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Embracing Presence

February 16, 2024 | Jessie Nolasco-Sandino, LMSW | 5 min. read

Presence OMHG Blog

What exactly is ‘presence’? It’s a simple yet profound concept. Presence is about embracing the here and now.

Our thoughts and emotions often pull us into the future or anchor us to the past, leaving little room for the beauty of the current moment. We might wonder, why prioritize the present when there’s so much on our minds — job promotions, financial concerns, and relationships? These are valid aspects of life, but notice how they often come with stress and anxiety.

Being present is about finding peace in the present moment, wherever you may find yourself, amidst the thoughts/feelings swirling around.

The practice of presence isn’t always straightforward; it can be filled with challenges and setbacks. 

In a world filled with hustle and bustle, we often feel compelled to think ahead and worry about what’s next. It’s understandable, but we must also make time to just be present, to let go, to relax, and unwind. In doing so, we create a space where significant change can unfold, aligning with the desires and goals we hold for our own lives.

As the article by Elizabeth Perry suggests, “being present… is about where your mind is living.” Anxieties and fears live in the future while depression and regrets often lie in the past. However, peace of mind is often thought of as being in the present, where the two meet in the here and now. 

Here are some ways we can practice being and embracing presence:

1. Focused and paced breathing

This tried and true method works because it recenters our mind on the here and now, rather than letting our mind wander. It helps maintain a focus on our surroundings and what we are feeling at this moment in time. It also helps to focus our attention on body sensations, thoughts and feelings in the present moment.

2. Try mindfulness meditation practices

Although it can be difficult to build such habits, meditation can be an incredibly helpful source in our development of presence. In the practice of mindfulness and/or meditation, we begin to incorporate focused attention, relaxation, gentleness and peace of mind. Mindfulness meditations are all about intentionality and help create an intentional thought process that can aid in our lifestyle, livelihood and healing journey. 

3.  Limit social media time

Being a tremendous tool in connecting with others, social media also has its downsides. Constantly scrolling through feeds or reels can create longing for the past with a look at old photos; or a desire for others’ life leading to comparison, loss of confidence and genuine connections. The reality is we all struggle and one captured moment of bliss doesn’t necessarily reflect spontaneity, eccentricity or debauchery. Limiting our time on social media can help in building intentional thought processes such as being present with ourselves and others.

How to Be Present: Discover the Benefits of Here and Now (betterup.com)

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