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06Dec2016

The Best Present Is Being Present

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This time of year can feel overwhelming with all the activities and lists of things to do, buy, mail, make and see. But notice, it’s still early December. You can decide right now how your month is going to play out.

One way to make this season more special, is to be more present. Being present is the best gift we can give. Being present will make us feel less stressed and increase our productivity, leaving more time for things that make us happy, not just everyone else.

Did you know that we are only present about 5% of the time? Yup, that’s right. We aren’t where we are supposed to be most of the time. Where are we if we aren’t in the present? We are in “Monkey Mind.”  Monkey Mind is a place where we swing from future thoughts to past thoughts and then back again over and over. We ruminate about what we need to get done (future), what we didn’t get done (past). Research shows we are in Monkey Mind about 70% of the day. 

When we are present and “in the moment,” neuroscience tells us that we are using the part of our brain called the neo cortex. Think of your neo cortex as the captain of your ship. This is who you want driving your boat. When we are engaging this part of our brain, we are lighting up the best part of ourselves. We are smarter, more creative, more enjoyable and more productive. When we are in Monkey Mind we are typically in our limbic system part of our brain, which is where are stress and survival mode lives. We decrease productivity, increase feelings of stress and we are often more bah humbug to be around.

We can learn to be more present starting right now. Here are a few tips to help you stay more mindful and present this season. Your loved ones and coworkers will appreciate the gift, and you will enjoy the season much more than you can ever imagine.

FOCUS ON YOUR BREATH
Be conscious about breathing air in and air out very deeply.

LOOK PEOPLE IN THE EYE
Right eye to right eye is the strongest eye contact you can make.

REALLY LISTEN
Listen to others for one to two minutes before saying something. 

DRIVE IN SILENCE
Don’t use your phone. Turn off your radio and music. Be alone with your thoughts. 

MAKE PEACE WITH IMPERFECTION
Let go of the things that did not turn out the way you expected.

WRITE IT DOWN
Be sure to write down your “to do’s” on a list that you track. On paper is better than in the mind.

STOP.  SOAK IT IN. SAVOUR THE MOMENT.
There is beauty all around us. Sights, sounds, tastes and textures. Take a few minutes to really let the beauty of the holiday season engage your senses.

PICK A MANTRA
Do you have a favorite song? A favorite quote or verse? Say it in your mind. Write it down on your to do list and let it bring you to the present.

REMEBER THE POWER OF GRATITUDE
At the end of the day, pick one thing you are grateful for. Share it with someone. Toast it. Appreciate it.

  • 6 Dec, 2016
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