Skip to content

Cultivate Presence: How To Practice Being Present In Your Life

Presence

Presence can be defined as the power to be more attuned with oneself and be able to express yourself more freely. It’s the magic of presence that helps you connect with your authentic self. Mastering the art of being present takes practice, but it’s an essential key to unlocking the real potential of yourself and being more confident.

When you cultivate being present, people notice and pay attention. You nonverbally communicate your self-worth, that you matter, and expect to be respected. You gain a presence that conveys self-acceptance. It enables you to be open and confident.

Openness requires self-esteem that provides courage and allows you to be authentic and take risks. You’re not interested in hiding who you are or worried about making mistakes and rejection as you would if you’ve suffered from shame and accompanying anxiety and self-doubt.

You won’t bother to convince people or make someone like you. Instead, you listen to others’ opinions, although you may disagree, and associate with friends who do.

Being Present and Cultivate Your Presence

Signs of Presence

When you’re present, people can tell and are drawn to you. Your soul shines through. Presence reflects integrity and mindfulness. What are the signs?

  1. You make eye contact.
  2. You’re not self-conscious but are fully focused in the present.
  3. Yet, you’re connected to and aware of your feelings and bodily sensations.
  4. With another person, you’re able to fully listen without an agenda.
  5. You accept yourself and are not controlled by fear, shame, or your past.
  6. You don’t try to fill silences, impress anyone, or seek their approval.
  7. You’re authentic and don’t hide who you are or your thoughts and feelings.
  8. You feel equal and connected to others.
  9. You know who you are and your needs, thoughts, and feelings are separate.
  10. You don’t react to or defend yourself from others’ opinions.
  11. You take responsibility for your feelings, words, actions, and triggers with “I” statements.
  12. You expect to be treated with respect.
  13. You protect yourself courteously when you feel your boundaries are crossed.
  14. Your communication is honest, direct, and assertive.

Read: 27 Lessons I Learned In 27 Years To Staying In The Present Moment

How To Be More Present

You can practice presence throughout your day:

  1. Accept your thoughts, sensations, and feelings without judgment.
  2. Be mindful throughout the day to replace negative with positive thoughts.
  3. Notice whether your thoughts and feelings are related to the present.
  4. Ask yourself, “Where is my breath?” Is it in your chest, throat, belly? Bring it into your belly.
  5. When you feel pain in the present, don’t reject it. Accept it, and let it pass through you.
  6. Connect to your senses. Listen to and honor bodily needs and impulses.
  7. Accept that unpleasant events are learning opportunities to grow.
  8. Practice gratitude.
  9. Speak to yourself kindly with encouragement and gentleness as you would a young child.
  10. Practice mindful meditation.

Developing Self-Acceptance

Self-Acceptance is a deeper level of self-esteem. Meditation and self-love help us practice presence and self-acceptance. There is evidence that high levels of mindfulness correlate with higher levels of self-esteem and more secure self-worth. In a meditative state, we can notice and disregard our self-judgments and anxieties.

Read: How Self Love Is The Key To Codependency Recovery

We can practice presence in that timeless state and learn that moment-to-moment we can accept everything just as it is, including ourselves. This is liberating to us and anyone we encounter.

However, it’s not easy to always function at that level. Without years of practice and healing our past, we soon return to our habitual ways of being. We react and have expectations, frustrations, disappointments, fears, and anxieties.

Being authentic requires that we’re vulnerable. There are many uncomfortable feelings, needs, and states that are part of the human condition. It can be a challenge to be open and accept them all, especially if we have internalized shame. 

Practicing a loving presence with ourselves enables us to accept and allow whatever we’re feeling to flow through us without attachmentDoing so can heal us, as our habits and past conditioning wash away. Practicing self-acceptance also helps us to accept and not react to others.

We have opportunities throughout each day to accept, allow, and affirm our real selves. That also means we may express ourselves, make requests, and set boundaries. We’re neither hiding nor emotionally reacting.

Get the Self-Love Meditation.

© 2021 Darlene Lancer

Written By: Darlene Lancer
Originally Appeared On: What Is Codependency
Presence Pin

Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT

Darlene Lancer is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and an expert author on relationships and codependency. She's counseled individuals and couples for 30 years and coaches internationally. Her books and other online booksellers and her website.View Author posts

Leave a Reply

Up Next

7 Things To Consider When Making A Midlife Career Change

Things To Consider When Making A Midlife Career Change

Are you one of those who are wondering how to go about making a career change at 50? A midlife career change can be exciting but terrifying as well, so here are some of the things to consider as well as options you can consider.

Changing careers is always challenging. But sometimes, a change is all you need to find workplace happiness and a feeling of accomplishment. We see several people changing their careers in their 40s and 50s to find better work-life balance and more tremendous success. 

The first step in a midlife career change is accepting it is possible. An average person holds 12 jobs in their lifetime – and more often than not, if you look at their journey, you’ll see that the jobs they held towards the end of their career had nothing to do with the jobs they started with.

Up Next

How To Improve Your Relationship With Yourself

Improve Relationship With Yourself

Having a healthy relationship with yourself is extremely important when it comes to living a happy and content life. Let's find out what you can do to improve your relationship with yourself.

Key Points:

Many people would be glad to work on self-improvement but believe they don't have enough time for it.

A change in mindset can help them take advantage of the time they already spend transitioning between locations or tasks.

These transition times can be used to check in with themselves and gain a better understanding of how they're feeling.

The thought of adding or removing a habit fr

Up Next

Feeling Down? 5 Reasons Why You Feel Like Shit And What To Do About It

Feelings that make you feel like shit

Feeling down? Me too, buddy. The keyword here is ‘feeling’. Feelings are weird, if you ask me. Emotions make life complicated. It ruins relationships, families and even careers. It makes you feel like shit and like hitting your head against the wall. But that’s not completely true, is it? 

Not all emotions pull you down. After all, who would we be if we didn’t feel anything? Emotions make us who we are and it adds meaning to our lives. The secret lies in identifying which negative emotions make you feel like shit and knowing how to deal with them.

Dear negative feelings, thanks for making me feel like shit 

Yes, I know we should experience the whole spectrum of human emotions

Up Next

How to Tame and Silence Your Inner Critic: 5 Ways

Ways Tame And Silence Your Inner Critic

“Turn down the volume of your negative inner voice and create a nurturing inner voice to take it’s place. When you make a mistake, forgive yourself, learn from it, and move on instead of obsessing about it. Equally important, don’t allow anyone else to dwell on your mistakes or shortcomings or to expect perfection from you.” ― Beverly Engel. This one quote perfectly shows why it's important to silence your inner critic.

Do you have a love/hate relationship with your inner monologue? You know, the voice that can motivate you to press on or stop you dead in your tracks and make you feel a few inches tall.

It is the same voice that attempts to protect you from shame, embarrassment, or making a mistake. If not tamed and regulated, this voice morphs into an intense critic, one that can sabotage and stagnate if it gains too much power.

<

Up Next

Thanksgiving Blues? 11 Ways On How To Feel Grateful When You Don’t

Thanksgiving Blues

Not feeling grateful this holiday season? Well, even if feel like there's less to celebrate this Thanksgiving 2022, here's how to feel grateful when you don't.

The expectation of feeling grateful can be challenging when we’re struggling with loneliness or relationship, work or health problems. It can be even harder to have gratitude around holidays when we see other people happily celebrating.

When you’re discouraged or weighed down with negative thoughts, there are several things you can do.