Leave yourself a reminder. In order to keep thinking about being present, especially when you first start, you may need a reminder. Tie a string around your wrist, paint one nail a bright pink color, or wear your watch upside down. Let the object serve as a reminder.
Pay attention to calm moments. T
Change your routine.
Slow down. People often speed through life as they rush from one moment to another. Make yourself slow down and enjoy everything you do, even if it's boring. For example, pay attention to your actions when you get a snack. Grab a handful of grapes and consciously look at them. Notice their shape and size. Eat one and pay attention to the flavors. Enjoy the burst of sweetness on your tongue and the sustenance the fruit is giving you.
Make a list of ways you can take care of yourself. It can be hard to think of ways to comfort yourself when you're having a difficult time. Write a list of things that make you feel better and post it in a prominent place so you can reference it easily. Some possibilities include:
Forgive and forget.
Confide in someone you trust.
Recognize that trauma is different from painful memories. Trauma causes psychological and physiological effects similar to anxiety and intense fear in present time – as if the trauma never ended. Bad memories bring up painful emotions such as sadness and guilt, but they do not alter your perceptions the way that acute trauma does.
Work through your anxiety about the future. Whenever you're having anxiety about the future, remind yourself you can only change what is in the present and focus on it. Put together a list of things that you can focus on instead that are rooted in the present. Think about the book you are in the middle of, what it must feel like to be in Hawaii this time of year, or any other scenario to keep your mind off the future. Focus on what is possible instead of things you can't change.
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