Five 'go tos' to stay present

Updated: Jun 26

This is the only time you will experience this moment. In a flash moments are gone. If, like me, you strive to be 'productive' and always want to be one step ahead, it can a challenge to notice what is happening in the present moment. Having a drive towards 'achieving' is hugely positive and has helped me in so many ways. On the flip side, it can be exhausting and means I can miss thoughts, feelings, learning opportunities, and just a simple sense of grounded-ness.


How do you pause to take stock and remember the moments? Taking a few seconds helps to remind you where you are, what you want and, importantly, why you want it so that you get closer to that place of freedom. My 'go-tos' that are helping me right now:

  1. Breathe – Just stop and breath – at any time any where. It takes seconds. I don't believe that you don't have the time. Try to get into the habit of regularly just taking a pause and listening to your breath to get in tune with how you’re feeling in this moment. This, personally, really connects me back to myself – even on the busiest of days in the craziest of moments I can get back to ‘me’ and remind myself that this moment is unique.

  2. Gratitude – Take a few minutes each day to note what I’m grateful for – sometimes these are the same things, sometimes new things pop up. Looking back over these notes can also be a wonderful reminder of how much you have to be happy for.

  3. Reflection – Remind myself of the reasons I am doing things and who for. Coming back to ‘why’ often gives my actions meaning and grounds me in the present. If I don’t know why I’m doing something, then I need to delve deeper. If I still don’t know why, then it might be time to stop that thing and move on.

  4. Be kind – Always kindness, always listening to myself. You will be familiar with the saying that ‘if we don’t love ourselves how can we expect anyone else to love us?’. I think it all goes deeper than that. True self-care and self-love is hugely powerful, it lifts us and can create a uniquely deep connection to ourselves that we can’t achieve from any other relationship. I do consciously try to be caring with myself and my inner thoughts, and fears. I constantly ask how would I approach this, if I were a friend (sometimes we berate ourselves when we wouldn’t dream of saying those things to our nearest and dearest). Remind yourself that you’re on a journey and that nothing you do is wasted, it’s a lesson that you can use to grow. A lesson in your self-discovery. A lesson on your own journey.

  5. Positive affirmations – I regularly set myself positive affirmations to say each day – sometimes multiple times throughout the day. These are very personal to you and the point you’re at, but can be very powerful. If you haven’t tried this before, it can feel a little strange to start with but you’ll soon become more comfortable with it. Again, I set these depending on what I’m going through at that time and can really help me focus on the here and now. When I feel negative thoughts, or feel strained or unhappy about a certain action, person or activity, I regularly ask myself ‘How is this serving me?’. Writing down thoughts that pop up to this question can be very revealing. Try it.

Gemma Brown is a certified coach who works with successful women, 1-2-1 and in groups, to identify their strengths and build confidence which enables them to have the self-belief to fearlessly bring their whole being into all areas of life. Gemma is based in Cambridgeshire and carries out face to face coaching in the area as well as 1-2-1 coaching via Skype and Zoom. For more about Gemma, visit her 'About' page or contact her directly.

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