10 habits to help you be more present (part two)

10HabitsToHelpYouBeMorePresentPart2Today I’d like to share the second set of habits I have found that can help us be more present.


Habit 6: Listen for silence.


In The Power of Now, Mr. Tolle suggests listening for moments of silence in-between sounds we hear or in-between words in conversations. By listening for the gaps in the sounds we hear day-to-day we need to be vigilant and focused… in other words, we need to be present.

Last week, I was curious to try this idea in New York, a place known to be loud.

I was shocked at how easy it was to find those moments of silence – even when there were many people around!

In particular, I found the quietness of the subway in the morning most interesting. Had I not paid attention to the silence, I never would have noticed how quiet the subway is in the morning in-between trains. Instead, my mind’s internal chatter would have covered up the silent pauses and I would never have believed that so much silence could exist in such a crowded place.


Habit 7: Exercise mindfully.


This habit is a powerful one. Much like mediation, mindful exercise like yoga, running, or walking can help us calm our internal dialogue and divert our attention to our body in the present moment.

By turning our attention our movements, we are more likely to experience presence.



Habit 8: Use the Calm.com app.


Calm.com is a great app that provides 2-20 minute meditations. You can use it on your phone or on your desktop, and the meditations can really help you connect back to the present moment when things feel stressful or you need to refocus.

And of course, other similar meditation tools or practices can be helpful, this one just happens to be my favorite.



Habit 9: Monitor your body.


This suggestion comes from The Power of Now. Mr. Tolle suggests checking in with how we feel internally in order to discover how present we are at any given moment.

When doing this practice, I’ve been surprised at how frequently I notice a slight sense of unease or discomfort. Mr. Tolle describes that uneasy feeling as the body’s reaction to non-present thinking.

By putting attention on the uneasy feeling inside, we are able to accept it and ultimately to breathe through it until it retreats.



Habit 10: Clean your home.


Last but not least, our external environments affect our internal environments. So if we want to feel calm, peaceful, and present in our lives, we can help increase that presence by decluttering our physical space.

Because I use the same space as an office, living room, dining room, and kitchen, I make sure to put away work supplies before dinner and I clean the kitchen before work (at least most of the time).

If you haven’t tried to declutter in order to gain presence in a multi-use workspace, I highly recommend it!


Though these habits have worked for me, they may not be ideal for everyone. On the other hand, we cannot assume that our current habits will maintain our focus forever.

As I mentioned in the first postno matter what we do, we cannot make one change and have presence forever. Over time, new interruptions or routines will pop up in our lives.

Distraction is a moving target. 

So our job, as presence-seeking beings, is not to find a “silver bullet” that dissolves our distractions forever, but to realize that we will need to remain aware of what interrupts our presence on a regular basis and make changes accordingly.

Part One – Habits 1-5 to Help You Be More Present


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  1. Thanks for the second half! Monitor your body is super high on my list. I feel like I can’t be myself until I’m in tune with my body. And I will definitely be listening for the silence. That’s such an awesome practice. Thanks again!

    1. That is great to hear, Annie! I’m glad you are going to try the silence along with the body scan. : )

  2. camorose

    I’m a big fan of Insight Timer for my morning meditations! I love the idea of listening for silence–I live in NYC, and I do sometimes notice it and it’s SO glorious–whether it’s in the park or on the subway. The Happiness Project discusses the power of cleaning your home to keep your mind less cluttered, and one thing that really helped me from that book was the concept of doing NOW anything that takes less than a minute. Even if it’s just straightening papers or doing a few dishes, getting the quick and easy things done immediately just makes everything else seem so much better! Great tips 🙂

    1. That’s so great to hear, Camorose! : ) I like that idea of ‘if it takes less than a minute… do it!”

  3. Kimberly Anne

    I just discovered the Calm app, and I love it! Such a great, convenient tool.

  4. Love all of these tips Jess, especially the one on mindful exercise. I often get into a meditative state on a long run which I find incredibly powerful. Thanks too for the Calm app recommendation, I’ve just downloaded it and it looks awesome!

    1. You are most welcome! I hadn’t been running in a while (weight lifting, biking instead) and decided to hop on the treadmill and run it out today. It felt amazing! I ran so fast I couldn’t think of anything else and had to be present. It was such a relief to take a break from thinking and just *move* like that. Definitely a great way that I need to stay present more often!

      Enjoy the Calm app!

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