We often hear about “mindfulness”, or being present. This old idea has found new relevance in our modern world, yet its meaning can be elusive.
Dr. Wayne Dyer, an American philosopher, often spoke about being present, and posed this question to those who feel their lives are slipping through the cracks:
“Have you noticed how often we use up the present moments of our lives, the very precious currency of life, consumed with a longing to be someplace else, doing something else? Slipping away from the present happens because we are living our lives with an attitude of depreciation rather than appreciation.”
Dr. Wayne Dyer
The solution to this problem? Learn to be present.
Being present is about truly living life in the moment that is happening right now, without becoming too distracted or distressed by the past or the future. It’s also about having the ability to focus and dedicate our energy to one thing at a time.
The more we can focus on the now, the more purity, sharpness, and coherence we can bring to our lives.
It may sound impossible, but being present is an achievable goal. First, we need to understand what prevents us from being present. Once we’ve done that, there are three simple steps we can take to start down the road toward a lifetime of living in the moment.
What Keeps Us From Mindfulness?
Maybe it’s the fact that we live in a world full of stress and distractions. We spend our free time on social media, we text, we multi-task in offices, and we live in urban environments that are filled with sensory stimuli. We’re overloaded, and the harder our minds work to process all these stimuli, the more our minds and bodies are affected by stress.
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In response to stress, our body creates more and more cortisol, often known as “the stress hormone.” In the short term, cortisol can help us cope with stress, but over time this chronic stress hormone can wear away at a person. In fact, this ongoing elevation of cortisol levels in the system can lead to metabolic and cardiovascular changes as well as neurochemical changes and can cause a host of issues, from disordered sleep to various psychiatric conditions. It becomes a vicious cycle. The more stress, the less able we are to be present in our lives. The less present we are, the greater our stress, and the more we find ourselves trapped.
How do we break the cycle? By being present, which in turn helps us to reduce stress. When that happens, we can perform better at work, find greater satisfaction in our personal lives, and live a more fulfilling life. The question is, how do we teach ourselves to be present?
The Art of Being Present
There’s an old Zen adage: “You should meditate 30 minutes a day unless you don’t have time – then you should meditate for one hour.”
In other words, being present doesn’t happen overnight. The more we need to be present, the harder it is to start. Being present takes practice, but it can be done with three simple steps.
- Make a conscious choice to avoid distractions. Choose to unplug. Set aside time to think, or better yet, to not think.
- Take advantage of helpful practices. You may be surprised to know that you are not alone in your desire to be present. As a society, we are increasing our search for what it takes to be present. It can be found in the growing popularity of yoga, meditation, and an increased desire to spend time in the forest and the natural world (also known as Shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing). By taking advantage of one or more of these practices, you can reap the benefits of being present with greater and greater ease.
- Use natural substances like essential oils, which can enhance your ability to be present. Try MONQ’s forest essential oil diffuser to help you feel present and at peace.
Enhancing the Potential to Be Present
While the use of essential oils to inspire peace and calm is a tradition that goes back centuries, we have worked to bring this ancient practice into the 21st century with our custom blends and innovative aromatherapy devices.
This is part of the methodology used to create our Zen personal essential oil diffuser:
- Frankincense has been used since Biblical times to awaken the spirit and balance the mind,
- Orange has the effect of providing additional energy and fostering a sense of calm, and
- Ylang-Ylang relaxes the body, reduces stress, and leads to a general feeling of wellness.
When you combine these essential oils with the practices described above, you take an important first step toward becoming truly present.
Be Present with MONQ
We invite you to learn more about our unique blends and how they can help you to let go of the stress and start on the path to be present.