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I find it hard to stay in the moment!

Hi everyone!

I wonder if anyone else feels the same as me but sometimes I find it hard to stay in the moment. For example my mind keeps thinking about the next activity rather than enjoying the one I'm currently doing. It's like my brain is constantly hyperactive and is always thinking about what's next. 

Does anyone else relate to this?

 

Re: I find it hard to stay in the moment!

Hi @missep! I certainly do! I have OCD, and as of late, it has been especially difficult for me to keep my mind focused on the task or experience at hand rather than drifting into a spiral of 'what ifs' and anxiety. A trick I've picked up along the way is to remind myself of my intentions and the aim of whatever I'm doing, rather than being results-focused. For example, I was finding it really difficult to remain present at dinner with my family last night, but I grounded myself in the moment by making a mental note - "I came here to spend time with my grandparents, who I haven't seen in a long time, and to enjoy some fabulous food. I may be feeling anxious and a little uncomfortable, but I did not come here to indulge my OCD." I tend to become so wrapped up in my emotions or what a 'perfect' experience would be like, but sometimes that is the very thing that affects my ability to be grateful for the wonderful things in front of me! One of my psychologists told me that a successful day isn't defined by the absence of stress or negative emotions or sensations, it's defined by the ability to allow these experiences to coexist with moments and to make the choice to persevere anyway. I still find that a struggle, but the more I remind myself to choose what I want my day to look like from moment to moment, rather than being ruled by my moods, the more in control I feel. Really relatable post!

Re: I find it hard to stay in the moment!

Hi @missep! Thank you for making this post, I think it could be something a lot of us relate to! For me this feeling comes from a couple of things, mainly anxiety and also not feeling safe where I am and needing to escape by planning or thinking. Do either of those feel relatable? 

 

In DBT there’s a concept of mindfulness, which is basically just being in the moment, being aware of and truly experiencing what you’re doing. This website has some more information on the mindfulness skills, maybe it’s something you would find helpful Smiley Happy 

Re: I find it hard to stay in the moment!

@missep Yes, I so relate to this. 
Something that I struggle with so much. I am completing one task but already skipping ahead and worrying about the next one. 

Mindfulness, as mentioned above, is great for this. I am a big believer in mindfulness-based apps. Ones I use and love Stop, Breathe, Think, then headspace app and smiling mind. Stop, Breathe, Think is especially great as it has lots of free mindfulness exercises categorized into certain topics, such as focusing, anxiety or sleep exercises. They are first quite weird to do but once you do it for a couple of weeks they become some quality time to calm the mind and then continue on with life. 

Re: I find it hard to stay in the moment!

Yes I feel like this so often! Like right now :/ Some days are worse than others. My mind doesn't switch off and the same thoughts keep circling round and round. The thoughts that I have are always the same - usually what I have to do the next day, appointments, my messy intimate relationships, raising my son, study, money, etc. 

I find I'll become absorbed in looking at my phone waiting and searching for a new "lead" if that makes sense?

I can be awake for hours at a time even though I'll be so tired Smiley Sad

Re: I find it hard to stay in the moment!

@missep This is me to a T.

 

One thing that really brought my attention to how easily distracted I am is a notification on my phone 'Weekly screen time' which came in at 7 hours last week! I realised that even when I'm talking with friends at breakfast or at work, I'm constantly distracted by my phone. I set myself a goal to get this below 5.

 

I think it will dramatically change how present I am because I won't be connected to everything in my phone! 

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Re: I find it hard to stay in the moment!

Hi @lennycat2017 that a good goal. How do you find your screentime total?

 

 

Re: I find it hard to stay in the moment!

Hi @lennycat2017 @dncinginthedirt @jesseka_grace @DruidChild @queenP !
Thank you for your responses! 

I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one. 

I really related to what you guys wrote as well. I feel like I have to work on my mindfulness. Focusing on each aspect of the moment and not 'skipping ahead'. 

I will work on it, it's hard sometimes but I think it will definitely help me out. 

 

Re: I find it hard to stay in the moment!

Even sometimes when I have work the next day I keep thinking 'I have work tomorrow' and I keep thinking about it!

Re: I find it hard to stay in the moment!

Hi @missep yes I can totally relate to thinking "I have work tomorrow" and non stop thinking about it -.- It's so frustrating cos for me there is literally no new information or thoughts that I will think about to do with it. It's as straight forward as "I have work tomorrow" and thoughts like "I have to get to work" "I have to get up" "I have to do my job" "There are XX number of people who work at my job" etc

 

Mindfullness is a good idea. I have been trying to listen to Smiling Mind meditations before bed. I'm still very new to it though.