4 Things You Can Do to Be Present Right Now

The practice of being present, also known as mindfulness, is advocated for by doctors and spiritual practitioners alike. Many mental health struggles such as anxiety and depression stem from either dwelling on regrets of the past or worrying about the future. Centering yourself in the present moment allows you to let go of everything that isn’t here and now. Research has shown people who regularly practice mindfulness are happier, healthier, and more compassionate. Many people mistakenly believe that mindfulness requires deep meditation or years of spiritual practice, but there are things you can do right now that will anchor you in the moment and allow you to experience the immediate benefits of mindfulness.

We help people with addictions and substance use disorders recover. Get mindfulness training and learn the 12 Steps for deeper healing.

4 Things to Help You Be Present Right Now

1. Focus on Your Breath

This is the most common tip you will hear in discussions of mindfulness, as well as the first step in learning to meditate. It may sound simple, but focusing on your breath is a powerful way to begin to work on the body-mind connection. Breath is always happening, whether you think about it or not. Your breath can anchor you to the present moment by allowing you to witness your body in action, as it effortlessly keeps you alive by delivering oxygen to every cell. You can observe your breath with multiple senses by listening to the flow of air, watching your chest expand and retract, and feeling the sensations in your body. You can stop and focus on your breath anywhere and at any time, allowing you to slow down your mind and become entirely present. Although it is not necessary to alter your breath while being mindful of your breathing, there are various breathing techniques you can learn that may help you to focus and relax.

2. Use All Five Senses

A great tool for bringing yourself into the present moment is to consciously observe your surroundings using all five senses. If you are sitting in the doctor’s office, for example, worrying about your upcoming appointment and checking off your mental to-do list, you can use this tool to calm your mind. Notice what you see around you by looking at every detail of the room. Listen to the sounds of your environment. Can you hear people talking behind the closed door? Is there music playing? What does the waiting room smell like? Is there a candle or air freshener? Observe the texture of the chair you are sitting on by feeling it on your skin. Perhaps if you are lucky, there will be a candy bowl nearby to help you check off the fifth sense of taste! Enlist as many senses as possible in the moment. We are often so lost in thought we hardly notice our surroundings. Experiencing what is around you with all five senses will bring you into the present moment in a mindful, intentional way.

3. Ask Someone How They Are Doing

It can be so easy to become wrapped up in our own problems. So much so, that when we talk to other people, we tend to only talk about ourselves. Even when we engage in back and forth conversations, research has shown that most people do not effectively listen, but instead spend most of their time thinking about what they are going to say next. A good way to bring yourself into the moment while also improving your listening skills is to ask someone how they are doing, and listen to the reply. This means clearing your mind of your own troubles, opinions, and updates on your life, and focusing only on what the other person has to say. Ask relevant questions about their life and problems, and refrain from comparing them to your own. Giving someone your undivided attention naturally pulls you into the present moment, and turns you into a better friend.

4. Get Moving

The next time you find yourself lost in anxious thoughts or feeling overwhelmed with regret, move your body. Run, dance, swim or jump up and down. Keep going until your heart rate elevates and you begin to sweat. As children, we would often take off at a sprint for no reason, not stopping to rest until we were utterly exhausted. You can tap into that blissful adrenaline rush at any time by being active and pushing your body physically. There are a wide variety of physical benefits from regular exercise, but exerting yourself also forces you to become entirely present. When you must push yourself to run further, swim harder, or dance for one more song, you don’t have the mental energy to worry about tomorrow or replay past mistakes. You are in the moment and enjoying the rush of happiness-inducing chemicals surging through your brain, thanks to the wonderful effects of being active.

Find Healing At Renewal Lodge

Simply fill out the form below and an admission specialist will contact you shortly.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Dear Renewal Lodge Visitors,

My name is John Bruna, co-founder of the Mindfulness in Recovery® Institute, and more importantly, a grateful member of the recovery community. I am incredibly fortunate to have found my recovery in 1984. Of course, I did not achieve continuous recovery through willpower or my own efforts, but through the guidance and caring support of countless others that selflessly taught me how to live through the 12 Steps.

My journey of recovery brought this once homeless, shame-based, traumatized, insecure young man to a life far beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I discovered self-worth, the joy of helping others, the gifts of parenting and grandparenting, and most importantly the ability to live a meaningful and purposeful life with integrity.

One of the greatest gifts of recovery is that I have the opportunity to give back and help others discover their self-worth, dignity, and the skills to fully live lives that they find truly meaningful. This is the inspiration for developing the skills of Mindfulness in Recovery® (MIR) to meet the needs of new generations struggling with alcohol and other substance use disorders. MIR is a set of evidence-based skills designed to help people fully integrate their tools of recovery in ways that are personalized, practical, and in alignment with their deepest values.

While we train counselors and therapists throughout the United States and abroad, I personally have chosen to work directly with the amazing team and clients at Renewal Lodge to develop the model MIR 12-step program for the nation. I choose Renewal Lodge because of the vision of its mission and the dedication of its team. Renewal Lodge is an extremely rare environment in which the staff embodies the very mindfulness and 12-step practices and skills they offer their clients. The results have been beyond my expectations. It is an honor to be here and I treasure my personal time with every client I meet.

With Gratitude,

John Bruna
John Bruna
Director of Mindfulness
View Insurance Providers