To live in the moment. Many of you may have heard this expression.
What does it mean to you?
It can be easy to focus on what is ahead of you, or to think of something that has happened in the past. On your way to work, you have already created the whole day in your head; you might be thinking about what could or might happen today.
While making breakfast, you are thinking about what you said yesterday that you should not have said, or maybe even what happened years ago that you still feel bad about.
By only being in our thoughts, thinking about the past or the future, we are not fully present with what is happening right now.
We can use our breath and our physical senses to bring our attention back to now, to this moment. A great way to do this is to become aware of 3 things you can see, 3 things you can hear and 3 things you can feel, smell or taste. Then take a deep breath: Breathe in slowly through your nose, allowing your chest and lower belly to rise as you fill your lungs. Let your abdomen expand fully. Now breathe out slowly through your mouth. Repeat 2 more times.
Start noticing how it actually is to do the things you are doing, and how it is to listen to the people around you. The first, and most important step, is to notice that you are «somewhere else» with your thoughts. Then you can bring your focus back to where you are by using your senses.
And, did you know? In addition, deep abdominal breathing encourages full oxygen exchange — that is, the beneficial trade of incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide. Not surprisingly, it can slow the heartbeat and lower or stabilize blood pressure. Today just got better!