How to Become Present Right Now

This is one of the best techniques I’ve found to bring me into the moment (or help me fall asleep).

Here it is: Count your breaths (inhale/exhale) from one to four. Then start over again at one.

Simple, right?

Just try it.

It’s amazing how often I’ll get to “16, 17…” without even realizing it. My mind tends to go off on its own tangents – usually things it thinks I should be worried about – yet the counting part of my mind will roll right along, with increasing numbers, until I catch myself.

I usually laugh. And then I start over at ‘one’.

I mean, this is when I’ve already made a decision to be present, to count. Yet still, I think my record was something like 37 breaths before I noticed I wasn’t paying attention.

What I love is that if I can actually stay focused on the breath, if I can stay present enough to do the one-to-four count over and over…I almost always fall asleep quickly.

 

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Sarah Chauncey

For most of my life, I battled intractable depression and anxiety in multiple forms. In 2010, I began searching for ways to rewire my brain for inner peace. I tried everything from cognitive reframing to self-hypnosis to metaphysical energy work. I write about the things I've learned and experienced as a way to anchor them more deeply in myself--and, I hope, to help others.

1 Comment

  1. My Word for 2017: Allow - Living the Mess on December 31, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    […] the present—to the realization that I’m not in control of anything except my own actions—in an instant. Over and over and over […]

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