It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice. We’re always looking forward to events - the weekend, Christmas, or what new year's resolutions you may (or may not) keep! 

Paying more attention to the present moment can improve your mental wellbeing, help with anxiety, and help you to make better connections to the world around you and the people in it. 

Here are five tips to help you stay grounded to the present! Below are our tips and we have listed some apps to help you be more in the moment. 

Practise mindfulness

Mindfulness sounds like a mouthful - but it isn't! Mindfulness is the idea of our ability to be fully present and aware of who we are and what we’re doing. Mindfulness is a quality that we already have, it’s not something you have to conjure up, you just have to learn how to access it.  When we’re mindful, we reduce stress, gain insight into our environment, and increase our attention to others’ well-being.

Lose track of time

A lot of the world around us today is structured and time-based. We go to work at 9pm, we watch a show at 8pm, we go to bed at 10pm.  By losing track of time and doing something we enjoy, we are truly being present. By reading a book, settling to binge watch some TV, or working in the garden - we become lost in our own world. Set a timer if you do need to stop at some point to do something! That way you won't be watching the clock. 

If something is worrying you - move towards it 

We tend to avoid things that cause us stress. If we have something to do that we don't want too, we tend to avoid it and do other things to occupy our mind. Instead of avoiding the stress and the feelings it causes - face them. By focusing on your current feelings, you can face them, accept them, and move on from them.

Pay attention 

We all zone out and stop paying attention when we think we know something. We go about our morning routine in a haze because we've trod the same route a hundred times before. The best way to avoid such 'mindlessness' is to develop the habit of always noticing new things in whatever situation you're in. This will help you engage with what's happening right now.

Don’t plan to be present 

If you set yourself time to be mindful, you’re already not being present! You can become mindful at any moment just by paying attention to your immediate experience. You can do it right now. What's happening this instant? Think of yourself as a constant witness and just observe the moment when you're in it. 

Apps for Mindfulness and feeling in the moment 

Insight Timer has over 25,000 guided meditations, free talks, and podcasts from around 3,000 teachers on topics like stress, relationships, creativity, and more. 

Smiling Mind has hundreds of meditations and is organized into structured programs. You can choose where to start and easily jump between programs. Most meditations are in the five- to fifteen-minute range

Stop breathe and think: If you explore “All Sessions” you can access the free meditations all in one place and look at the paid plan offers. Each day the app asks, “How are you?” so you can check in with yourself, the app will recommend meditations, mindful walks, and even acupressure videos tailored to how you feel. 

Headspace: You can try headspace for free with a basic meditation and mindfulness course and if you enjoy it, you can then sign up with a paid subscription.  

Calm: This app hopes to help users sleep better, boost confidence and reduce stress and anxiety, all with the help of guided meditations, soothing music, and bedtime stories


Thank you to Ellen Lapworth-Maisey for your professional guidance