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Present Moment Awareness Technique

How crazy does it seem that we need a technique to be present in the moment.

However from my experience, I am not always present. Often I am up in my head and I know this because I am not aware of my surroundings in the moment.

I tend to be more focused on either the past or the future and the only way I can do this is by going up into my head. This often shows up as worry or overthinking or overwhelm. So much thinking going on that I can’t seem to think straight with any clarity.

Being up in my head often means I miss important moments in everyday life – going on around me.

When I am up in my head and feeling my own thinking about the past that has already been, or predicting the future that has not yet come (and honestly unlikely to show up the way my mind thinks), I am not aware of what is happening directly infront of me in the NOW. I am missing the detail and the richness of life as it unfolds.

When I feel my own thinking, suffering occurs in this place See if you notice that anxiety comes from anxious thinking, anger comes from thinking angry thoughts, joy comes from joyful thinking about people, events, situations and so on.

Now is all we ever have – this moment. If I am thinking about what is for dinner, when I am talking with a friend, it is possible I might be hearing my friend, and unlikely I am Listening to my friend. The thinking pulls me up out of the moment into my head.

When I am aware that I am up in my thinking because usually I am feeling the thinking that my attention is focused on, I can use the following technique to come back into the present moment, with full awareness. Full awareness means you get a deeper in the moment experience.

Present moment awareness. (technique or conscious activation of the sensors in the NOW)

1. Name 3 things I can see – infront of and around me

2. Name 3 things I can hear – with my ears

3. Name 3 things I can feel/touch.

Maybe the sensor of taste or smell can be activated too in the NOW, to bring you back into your body and out of your head.

Being present means time disappears, such as when you are absorbed in an enjoyable activity. You are fully in the moment, engaged and free from thinking. You are in the “zone”.

Activities that require your full concentration such as thrill seeking, dangerous or new activities demand that we be present. However it is very easy in everyday life to slip up into our head to focus on a problem that is not directly infront of us in the moment.

Why think about an issue that you cannot directly attend to by taking action in the moment?

Being present means you have more time to focus on what is happening infront of you and conserves energy for this task. Being up in our head worrying about what has been or what is yet to come, is exhausting and takes energy away from the present moment people and activities.

Awareness of being present or caught up in your thinking is a great first step to making a conscious change to be present as often as you can.

Jenny Malcolm

Mind & Body Wellbeing Coach

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