“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why it is called present.”

This quote summarizes the power of staying in the present.

Focusing on the past is futile.

Planning for the future is important, but obsessing over it is counterproductive. 

All we have is the present.

So, how do you learn to focus on the present instead of the future?

Well According to Dr. Rajeev Kurapati we have to first understand the nature of the mind.

The basic nature of the mind is to dwell in the past or to worry about the future. Our uneasiness about what’s to come is actually our strategy to prepare for the future – our mind’s ingenious way of ensuring that we’re equipped to survive. Without such readiness, the mind can’t prepare the body to thrive.

~Dr. Rajeev Kurapati

So how does this future-oriented mind know exactly what to prepare for the seemingly unknown? The mind relies on one thing to predict what’s to come: the past. We in short essentially allow the past to shape the future.

Our mind is constantly toggling between these two opposing tendencies: the fear of the unknown or the comfort in the possibility found in hope. How do you get your mind to find a natural resting place between the two?

Mindfulness! (AKA Being Present)

Here are 5 tips from Mind Valley to stay present now:

1. Pay attention to the full experience of walking.

Take a moment to focus on the sensations, the small and large movements you make while walking, how objects seem to move past you, the temperature, the wind, etc.

2.  Pay attention to the full experience of breathing.

The sounds, sensations, smells, etc. Meditations you can find on free Apps like “Calm” and “Insight Timer”.

3. Change up your routine.

Drive a different way to work, reverse the order in which you get ready in the morning, and eat something new for breakfast. Change up your routine anytime you can.

4. Periodically stop and smile.

Become aware of the immediate physiological response in your body when you smile. Smiling can trick your brain into happiness — and boost your health. A smile spurs a powerful chemical reaction in the brain that can make you feel happier. Science has shown that the mere act of smiling can lift your mood, lower stress, boost your immune system and possibly even prolong your life!

5. Let the Rest To Go.

Whatever is not there in that moment let go. Be there, right there, right then. That’s all.