In the next to last chapter of The Stories We Tell Ourselves, I wrote, “The reason we want to become people of presence is that it greatly increases our chances for connection, and there is nothing our souls crave more than a meaningful connection with another person.”
You may not consciously believe that, but deep within you—regardless of how introverted you may be—is a desire to truly connect with another person. That’s why I think it’s so important to practice being present so that you can one day be a person of presence. [Read more…] about The Best Gift You Can Give to Others
According to a 2015 study performed by Nottingham Trent University, 18- to 33-year-olds in England look at their phones an average of 85 times per day, or about one-third of their waking time.
The study asked participants to guess how often they looked at their phones, and then each participant’s phone had an app installed that tracked actual usage for two weeks. On the whole, people looked at their phones twice as often as they thought. More than half of those looks were for less than 30 seconds (“How often do YOU check your phone?”).
We don’t need these statistics to tell us what we already know: we are an easily distractible people. [Read more…] about A Timeless Tip for Better Presence
I find it helpful to visualize continuums for certain aspects of my life that I’d like to see change for the better. I present these continuums to my clients as well, and I’ve seen these continuums be helpful tools for them to assess themselves and figure out where they are and where they hope to be.
For instance, when I discuss what it means to graduate from sometimes being present in a relationship to being a person of presence, where being constantly “in the moment” doesn’t require as much conscious work as it once did, I use the following continuum: [Read more…] about Where Are You on the Continuum of Presence?
Recently on my blog, I discussed how you can become more present within your relationships. I suggested how you can increase your neuroplasticity to help train your brain to be more present. I gave one quick yet effective tip for increasing your self-awareness while in conversation with another person. And finally I provided a way for you to stop your mental time-traveling so that your full awareness can be focused on who’s right in front of you and not stuck in the past or yearning for the future.
I suggested these tips to help you become a more present person. If you choose to incorporate them on a daily basis within your relationships—like a regular exercise schedule—you can become a person of presence. [Read more…] about Are You a Person of Presence?
Much too often, we mentally fight against wave after wave of coulda, woulda, shouldas: I could have done more. I would have made a different choice. I should have known better.
Or we look to the future and ask the positive what-ifs (What if that promotion comes through?) and the anxious what-ifs (What if she dies?).
Either way, we’re mentally time traveling, and while we can’t always prevent this from happening, we should learn ways to help ourselves focus more on the present, and especially when in dialogue with someone else. [Read more…] about How to Stop Your Mental Time Traveling
Do you ever find yourself experiencing any of these physical reactions when in conversation with another person?
- Quick, shallow breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Wandering eye contact
- Clenching your jaw
- Grinding your teeth
- Taking a step back
All of these actions—which we often don’t even notice we’re doing—are sure signs that you’re not being present in that conversation. You’re not bringing your “full self” into the relationship, and this tends to lead to the stories you tell yourself about that person having an incredible number of blanks that you’ll fill in with information you think might be correct (or just what you want it to be.) [Read more…] about One Quick and Effective Tip for Better Presence
Neuroplasticity is defined as “the potential that the brain has to reorganize by creating new neural pathways to adapt, as it needs. Think of the neurological changes being made in the brain as the brain’s way of tuning itself to meet your needs.” WhatIsNeuroplasticity.com
I hope those last few words catch your attention. What are your needs when it comes to your relationships, and how can you get your brain to tune itself to those needs on purpose or even on command? [Read more…] about For Better Relationships, Increase Your Neuroplasticity
Over the last few weeks I’ve discussed how important it is to be aware of ourselves within our relationships, and especially when talking with someone else. We must learn how to be increasingly aware of our bodies, minds, and emotions as we react to others.
More often than not, the hardest part about becoming aware of ourselves in the present moment is exercising internal awareness. As I wrote in The Stories We Tell Ourselves, “You must learn how to be mentally and emotionally present with another person. The body can only live in the present, but the mind can live in the past, the present, or the future.” [Read more…] about Be Present When You’re Present
At any moment in life, we have the ability to focus our brains and become aware of our body, mind, and/or emotions. Therapist and author Rick Carson describes this as “zones of awareness.”
Depending on your DNA and upbringing, you may lean toward being aware of only one of those zones at a time. Just ask yourself these questions to figure out which way you may lean. When a close friend upsets you, do you instantly notice yourself: [Read more…] about Where Are You Most Aware?