is a blog packed with tips, ideas, guides and suggestions for everyday people who want to live a more natural life with less. Whether you are just starting your minimalist journey or learning to sustain it, this blog is for you!