Quick Tips for Staying Present
Hello everyone! I’m Coach Briley with Complete Performance Coaching. Today I want to talk to you about how to take advantage of staying in the moment, not just in our sports or activities, but in our lives.
Whether you are an athlete, parent of an athlete, or a coach, I encourage you to open your mind to learning how to stay in the present moment in hopes to not only reach the highest levels of success, but to also gain the most joy and fulfillment from your sport and/or activity.
The Three ‘R’s
Times of stress, pain, and uncertainty are some of the most common times where we find it most challenging to stay present and mindful. When feeling particularly distracted or stressed, here is one tip from Zen Practitioner and Psychotherapist Dr. Joseph Bobrow Roshi called “The Three R’s” to consider:
The first R is for recognizing what’s happening around you and within you. What does your body feel like? What is it trying to tell you? Think about what kind of thoughts you’re having. How are you talking to yourself? Is your environment noisy and chaotic or peaceful and quiet? All of these questions can potentially lead you to recognize what is truly happening through distraction or difficulty. Maybe your thoughts and feelings are telling you one thing on the surface but have a deeper meaning when given some more attention and consideration.
The second R is for remembering the lesson or teachable moment from what’s currently happening. Whether things are going really well or not well at all, remembering what the potential message is in those moments can reshape how we interpret the present doubt, stress, and confusion. Not worrying about how this moment will affect you in the future and forgetting about the past moments that led you to your current state are not always the most effective way to achieve mindfulness and peace. In this case, perhaps your time is better spent trying to extract the deeper meaning behind what is happening in real-time.
The third R is for refocusing: focus your thoughts on your breathing. Take 3 long breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Really take your time and allow yourself to regain your composure through taking 3 big deep breaths or setting a specific amount of time aside to simply refocus and breathe (30 seconds of silence and breathing can make a difference).
Taking the Bad with the Good
I like how Dr. Roshi also shares the idea of “riding the waves of pain and pleasure.” Instead of trying to completely avoid pain and sadness, he mentions the notion that simply riding the wave of every sensation that comes with the emotional discovery process; this is especially when grieving loss or enduring a particularly painful experience. His point is, paying attention to each painful and joyous experience is very important for healthy emotional growth and liberation from fear and suffering. Staying present, mindful, and grateful for everything as it happens will lead us to further growth and overall life enjoyment. Without the bitter, we don’t fully enjoy the sweet, right? Sometimes the bitterness and pain allow us to learn to not take the joy or peace for granted.
Embrace the Moment
I hope that finding ways to remain present also leads you to increased feelings of peace and wholeness. According to Psychotherapist and Interfaith Minister, Nancy Colier, we don’t usually find it as difficult to remain mindful, present, and at peace when things are going well. I don’t know about you, but I agree with Reverend Colier on that. Hopefully, the next time you experience difficulty, uncertainty, stress, or distraction, you are more equipped to find yourself not simply embracing the moment but taking it to the next level and learning more about yourself and growing from it.
Feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any feedback or questions about this post. I’d love to talk to you and hear your thoughts. Happy training!