Science Backed Techniques To Be In The Present
Be In Touch With Your Inner Self:
The first step towards being present is to take a voyage into your inner world. Unless you go there, you can't move on. In our world and depending on where you grow, vulnerability can be considered a weakness. As a result, not only do you end up hiding your feelings from others, you also hide them from your ownself. As a result, thoughts never get processed and spin around in your head ad infinitum.
Processing your emotions and your thoughts is the first step towards starting to get out of your own head.
Mindfulness has become a buzzword these days but if you really want to introspect productively, learn the art of mindfulness. When a thought pops in your head, investigate it but with non judgement and then just let it go. Of course, the letting go is the hard part but with the constant practice of mindfulness will make it very easy.
Mindfulness experts say that thoughts are not to be believed, they pop in our heads like bubbles and its in us to latch on to them or let them go. Its then that the thoughts loose their power over you.
Helping someone to me is a very selfish deed because when you help someone it actually is helping yourself. Last year a study at the University of Exeter Medical School found that people who volunteered their time for various causes were less depressed, and had greater well-being and life satisfaction than people who didn’t. (They also lived longer, but that’s another story.) Helping others helps you because it forces you get out of your own schtick and focus on something outside yourself. If you’re a parent, you know that focusing on another person (even if they’re a tiny, demanding one) does a similar thing. But when you actually set out to spend your time on another person or cause, you’ll find that it’s a very good way to move the focus away from you. Try asking someone who looks down if they need to talk. It’ll certainly make them feel better, just to be asked that question. And you’ll be the better for it, too.
There’s almost no mental practice that has more research behind it than meditation: Studies from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, UCLA, Stanford, and UMass, to name a few, are showing the effects of meditation training on brain function and brain structure. But among its more striking benefits, meditation seems to deactivate the “me centers” of the brain, the areas that are active when we’re having thoughts related to the self – self-referential thoughts.
In fact, the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is an area that’s “on” when we're having these thoughts, and meditation has been shown to quiet activity this area of the brain. In fact, experienced meditators’ brains were also shown to co-activate areas involved in self-monitoring, suggesting that their brains may always be on the “lookout” for me-centered thoughts, ready to bring them back to the present moment just as fast.
Of course, meditating has also been shown to help treat other related mental health issues, like depression, addiction, anxiety, and attention deficit disorders, as well as to improve concentration, attention, and cognitive performance. So give it a try: Start with sitting, and focusing on your breath for five minutes. If your mind wanders, just observe that wandering, with a sense of curiosity, and pull it back to your focus. That part – the pulling the mind back, again and again – is really the heart of the practice.