Five tips for staying in the moment

I founded Love & Recovery as a place to find beautiful gifts and inspiration for people in recovery. One of the greatest gifts any of us can give to ourselves and to others, is the gift of our full attention, our presence.

Have you ever noticed that the more idle time you have, the more havoc your thoughts can create? I’m half tempted to throw in a little smiley face to say I’m kidding, but really…I’m not.

Recently, I have had a lot of time on my hands. And, with that time comes a very active mind and imagination. Random thoughts of fear, catastrophe, grandeur and glory race through my head all day long … if and when I give them free reign.

I trust that God always has a plan for us. And right now, I feel His plan for me is to practice being present. He is giving me the gift of time, allowing me much needed space to, well…remain present.

So, this has me wondering, what tools do conscious people use to stay present?

I posted my inquiry on social media, and I asked friends and loved ones to share their presence present with me.

The responses I received were uncanny, and I am sharing the top five below:

  • Mantras – Notice your breath. Breathe in deeply and out slowly and say the mantra out loud or silently. You may want to repeat your mantra of choice often throughout the day, whenever you catch your mind drifting into the past or future. Here are a few of our favorite mantra suggestions:
    • Your time is now.
    • I am at peace with what is.
    • Am I okay right now?
  • Nature – Bring yourself back into present moment awareness by listening to the birds chirping, and listening to the breeze rustle the tree leaves. (…and breathe)
  • Snap the Wrist – Wear a rubber band on your wrist at all times, and when your mind begins to wander off, snap the wrist!
  • Five Senses Mindfulness— Identify the following:
    • 5 things I see
    • 4 things I hear
    • 3 things I smell
    • 2 things I feel on my skin
    • 1 thing I can taste (e.g., last thing you ate)

Doing this usually takes less than a minute, and can be done anywhere. It helps bring us back to the present moment, and also helps quiet our minds from racing with other unhelpful thoughts. Reason being, we can’t focus on the environment and entertain thoughts at the same time.

  • Meditational Action – Take physical actions that bring you into the present, for example: painting, writing, dancing, or building an engine, if you are mechanically inclined.My neighbor and his buddy are building an engine, and believe me, they do not have little elves running around in their head saying, “how will I ever retire, where will I find love, or who will take care of my dog if I die?”Dive into a project that requires thoughtfulness, and the elves will be lulled to sleep…for a while, anyway.

So there you have it, five useful ideas to help keep you present when you are alone with yourself and your thoughts. I have found all of them useful, as I develop this self-loving practice of being in the moment.

I am at peace with what is.

In the moment,


Share: We would love to hear from you. Please share your “mindful” experiences…how do you politely or abruptly tell the voices in your head to take five for God’s sake?

Do you know someone who would enjoy or benefit from finding joy in recovery? Please share this with them.