Self Improvement

How to Stay in the Present

posted on July 7, 2015 | by Amanda Holstein

How to Stay in the Present

Today’s post is written by Taylor Lund, an art therapy student exploring holistic practices. She as an aspiring writer who also loves to paint and help others. She plans to travel the world to explore how other cultures deal with emotional pain. I’m glad to have Taylor sharing some insightful tips with us today on how to stay in the present!

image via

We live in a world cluttered with I can’ts and what ifs. It can be hard to focus on the present moment when it’s so easy to fixate on past memories and future anxieties.

But being able to truly live in the present is the key to washing away those negative thoughts and allowing yourself to experience genuine happiness. I’ve spent a lot of my life dwelling in the past, running situations and memories through my head over and over trying to think of what I could’ve done differently. But learning how to be in the present has allowed me to become more aware of how I feel, which in turn can lead to happiness. Life can get seriously difficult, but living in the present moment can make all the difference, so I’m going to show you just how to do that.

1. Allow Yourself to Feel Your Emotions

How many times have you felt angry or sad and then held in those emotions only to later create conflict for yourself or others? When you are experiencing a negative emotion, sit with it for five minutes. Breathe in and out and try to figure out why it’s occurring, why it bothers you, and what you can do to transform it into positivity. Simply stopping to think about what you’re truly feeling, in that moment, can allow you to be more aware of your emotions and feel happier in the end.

2. Let Go

Letting go is always easier said than done. In order to let go, you need to process your thoughts and emotions by truly feeling them. Accept what you’re feeling, and when you’ve finished processing them, leave them in the past. There are a number of ways to achieve this, but I find that writing down my feelings really helps. Releasing them from your mind and putting them on the paper is a great way to let go and move forward.

3. Make Changes in the Present

You are the only one in charge of where you are at this very moment. Enjoy the fact that you always have a choice to change your path. Instead of talking about making a change or assuming you will in the future, do it now. There’s no better time to take control of your life, and turn it into what you want, then right now.

4. Recognize What You’re Grateful For

It’s very normal to put more emphasis on the negative things going on in our lives than the positive. Once I started writing down what I was grateful for, my outlook changed dramatically. This allowed me to truly recognize the positive aspects of my life and appreciate them to the fullest. Try thinking of just five things you are grateful for each day, and you’ll start to notice your outlook quickly changing for the better.

5. Get Lost in Something That Gives You Pleasure

Whether you go for a run or doodle in a coloring book, getting lost in an activity can really help keep your mind in the present. You loose all sense of time and forget what’s going on around you, allowing yourself to truly be in the moment. It can almost feel like a form of meditation, helping to fully relax your mind and let any worries fade away.

How do you stay in the present?