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How to Practice Present Moment Awareness

One of the best things you can do for your mental health is to practice being in the present moment. That means staying aware of your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment. It sounds simple, but it’s actually quite difficult.  Our minds are always wandering off into the past or future, and it can be hard to keep them in the present. But with practice, it is possible to train your mind to stay in the moment.

Tips for How to Make Present Moment Awareness a Part of Your Life

Pay attention to your breath

One of the easiest ways to bring your mind into the present moment is to focus on your breath. Breathe in and out slowly, and pay attention to the sensations of your breath entering and leaving your body.

Notice your thoughts

It’s normal for your mind to wander off into thoughts about the past or future. But when you notice that your mind has wandered, try to bring it back to the present moment. Don’t judge yourself for having thoughts – simply observe them and let them go.

Focus on your senses

Another way to stay in the present moment is to focus on your senses. What do you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel right now? By paying attention to your senses, you can anchor yourself in the present moment.

Practice mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation is a type of meditation that helps you focus on the present moment. There are many different mindfulness meditation techniques, but they all involve focusing on your breath and being aware of your thoughts and sensations without judgment.

Start small

You don’t need to practice present moment awareness for hours each day. Start with a few minutes, and gradually increase the amount of time you spend practicing.

Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down, and set a timer for however long you want to practice. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. When your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the present moment.

Don’t worry if you can’t focus for the whole time. The important thing is that you keep practicing.

Be patient

It takes time and practice to train your mind to stay in the present moment. Don’t be discouraged if you find it difficult at first. With time and patience, you will be able to improve your present moment awareness.

Benefits of Present Moment Awareness

There are many benefits to practicing present moment awareness. Here are some of the most well-known benefits:

Reduced stress and anxiety

When you’re able to focus on the present moment, you’re less likely to worry about things that have happened in the past or may happen in the future. This can lead to reduced stress and anxiety.

Improved mood

Practicing present moment awareness can also help improve your mood. When you’re able to focus on the positive aspects of the present moment, you’re less likely to dwell on negative thoughts and emotions.

Greater clarity and focus

When your mind is always wandering, it can be difficult to stay focused on what you’re doing. Present moment awareness can help you focus on the task at hand and improve your clarity of thought.

Improved sleep

If you have trouble sleeping, present moment awareness can help. When you focus on the present moment, you’re less likely to dwell on racing thoughts that can keep you up at night.

Increased happiness

Studies have shown that people who practice present moment awareness tend to be happier than those who don’t. One reason for this may be that present moment awareness helps you focus on the positive aspects of your life, which can lead to increased happiness.

There are many benefits to practicing present moment awareness. By paying attention to your breath, thoughts, and senses, you can train your mind to stay in the present moment. This can lead to reduced stress and anxiety, improved mood, greater clarity and focus, improved sleep, and increased happiness. Start with a few minutes of practice each day, and you’ll soon see the benefits for yourself.