Every situation has a silver lining – discover a mindset that heals and enlightens.

November 15, 2021 · 7 min read

presence of mind
The only way to live is by accepting each minute as an unrepeatable miracle. ~ Tara Brach

“Can I have your attention, please?”, the teacher asked.

“No!”, the children answered.

“Well, that’s a good start”, the teacher replied.

Presence of mind a life saver in a lot of situations. It helps you to stay alert and utilize your sharp mind.


While some people give up in some life situations immediately, presence of mind can turn the situation around completely. Every great person should use it to their advantage.


Presence of mind opens up a lot of great opportunities in every area of life.

What is presence of mind?

Presence of mind is ability to keep your mind sharp and calm during stressful situations. It means you don’t get lost easily when facing an unusual situation, even if it’s for the first time.


Presence of mind is also a bridge between your feelings and intelligence. It connects both elements to create a perfect balance of energy that can be used to cope with any situation in life.

Importance of presence of mind

The most important function of presence of mind is to create higher consciousness and recognition of your feelings and thoughts. The ability to separate what’s beneficial and harmful at the current moment is invaluable.


Presence of mind lets you stay mindful and be at the present. In a sense it has an advantage over a mind that is focusing only on long-term goals.

That’s simply because you can’t achieve long-term goals without putting the quality work in the present. To be a successful person, you need to put all your efforts in whatever you do now.


Imagine how you feel during a sunny day and on a cloudy day. Presence of mind is your sunny day and absence of mind is your cloudy day.

What causes lack of presence of mind?

Lack of presence of mind is caused by:

  • Absent-mindedness.
  • Inability to focus.
  • Having difficulty to react quickly.
  • Doing actions based fully on emotions.
  • Focusing too much on future or the past.

Lack of presence of mind is not an uncommon phenomenon. It’s no surprise that people become more absent-minded. Technologies, especially social media platforms, focus on short-attention span tools.


That comes naturally because of the rivalry among social media creators, influencers. They want to give the user the most dopamine as possible in the shortest amount of time so he would stay in the platform for longer and would continually visit it back.


There is an abundance of distractions that occur everyday and cause lack of presence of mind. You need to be mindful of what you do and how you approach one situation or another.

Benefits of presence of mind

Here I present benefits of presence of mind:

  • Alertness.
  • Quick-thinking.
  • Stability in feelings and thoughts.
  • Ability to act appropriately in life-challenging situations.
  • Living in the present.

Presence of mind essentially brings you to happiness. That’s because happiness comes mostly from being present in the moment.


Chasing long-term goals and forgetting about enjoying the process and living in it essentially lead to destructive life. It’s basically existing.


That’s why presence of mind is incredibly powerful tool to keep yourself in touch with yourself and the environment.

Presence of mind examples

  • Driving. You need to stay extremely alert and make quick decisions so you wouldn’t hurt yourself and others.


  • Learning. Imagine a person that gives his all focus on a subject and then another person only mindlessly reads the information. After an hour both meet and try to exchange information. Obviously, the person that focused will be able to achieve better results.
  • Travelling. Imagine yourself visiting new places. A mindful person will use his presence of mind power to get the most out of the experiences and to fill his spiritual joy.


  • Logical situations. Imagine the teacher asks you: “How many eyes do we have?”. You would answer four, because “we” is plural and that includes you and teacher.

10 Ways to improve presence of mind

1. Remove stress

To improve presence of mind you have to learn how to cope with stressful situations. Stress is the number one thing that distracts your mind and doesn’t let you think more mindfully.


You have to understand what factors trigger your stress. Focus on listening to your body. If your breathing becomes more frequent, you feel nauseous, overwhelmed, it could be a sign of stress.

If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath. ~ Amit Ray

Next, you need to recognize how you respond to stress.


If your emotional state is elevated, for example, you are angry, exceptionally emotional, the best way to cope with such situation would be using stress relief activities that focus on calming you down.


If your emotional state is sunken, for example, you are depressed, feeling hopeless, you should try using stress relief activities that are energizing.

2. Open your mind

Open mindedness makes you think of a situation more critically. That’s because you will have to open your mind to new ideas and thoughts. You will have to analyze them and try to understand if they are valid or not.

presence of mind

It especially boosts your presence of mind because you will train your brains to have new experiences. You will be forced to adapt or change your beliefs based on new information.


Open mind can completely change the way you look at life. If you are still practicing fixed mind, you will feel more empowered and more knowledgeable if you open yourself to new ideas. The key is to never stop improving yourself.

3. Exercise

Exercising is contributing to sharper thinking and increased memory. That’s because of the effect of endorphins.


