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Do You Live Life in the Present? 3 Things You Can Do to Be Present Every Day

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how to be more present
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Don’t just think about how you spend your time, think about WHERE you spend it! There are three definitive time zones that the human mind can scan at any given moment. They are the past, the present, and future. It is very important that we think about our focus on these time frames and concentrate as much as possible in the present.

Why? When you concentrate on the past, think about the thoughts that constantly scroll through your mind. Do we normally think about past thoughts in the context of, “I should have…”, “If only I…”, “I never should have…”, “If that never happened…”?

How many times do we run past scripts through our mental processor only to come up with a one-word moral to all the stories, regret! When we focus on the past the vast majority of our focus is on what we should’ve, could’ve, didn’t, or wished I didn’t. In other words, we are regretting our past actions and wishing that we can act them all over again.

Guess what? We can’t! Thus, focusing on the past only allows us to concentrate on some negative outcome that we want to change but do not have the power to change. The only residual effect of that mental process of rehashing past events is that we are feeling bad. We felt bad when it happened, and now we feel bad again. Spending a great deal of time in the past, as you can see, is not good for our mental health.

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.” – Bil Keane

So let’s look at concentrating on the future. When we think about the future we tend to think about, “What if this happens?”, “What if this doesn’t happen?”, “What if there’s not enough money to…?”. So what is the moral of concentrating on future events? It allows us to live squarely in the camp called worry. (Again, not a nice place to be!)

I read an interesting statistic many years back of a few psychologists that did research on worry and what they found was startling. They found that 92% of what individuals worry about never happened. And the other 8 % is inevitable, so there’s really no need to worry. In other words, the vast majority of what we worry about is useless because it never comes about!

Think about how much time we spend thinking about the past or the future. In other words, think about how much time we spend in thoughts of regret or worry. Both of which, I’m sure you’ll agree, are extremely unhealthy patterns of thought.

There are only three time frames, past, present, and future, and by the process of elimination, we have determined that living in the past or the future are poor alternatives, it leaves one choice: the present!

If we can train our minds to be more focused on the present, by virtue of the law of displacement (only one thought can occur in our mind at any given time), we will automatically eliminate both regret and worry. So the question before us is what can we do to be more “present centered”.

Here are three easily installed behaviors that can cause you to spend more time in the present:

1. The first 15 minutes of your day belong to your thoughts

The 15 minutes directly after you wake up is very important to setting the climate for the day. It is a time when both conscious and subconscious mind are alert and active. In that time, take a minute or two to observe your physical well-being and any overriding thoughts you may have whether positive or negative. The goal here is just to observe, not to change. By virtue of observation you are in the present.

2. Find your anchors throughout the day

During the day, with the pressures that each of us have trying to earn a living, we need to find anchors that can assist us in thinking about the present. If you are in sales and are on the road, you may want to think about the moment you get into your car, or the moment just before you leave your car, as a way of thinking about the present. If you are at a desk, perhaps every time you get up or sit down, or every time you hang up the phone. In other words, one minute observing how you feel and the thoughts are going through your head using your anchor to remind you. The goal is not to change, just to observe.

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
― Mother Teresa

3. Observe before bed

At the end of the day when you’re in bed and ready to fall asleep, prior to your subconscious mind taking control for the last time of the day, think about how you feel and what you’re thinking. Just observe. Don’t try to change anything. Observation keeps us firmly entrenched in the present.

These are three simple methods for concentrating on the present and not the past or future. I am not suggesting that we should not learn from the past and I am also not suggesting that we do not plan for the future. I am simply suggesting that we don’t want to live in either of the neighborhoods. They are fine to visit but we want to come back home to the present. Think about installing 1, 2, or all 3 of these behaviors and watch what happens in a month of being centered in the present!

How do you stay grounded in the present? Comment below!

Biagio Sciacca, known to his friends as Bill, was a lifelong resident of Pittston, PA. He is the owner of Intelligent Motivation, Inc. a global consulting and training firm specializing in management and leadership training as well as psychological assessment for hiring and staff development. He is the author of several books relating to goal setting, and his third book, Provocative Leadership, is publishing soon. Now residing in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, he divides his time between his international coaching and training clients, writing his next book and wandering aimlessly on the beach. Feel free to contact Bill at bill@intelligentmotivationinc.com or schedule a call with him by going to www.intelligentmotivationinc.com and clicking on the “set up a call” tab.

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The Imbalanced Problem with Work/Life Balance

Balancing is for your checkbook, gymnastics, and nutrition; not for your people’s work/life ratio.

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Balance…it requires an equal distribution of value between two or more subjects to maintain steady composure and equitable proportionality. (more…)

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How to Find the Courage to Start New

Change is scary, but it’s a normal part of life.

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It’s 2023, a new year, new you, right? But how do we start over? How do we make the changes in our lives that we crave so much to see?  (more…)

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Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.

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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma

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Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.

 

Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:

 

1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.

 

2. Persistent Pain

 
Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
 
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.
 
 

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

 
Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
 
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
 
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
 
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.
 

4. A strong need for control

 
It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
 
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
 
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.
 
 

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

 
Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
 
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.
 
 

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

 
Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
 
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.
 

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

 
 
If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to awebliss.com and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
 
 
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