How to Be Here Now. The Health Benefits of Being Present.
Many of us are familiar with the term “Be Here Now” which was originally popularized by the spiritual teacher Ram Dass. Some have read his book, and many have read other books and articles pertaining to this wonderful message. “Being Present” is another term used by many spiritual and self help writers. I will treat these two concepts the same for our practical purposes here and use them interchangeably. Of course these concepts weren’t invented in modern times, only refined. They originate from some of the great sages and masters of our time.
But many still ask on a daily basis – what do these concepts really mean? Why is “being present” so healthy? And, most importantly, how to we go about “being present?” This is the subject of this article.
What does “Be Here Now” and “Being Present” mean? Be Here Now is being Present in the current moment; focusing your thoughts and energy on what is happening right now; letting go of any guilt or feelings of the past; letting go of worries or stress about the future. By just focusing on the present we can really experience what is happening in the moment. This is a task that takes time. Remember, only a few people can do this consistently, so don’t be too hard on yourself. The process is a journey in which you first become aware, and then put this awareness into practice one moment at a time. After time, like all things you practice, you become more conscious of this and it becomes easier to be present on a regular basis.
Why are these practices so healthy for us? Many of us get caught up in thinking about the future or the past. We tend to waste precious “present” time worrying or getting stressed, when the moment is where we should try to be. When we “let go” and focus on the present we immediately become more stress free. Our breathing and thought patterns become calmer; our attitude and behavior becomes more peaceful; essentially we become happier. Happiness and stress reduction has been scientifically proven to be very healthy for you. Happy people live healthier lives.
How do we go about “Being Present”? This is an ongoing daily task that takes practice. Yet it is very simple to do. Worrying about the future? Fixated on the past? Try these six steps below to help you be here now:
1) Watch children play – Most children, in particular young kids, are in the moment. They get into the present with such a happy intensity. Watch them at a playground and absorb their happiness. Just a few minutes of observing makes you smile and be in the moment.
2) Watch a baby and the wonder in their eyes – Babies are not yet conditioned in the human world, therefore they are totally in the moment. They are not thinking about the past or future. Watch a baby and the magic in their eyes.
3) Look and listen in Nature – Trees, flowers, flowing water, blowing wind, ocean waves, a beautiful sunset or sunrise; these are all things that help you to be in the moment, to be here now. Nature is one of the best places to be present. Its captivating beauty helps you focus on the magic of now. Get out in Nature as much as you can. Even a beautiful park or your backyard works, just get out and focus on the beauty that you experience.
4) Take a walk and absorb the moment – Just take a walk. Out in nature is great, but anywhere will do. In the city? Enjoy the interesting architecture and the beautiful trees. Water is always a great place to walk and work on being present. If possible try to get away from loud noises, if not try your best to tune it out and focus on the present surroundings.
5) Breathe – Take a few moments to breathe, focusing on your breath; utilize the technique of “in breath”, then “out breath”; focus on these words and thoughts while also breathing deeply in and out. Learn to let go of all thoughts, gently pushing them aside. You can do this sitting, walking, driving, before you sleep, before you eat, or in a stressful moment.
6) Meditate – Meditation is a great technique to help you let go and be in the present. Meditation utilizes breathing and focused thought. The main technique of most meditation is that of “letting go” when thoughts come in. Gently push them away and focus on a peaceful symbol in your mind’s eye or a word or chant, something that will help you focus and relax. Again utilize breathing in and out in a rhythm, focusing on this task while emptying your mind of stress or worries. Practice daily for 15-30 minutes and you will notice a big change in learning to be present.
Need some more help with these ideas? Please visit my Mental & Spiritual webpage for more free articles and great resources on these concepts and more. I also offer personal one-on-one mindfulness coaching and counseling to help you on your journey
Please browse my website for more information on Mindfulness, Conscious Living and Well-Being.
Brian M Heater