The biggest gift which we can give to ourselves is to stay connected with our own self. This helps us to engage with our life, remain kind, stay open-minded and remain free from being judgmental. The ability to stay connected and live in present may sound easy and simple. However, it needs a huge amount of practice and dedication.
Why is it Important
We all want to strive for happiness. However, deep inside we feel that happiness is finite and soon will be over. This prevents us from the completeness of being calm and happy. In reality, we all want infinite happiness. Unfortunately, the world is complex and its complexities are further elevated by human behavior. We can never stay or do anything in isolation. We have to live in a group, a society, or a circle of people. Hence the only way to feel infinite happiness is to be in the present. When one is able to do that, the moment becomes eternal. The moment practically we know will not last forever. But it gives us a feeling of happiness and calmness.
If I have to go from place A to place B and there is a direct route available. We will not choose to cover the distance via any other point once we know the direct route. Once we learn to connect with ourselves and learn the art to live in the present, it makes no sense to take any other route to happiness. All we need to do is find that route.
How to Reach the State of Being in the Present
There are two important cornerstones that help us achieve living in the present. Meditation and Mindfulness. Well! we can do mindful meditation as it gives us the path to calm the mind and increase our brain functioning. However, practicing mindfulness while doing a task or living a moment enable us to live a normal life and yet be connected to the present. The practice of meditation can be brought to any task at hand. It will simply help us be present at the moment with strong emotions without getting caught up in them.
Act of Being Connected
Learning the art to anchor to the present moment is easier said than done. This is because the brain is tuned to bring past memories into play every moment. So yesterday and tomorrow will keep worrying us. Being mindful about a moment or task bridges the gap between emotions of the past and the eagerness of the future.
I remember a story in which a king lost all his hair. So he announced a reward of half of his kingdom, for the person who can help him regrow his hair. However, if the person fails, he will be prisoned for life. Many tried but failed and hence were punished accordingly. Finally, a villager came and gave him a medicine to apply, which he claimed he had prepared in seven days. The only catch was that while applying the medicine the king should not think about monkeys. King was not able to link medicine with monkeys but he accepted the treatment. Every day when he decided to put the medicine, his brain reminded him not to think about monkeys. But to not think about monkeys while applying the medicine was impossible. So the king failed to apply the medicine and had to give half of his kingdom to the villager.
The story tells us that the mind never allows us to detach an emotion or a thought from the moment if we attach something to it. Hence it is important to be completely present and be free from any bondage of memory and judgments of the future.
Practice Makes a Person Perfect
To gain the desired physique or do a special task, we practice for long periods to be perfect. The brain is the most difficult organ to train as it is never stationary and never rests. Hence we have to devote time and be patient to see the results. For sure, if one practices meditation and mindfulness regularly, having control over thoughts and emotions will become possible. However, like in any training, once we de-train, the benefits and effects go away. Training the brain is a regular and continuous process.
Brain Exercises to Live in the Present
- Different types of meditation
We can practice several types of meditation such as body scan, breathing control, etc. This helps us to improve and learn how to channelize our thought processes.
2. Mindful eating
We all have to eat to survive. Eating is an incredible tool to cultivate mindfulness. Many of us watch TV, talk to people or do a task, and eating becomes secondary. But eating with full attention to your plate and nothing else is the best mental exercise one can do.
3. Stop or reduce screen time
Smart devices have increased our stay on the screen. We must learn to reduce it. At times it is impossible as we have to engage in various tasks that demand screen time. All you need to do is pause the screen time for a few moments consciously. This will help you connect to the present and disconnect from emotions and worries.
4. Make a routine
We all want to live an unplanned life. The brain likes that. However, in order to control the outcome of the flow of the day, we must plan it. Many of us may not be in a position to plan the complete day. But we can always plan some essential parts such as meditation, mindful eating, and choosing special moments when one would like to pause for a few seconds.