by Niall Doherty

I think we can all agree that it’s good to be more present, more aware, more in the moment.

But how do we do that?

Being more present is a habit, and every habit needs a trigger, something that acts as a regular reminder for us to stop and breathe and feel the moment.

What trigger can we use to build the presence habit?

I’m sure you can come up with plenty of trigger ideas. Here are a couple to get you started:

1) Traffic lights

Whether on foot or in a car, use stop lights as a reminder to pause and become aware of your breath. I love slowing down at an orange light instead of speeding up, letting others rush by as they try to save an extra minute. When you do this it feels a bit like you’re on to a secret nobody else knows: that there’s no major hurry.

2) Stuck in traffic

Again, this works whether you’re on foot or in a car. I sometimes catch myself getting frustrated when someone is walking slowly in front of me and blocking the footpath, or when someone cuts me off. But I now use those occasions as a trigger. They remind me to slow down and become more present.

I call these triggers pause points. Feel free to share your own in the comments.