Have you ever experienced an entire meeting, a car journey, a lunch date with your friend – hell, an entire day – where you can’t really recall what happened?
You can’t remember much about the conversations you had, the people you were with, or what was happening in the environment around you? Often, we are so tired or uninterested in our surroundings that we zone out, live in the world inside our heads, and as a result we don’t really have much to show for it afterwards. Although you may feel like this is fine, you managed to survive the day and nobody has made a comment about your dissociative state, it isn’t good for your emotional and physical wellness as a whole. By failing to have presence in social situations, you are putting yourself at a major disadvantage in life.
For instance, that meeting that you zoned out of, your boss could have been identifying who, between you and your colleagues, should really deserve the promotion that they have opening up next month. During that lunch date with your friend, she could have been seeking some genuine advice about something troubling her, yet you were too disinterested with your mind elsewhere that you didn’t help her as much as you could have. Lack of presence can have a larger effect on your every day life than you might first realise. Greater presence in life’s situations can lead to an increased gratitude and awe of people, places, things that are all around you everyday. It can make you seem like you have a whole new lease of life; your boss will see how charistmatic you are about your job and put you forward for the next project, your friend will come to you when she needs you and will offer up the favour in return. Your general relationship with yourself and those around you will improve, and all of this is so easy considering all you have to do in return is focus a little more on things in front of you.
Positive affirmations are always a good way to start.
“Living in the moment is the most beneficial way to spend my time”. Repeating a simple mantra to yourself can work wonders. It can bring you back to the present moment if your mind has been drifting and worrying. By reminding yourself that being in the present is important, you are removing yourself from your dissociation and are automatically having presence. It really can be that simple.
Bring yourself back.
When dissociating, we are almost detaching our physical and mental beings, where our physical presence is in the room, but your mental presence is somewhere else completely. The simplest way to bring your being back together is to remember mindfulness, and slowly bring yourself back to the present. This could be as simple as focusing on something you can see. As an example, watch the way the trees move in the wind, the way your colleage moves when they take each step, placing one foot in front of the other. Once you’ve done this, think about something you can smell; whether it is the coffee in the office a few doors down, the scent of wet tarmac after a rainshower that you can smell from an open window, or strong scent of perfume as somebody walks past you. Lastly, focus on something that you can hear. The chatter from a group of friends in the distance, the birds singing to one another between the trees, the sound of footsteps from a stranger. Bringing your senses back to where you are can really allow you to focus on the present moment, and remain composed in all situations.