The gift of 'being present'

During the holidays the focus is on giving. According to research, prioritizing time is associated with greater happiness.  However, both success and happiness hinge on our ability to remain focused on the here and now—truly living in the present as opposed to the past or the future.  Applying this logic, during this giving season, might suggest that happiness lies in being present, with ourselves and with others.  

So how do we give the gift of 'presence' at such a busy time of year?  One option is to use the ABC Method for managing distractions and interruptions when interacting with others during this holiday season.  This technique teaches your brain to automatically stop distractions from throwing you off track and hijacking your focus.  As you are connecting with those around you and notice a distraction:  

A) - Be Aware and pause whatever you are doing, recognizing the distraction and the fact that you have a choice to make.  

"I can either ignore the distraction and stay engaged in my conversation or I deal with the distraction at hand."  

B) - Breathe deeply and reflect on your options. 

"What do I risk losing in my connection with others if I choose to deal with the distraction? 

C) - Choose, mindfully, to deal with the distraction or dismiss it, consciously refocusing your attention on your interaction.  

"Will choosing to focus on the interaction, despite the interruption, demonstrate my respect and value for this relationship."   

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.  —Maya Angelou

Wishing everyone "moments of presence" this new year!