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Four ways to practice presence

How do you pause to take stock? Taking a few minutes helps ground you, builds resilience and gives you strength to go on.

With the world as it is, I need to ground down into my present practices even more than usual. It isn’t easy. Often, I would rather ‘crack on’ and make myself busy to prove my worth and to show that I am still productive. Being still for a moment can seem like the opposite of ‘productive’, but I’ve learnt that it isn’t. It is the initiation of productivity.

These are the things I’m turning to right now.

  1. Breathe – Taking regular breaks to tune in to my breath helps keep me calm. It isn’t fancy, I simply stop and take slower deeper breaths – at any time, anywhere. It takes seconds. This practice connects you back to yourself – even on the busiest of days in the craziest of moments. It can act as a great reminder that this moment is unique and that you are OK.

  2. Gratitude – This is key for me right now - I take a few minutes each day (I do it in the evening at bedtime) to note what I’m grateful for – sometimes these are the same things as the day before, sometimes new things pop up. Looking back over these notes can also be a wonderful reminder of how much you have.

  3. Reflection – ‘Looking back so the path looking forward is even clearer.’ I reflect to learn and understand - sometimes this is through journaling, or sometimes just out on a walk. In a moment of challenge or anxiety, it is easier to act without conscious awareness. Reflecting on that moment gives the chance to revisit and understand why you acted as you did.

  4. Practice kindness – True self-care and self-love is hugely powerful, it lifts us and can create a deep connection to ourselves that we can’t achieve from any other relationship. Try to consciously care for yourself and your inner thoughts, and fears. I constantly ask myself ‘Would I say this to a friend?’. Do something kind for yourself each day, however small. It could be by wearing something you love, taking a walk, giving yourself permission to rest. We can be our most harsh critics so surround yourself with kindness and compassion instead.

Your practices could be different - ask yourself, ‘what do I need to help me be present?’. If you are not sure, try some of these ones and experiment with what works.

Gemma Brown Coaching, Cambridge
Gemma Brown Coaching

Gemma Brown is an associate certified coach with the International Coach Federation, working with people to navigate successfully through transitions - be it career, relationships or life in general. Her belief is that when we confidently bring our whole selves to all areas of life, anything is possible. Transitions exist in both our personal and business life, and so often, the two fiercely overlap. Coaching with Gemma focuses on you as a whole, enabling you to identify your strengths, build confidence and to live a life with increased purpose and direction. 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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