Scottsdale Acupuncture


The Power Of Being Present

Posted Monday, June 2nd, 2014 by

Power of Being Present

Living in the 21st century entails experiencing a lot of distraction, as we are constantly inundated with information and stimuli. Multitasking has become commonplace, as we now are able to complete many projects while contemplating what other things need to be accomplished. Having a smartphone means having the ability to communicate and access data wherever we are, from the minute we wake up until the moment we go to sleep. This accessibility can be considered a technological marvel, but one which has a considerable cost as it doesn’t allocate much downtime, peace or quiet within our daily schedules.

Aside from the external environment, people often find that they are constantly thinking, having repetitive thoughts race around inside their minds, and they are unable to control them. Often these thoughts are about things that have taken place in the past and at other times they can be about future events. These thoughts can be all-consuming to the point where a person may feel unable to stop thinking.

Many times, thoughts about the past and the future will trigger negative emotions where people will begin to experience anxiety, stress and possibly depression; an individual can begin to feel out of control and at the mercy of their mind. Western medicine has an entire field dedicated to helping people resolve these issues using therapy and medication. Eastern medicine, which includes acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas, is also well suited to help those who suffer with negative and repetitive thought patterns. Setting aside those two medical systems, one of the most effective ways of starting to address challenging thought patterns is to learn how to be present.

What does it mean to be present?

A question that we are often asked at Above & Beyond Acupuncture in Scottsdale, AZ, is what it means to be present. Patients are often thinking about people/places/things that exist either in the past or in the future. The past and the future are not real or tangible; they are merely mental constructs: events that have taken place, or will take place, in your mind. Since we have no accurate way of knowing how things exactly took place in the past, it is impossible to have an objective perspective in regards to what has transpired. The only way we could accurately know what has taken place in our lives, especially within the more meaningful memories, is to have a film crew documenting and preserving the events. Since this is highly unlikely, most people’s memories of their past are tainted and not accurate. The images that are being recalled become filtered through a belief system that now exists and has been filled with inaccuracies. Thoughts about the future are then shaded by memories of the past that can create anxiety/stress/depression as the potential outcomes are now filtered with tainted memories that are not objective. As a result, we can surmise that these thoughts do not serve our highest good, nor do they allow us to live to our greatest potential. These thoughts are extremely limiting and can inhibit a person from seeing their reality clearly. But most importantly, past and future thinking take us out of the present moment. So we must look at these thoughts and remind ourselves that thinking/worrying/obsessing about the past or future is not important; it is simply not something we should be expending our time and energy on. When you encounter these types of thoughts, just ask yourself one simple question: are you being present?

Being present means that you are not thinking about the past or the future. Being present means that you are in the moment, and that you are making the most out of this very moment. Being present means that there is nothing else that matters aside from being here and now. At first it might be difficult to stay present, as most people have become so tied up with thoughts that do not serve them, thoughts that distract and detach them from the present moment. It will take effort and time, and you will have to be vigilant and aware of the thoughts that exist in your mind. It might even seem like a chore at times to constantly have to ask if you’re being present, asking if a thought serves you and allows you to be in the present moment.

What methods can help me be present?

In a previous blog titled “The Many Benefits Of Mediation” we discussed in detail how implementing a daily meditation practice can help benefit the mind, body and spirit. More specifically, this is an amazing tool to help quiet the mind and allow for present living. If you are engulfed in thoughts that are consuming and entail memories of the past or/and concerns about the future, then meditation can be of great help in bringing you into the present moment.

Young children and animals are some of the best examples of living in the present moment. If you are a parent then you are fully aware that younger children are primarily concerned with how they feel at that specific moment, where they are or whom they are with. It is not until later in life that they begin to become attached to thoughts about the past or future. Animals are also wonderful reminders of what it is like to live in the present. Whether it is a dog, cat, bird, hamster or fish, animals are always present and never thinking about anything other than what is taking place in the moment. So if you’re having a hard time being present, please spend some time with a pet, as they will happily bring you out of the past/future thinking and right into the present moment.

Exercise is also a great tool for being present, as it will allow you to enter a space where your thoughts are focused on your current activity. Running, swimming, biking, lifting weights, yoga, and other various forms of exercise are all great tools that can help shift your thoughts from past and future to the present moment.

If you are having problems and experiencing issues with your thoughts, we strongly suggest you seek help. While the information presented above is extremely useful and can assist you in making some important changes, it is also important to seek help from a licensed professional if needed. There are a variety of options to choose from within the Western and Eastern medical fields. Whichever type of specialist you choose, we believe that striving to be present should always be a priority. Make the present moment the most important and best you possibly can!