With how busy our lives are, it’s not unusual to get swept up in switching to autopilot so that we can complete all of our tasks quickly and efficiently. Being on autopilot allows us to multitask. The problem with autopilot is that we are never truly present in the moment.
The more we multitask, the less present we are. Splitting our attention in many different ways may help our productivity levels, but it doesn’t help us appreciate the quality of our work and the satisfaction that goes along with a job well done. If you are used to slipping into autopilot mode in your recovery, try taking the time to practice being present.
You’ll appreciate the value that comes with each moment when you are fully focused on what you are doing and how it is impacting your recovery for the better.
Seize the day! This should be your approach to life every day. Seizing the day looks different for everyone, but it involves being present so that you have the opportunity to make the most of every moment. The more you realize that you will never get the present moment back, the more you will appreciate each moment like the gift that it is.
If you find yourself on autopilot, you’re ignoring the gift that is right in front of you. It’s a gift, unique and wonderful, that you will never get back. In order to seize the day, you must catch yourself if you slip into the past or future. If you find yourself sad or angry, you are living in the past.
If you find yourself anxious or afraid, you are living in the future. Bring yourself back to the present moment so that you can fully appreciate the gift of the moment and seize the day.
Are You Present?
In order to be more present, you need to figure out where you are starting from. Some people may be far in the past and others may be far in the future. There is always room for adjustment. Ask yourself some of the following questions to figure out where you can improve your presence:
- Do negative emotions stay with you throughout the day and impact your behavior, or are you able to let negative emotions go once the emotional moment has passed?
- Do you take things personally and ponder why others are treating you the way they are or are you able to remind yourself not to take things personally?
- Do you find a change in plans to be stressful, or do you welcome the spontaneity of a change in plans?
- Do you crumble when you find out bad news, or do you look for the silver lining?
- Do you seize the day, or let it seize you?
Embrace the Moment
In order to practice being present, it’s important to embrace the moment that you are in. Don’t allow yourself to go too far into the past or future. Instead, appreciate the gift of the present moment that you are in and let yourself get excited about all that it can bring.
Treat this present moment like it is your last because you never truly know which moment is your last. This is especially important in your recovery. Living free of substances can be difficult, especially if you are focused on your next drink, for example. If this sounds familiar, you are living in the future.
Bring yourself back to the present moment and appreciate what you have now. Try not to let your mind stray too far into the past or future. What you have now is sufficient to sustain you; let the present sustain you. To be more present, let go of the things that you don’t need.
If it doesn’t bring you joy, don’t spend time dwelling on it. Focus on what truly brings you joy and forget about the rest. These things that cloud up your vision are distractions. Clear your mind from all things that are nonessential. Focus on vital things in your present moment and let go of the rest.
Practice Being Present
Another great way to practice being present is to embrace friendship with yourself. You can be your own best friend. Allow yourself the peace of mind to know that you have your back, no matter what comes your way. You know what is best for you and your recovery. Let that drive your life.
This, of course, doesn’t mean you won’t make any mistakes. Mistakes do happen, but knowing that you don’t have to be perfect can bring you peace. There is no failure if you are able to learn from your mistakes and let them motivate you to be better. If you find yourself in a relapse, bring yourself to the present moment.
Let go of the substances that are serving as a distraction and focus on not using them in the present moment. Take it one day at a time and do the best that you can do. Treat yourself with the compassion that you deserve. You are not a failure just because you have made a mistake.
You can get back on track, but you must be gentle with yourself. This means letting go of the expectation that you must be perfect. To be human is to be flawed. Allow yourself the space to learn from your mistakes and use them as fuel so that you can be better.
Sober Life is here to help you practice being present in your recovery. If you are struggling, we can help. Call us today at (619) 304-3014. We can’t wait to speak with you and get you the help you need today.