50 Simple Ways to Return to the Present Moment

Woman with a clock for a face.
Image courtesy of geralt on Pixabay

When was the last time you felt a sense of flow in your life?

When was the last time you realized you were ‘in the zone’?

When was the last time you felt present without any worry or concern about what was coming next?

If you’re like most humans, you tend to get lost in thoughts related to past experiences or memories. This churning of old information creates the same reality, like the predictable spin of clothes in a dryer.

To get out of this spin cycle, we have to come back to what is happening right now.

The present moment is our greatest superpower. It is the chance to align with the powerful potential energy of the quantum field and create the life we want. When we live in the past or worry about the future, we create and transmit the same emotional signature, creating the same hum drum reality.

Most of us are terrified to stay present because of deep societal conditioning telling us to “plan for our future.”

For many of us, the present moment seems unimportant because we are either stuck in our past (and likely punishing ourselves for it) or fretting about the future (and driving ourselves insane).

But what if I told you that resisting the present moment IS planning your future — a future with the same experiences, emotions, and outcomes?

Unless we can snap out of our stupor and break the chains of ‘the trance’ (this is how Tara Brach describes what conditioned responses feel like), we will never create new and exciting experiences for ourselves.


Why it’s challenging to stay present

Pocket watch in the sand.
Image courtesy of anncapictures on Pixabay

Did you know your cells have memorized specific emotions based on all your years of repetitive thinking?

Well, they have, and it’s creating a lot of resistance for you.

Our cells have grown accustomed to expressing certain emotional ‘signatures.’ They like expressing these emotions so much, they have become addicted to them, just like sugar, cocaine, or alcohol.

This addiction to certain emotions (suffering, anger, worry, anxiety) makes it hard to think new thoughts or even stay present with what is happening.

Our cells are craving that anger or worry, so they send a message to our brains that they need another hit. Our brain follows suit and starts sending our conscious mind thoughts to re-create that emotion all over again.

Talk about a spin cycle!

While this habit takes effort to break, it can be done. You can teach your cells a new emotional signature (ease, grace, love, contentment) by practicing new thoughts that condition the cells to express a new emotion that feels better.

Knowing this, we need some tools to come back to the present moment and consciously choose how we want to feel and what we want to think.


Try these 50 simple ways to return to the present moment. Take what resonates and leave the rest.

Three figures meditating.
Image courtesy of Clker-Free-Vector-Images on Pixabay
  • Close your eyes — this reduces external stimuli by 80%.
  • Smell something pleasant.
  • Take six breaths in the nose and out the mouth while saying your favorite mantra.
  • Repeat, “I Am.”
  • Connect with a plant or animal.
  • Write down five things you want and hold the image of them in your mind and body.
  • Dance.
  • Sing.
  • Stretch.
  • Give yourself a 3-minute facial massage.
  • Ask for a sign from the Universe and allow it to come to you.
  • Text a friend and ask them to say one thing they love about you.
  • Create something.
  • Bake or cook a meal.
  • Sit for five minutes and concentrate on all the sounds you can hear when you close your eyes.
  • Touch something cold or warm.
  • Laugh!
  • Take a walk and feel each part of your foot make contact with the earth.
  • Notice one thought you want to change or edit.
  • Pick something (a rainbow, a penny, a feather) and ask the quantum field to have it show up during the day.
  • Look into the eyes of someone you love.
  • Write that scary email or make that scary phone call.
  • Silently admit to yourself something you want to release or let go of.
  • Meditate or say a prayer.
  • Donate your time to a cause you love.
  • Whenever you spend money, say consciously to yourself, “I spend this with ease, and more flows to me.”
  • Do a 5-minute body scan starting at your feet and ending just above your head.
  • Imagine warm, yummy light surrounding your entire body.
  • When you eat, take note of every taste, texture, and nuance of flavor.
  • Repeat “Thank you.”
  • Listen to music that promotes healthy brain wave function.
  • Sing the alphabet song.
  • Read a passage from your favorite book.
  • Practice tapping (EFT) for five minutes.
  • Listen for a bird’s song.
  • Choose a tarot and/or oracle card.
  • Take a bath.
  • Take off your shoes and socks and feel every part of your feet on the floor.
  • Every time you pass a mirror, silently approve of yourself.
  • Place your hands on your lower belly and breathe.
  • Light a candle and watch the dance of its flame.
  • Clean or fix something that’s been bothering you.
  • Buy yourself a gift — no matter the size or cost.
  • Notice the sounds of something cooking.
  • Place your hand on your heart and create a feeling of joy.
  • Repeat, “I am happy, I am healthy, and I am free.”
  • Wash your face.
  • Name five sensations in your body right now.
  • Do stream-of-consciousness journaling for 5-10 minutes.
  • Look in a mirror and say out loud, “I love myself.”

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