How to Become Present Right Now. And 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.

Image credit: Erol Ahmed via Unsplash

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Sarah Chauncey

For more than two decades, I struggled multiple treatment-resistant mood disorders. I spent more than 20 years in psychodynamic therapy and tried 18 different medications. In 2010, I began searching for ways to rewire my brain naturally for inner peace. I write about the practices and insights that have improved my mental, physical and spiritual health.

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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