Finding Focus: Practicing Presence In Our Daily Lives

Staying focused and present can be a challenge in the winter. Our lives are filled with all the usual stressors, but the days are shorter, colder, and more frequently overcast, adding additional obstacles to tackling an already burdensome workload. Many of us love the idea of focusing on our wellbeing, but the thought of trying to add an hour of exercise to our schedules or finding time to cook ourselves a real, wholesome meal actually just adds to the stress. However, there are many small ways we can reset our attention and be intentional about focusing on the present moment without overhauling our entire lives.

Finding Focus | Singing Bowls

Breathing

You’re a natural, right? Well, not exactly. We’ve been breathing all our lives, but we don’t always pay much attention to how we do it.

Focusing on your breathing can make you feel present and in control.

If you’re having a stressful day, consider utilizing a breathing exercise to help stay calm in potentially overwhelming circumstances. Taking twenty breaths is an easy exercise that can be done anywhere. Breath in slowly and deeply, paying special attention to the simple act of filling your lungs with air, and then breath out, slowly releasing the air from your lungs.

Repeat those steps and count up on each exhale until you’ve taken ten breathes. Next, count down from ten on each exhale until you’re back to zero.

Finding Focus | Emotional Meltdown Emergency Candle

If you’re having trouble focusing, consider closing your eyes or lighting a candle. You can keep your eyes closed and focus on the candles’ scent or keep them open while focusing on the movement of the flame.

Improving Postural Alignment

Many of us spend a lot of our day sitting in a chair, and it’s kind of the worst. Improving your posture can help you avoid back pain and feel ready to take on the day’s tasks.

Practice better postural alignment by starting with your feet and working up.

Plant your feet side by side directly under your knees. Your thighs should be parallel to the earth with your knees and hips at the same height from the floor. Keep even weight on your feet by keeping your knees centered. The cylinder of your ribs should be directly over your pelvis.

Finding Focus | Sari Motif Cushion

Consider using a small cushion to help keep your lumber spine proper curved. Move your head back so that your ears are directly above your shoulders. Oh, and don’t forget to get up and walk around every once in a while.

Singing Bowls

Speaking of postural alignment, another great tool for slowing down and focusing on the present is a singing bowl.

Finding Focus | Inscribed Singing Bowl

Singing bowls are a meditative aid, so it goes hand in hand with proper posture.

Singing bowls come in a wide range of sizes, each with a unique pitch. The bowl is placed on a special cushion or held in the palm of your hand. To produce sound, place the mallet between your thumb and forefinger and tap the side of the bowl like a bell. To sustain the sound, run the mallet slowly around the outer rim of the bowl, moving your full arm in a circular motion.

When you’re dreaming of longer, warmer days, finding focus can be a challenge, but there are many small ways to stay present. Breath slowly and deeply, exercise postural alignment, and enjoy the lovely song of your singing bowl.

Shop fair trade singing bowls

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Maddie Murphy

Madeleine lives in Lancaster, PA, where she hopes to stay forever if possible. Most of the time she’s reading, drawing silly cartoons, and figuring out how to be an adult, but occasionally, you might see her outside riding a bike. She’s also enthusiastic about sustainable food systems and has been vegan for a couple of years. Despite everyone’s predictions, it hasn’t killed her yet!

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