5 Mantras to Help You Live More in the Present
May 7, 2019
Staying in the present moment is hard.
With text messages, e-mails, upcoming plans, and deadlines, focusing on where we are can become the least of our concerns. However, it could also be one of the most important things we do for ourselves and our happiness.
According to a Harvard University study, we spend almost half of our waking hours thinking about something other than what we’re doing—and this mind-wandering typically makes us unhappy.
We have what Buddhists call “monkey minds.” We jump from thought to thought like monkeys swinging from tree to tree. And, oftentimes, when we’re thinking about something else, it’s about what we feel will be “better,” “more exciting” or even more stressful than where we are now. We become less satisfied and more agitated than we would if we solely focused on the present.
Keeping our minds at ease can be difficult, but there is a solution. According to Psychology Today, a study in Brain and Behavior reveals that “silently repeating a single word to yourself quiets the system responsible for your mind wandering, thinking about your past, or planning your future.”
Through quiet repetition, we give our minds a more tangible item to focus on and we’re better able to quiet internal thoughts.
Now, this does take practice. Developing short yet powerful statements—or mantras—that we say to ourselves in moments of stress and anxiety is a helpful tool.
We’ve pulled together a few to help you get more connected to the present moment:
I Choose to Release What Does Not Serve Me Right Now
Not all things need prime space in our minds. This mantra is all about releasing the thoughts, doubts, worries, and concerns that aren’t priorities, but often weigh us down.
When reciting this mantra, imagine yourself making space inside your mind for the things that are truly important.
I Am Grateful for This Present Moment and Everything It Offers Me
A reason it’s difficult to stay in the present is because we often think that happiness or more favorable circumstances are in the future. If we take a moment to practice gratitude for the present, we’ll feel more content and savor each day.
As you say this mantra, feel your feet rooted to the ground beneath you or your seat connected to the chair below you. Ground yourself in the present moment.
By Being Present, I Am Creating, Shaping, and Influencing What Happens Next
Having a favorable future is all about laying the right cards down in the present. If you’re looking forward to accomplishing something, you need to take the necessary steps now in order to do so.
If you find yourself getting caught up in what could happen in the future, use this mantra to remind yourself that the most important thing is what you’re doing now.
My Presence Holds Power
Where you are, right here and right now, is powerful. As productive as it can feel to think to the future or the past, sitting in the now is always a strong move.
As author and spiritual teacher Deepak Chopra said in a recent Super Soul Sunday podcast episode: “The most important time in your life is right now. The most important person in your life is the one you are looking at. The most important thing you can do in your life is what you are doing now. The best way to prepare for the future is to be totally present in your now.”
I Am Here, I Am Now, I Am Enough
You are and always will be enough—no matter what your negative self-talk likes to say otherwise. This mantra is all about accepting and owning not only the present, but who you are at this present moment.
Even if you aren’t exactly who you want to be right now, accepting who you are in the present is the key to evolving into the person you want to be in the future. Learn to embrace yourself wholeheartedly, and you’ll feel more at peace with the journey.