When you exercise, not only does your heart and other body parts get a workout, but your brain is affected as well. A study has illustrated that older adults that experienced mild memory loss and were exercising continuously for a year, they’ve managed to increase their blood flow to the brains [1].

Your actions are your only true belongings. ~ Allan Lokos

According to another study exercising improves functionality of brain regarding control of cognition. People that are more active are able to process the information quicker due to ability to allocate more resources to environment [2].


Regardless of that, exercising can help with your skin health, make you more relaxed, decrease the chronic pain, and make you happier overall.

4. Get enough sleep

Sleeping is inseparable part of our lives. Sleep is especially important for presence of mind as sleep has a lot of positive effects for our brains.


Memory, problem solving, attention to details and creativity immensely depends on our sleep. That’s because of neurobiological processes that happen during the sleep process which have a positive effect on brain health [3].

lack of presence of mind

Missing on sleep can have a negative impact in an instant or in a long-term. Sleep not only supports your mental health, but also physical health. Lack of sleep can result chronic health complications [4].


Sleep, however, isn’t equal to sleep. It means that sleep is made of four stages. The first one occurs between falling asleep and still being awake. The second happens when your breathing frequency, body temperature, heart rate drops – it’s called light sleep. The third and fourth being deep sleep [5].


Typically, you will undergo 4-5 cycles per night. It’s important not to disrupt it in order to have quality sleep.

5. Learn to listen

A very often mistake that occurs in communication is not listening. Let me explain.


See, usually people listen to speak rather than listen to understand. They don’t listen to the main keywords and start to interpret in their own way. They simply lack efficient communication skills.

Looking at beauty in the world, is the first step of purifying the mind. ~ Amit Ray

The main problem is that people tend to have a lot of thoughts in their heads. They want to reply instantly and interrupt people. Generally speaking, people want to be heard.


Presence of mind is all about being in the exact moment. Therefore, you should keep this habit and keep on living with it. To listen better, consider this:

  • Don’t judge a book based on its cover (don’t judge appearance).
  • Don’t make any assumptions or conclusions during listening.
  • Try to repeat the most essential points in your head that you’ve heard.
  • Try to choose a place that has no environmental stimulations (outdoor sounds, phones, etc.)

6. Ease your mind

If you find it hard to concentrate, feeling irritated, are experiencing negative thinking, you feel generally worried, it means you don’t possess ease of mind. Ultimately, everyone that wants to achieve presence of mind has to cope with their worries first.


Ease of mind is important to relieve yourself from stress, anxiety, and to embrace positive thinking. Essentially, it’s one of the prerequisites to be happy.

Setting yourself free from worries is essential part and has to be long term. You can achieve that through:

  • Meditation.
  • Listening to slower tempo music.
  • Showing act of kindness to other people.
  • Validating whether your worries are real and actually significant.
  • Accepting yourself.

A very effective meditation form is Sudarshan Kriya Pranayama. It can possibly reduce anxiety and depression levels [6]. Practicing it only for 5-10 minutes is enough if these are your first times of doing meditation. This video helps you to go through this breathing based meditation:

7. Live in the present

Perhaps the most important thing for presence of mind is to live in the present.  Lack of presence of mind comes exactly from this point – not living in the present enough.


The key is to be mindful of your environment and always question what’s going on. Don’t be afraid to approach life in a positive way. Try to smell the food, taste it mindfully, appreciate your environment, and find ways to enjoy whatever you’re currently doing. The essence is to live an abundant lifestyle.

We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are. ~ Anais Nin

The fact is that you can’t be critical of environment and have presence of mind if you don’t live in this exact moment. Being worried about past is not an option. Having a vision of the future is good, but drowning in futuristic thoughts is self-destructive.


That’s simply because life is not about “before” or “after”. It’s all about being present and living now. Constantly chasing your goals will make you unhappy and you won’t be able to experience presence of mind with such mindset.

It’s okay to live differently than others. Don’t let yourself fall into a comparison trap and live by societal standards. Enjoy your life and stay in the present.

8. Utilize critical consciousness

Critical consciousness not only requires you to think of a thing in detail, but also executing an act.


In a way this can be though as a higher level of presence of mind, because it also involves being very conscious about your physical actions.


See, critical consciousness has another important branch, which is ability to contradict your stereotypes and beliefs.

presence of mind

The problem is that people tend to be very conservative and are afraid of changes. However, this shell of comfort has to be broken. Otherwise, you will never be able to be insightful of situations in life that happen daily.


Critical consciousness also allows you to be aware of your emotional intelligence, as it involves understanding your and other people emotions.


Ultimately, critical consciousness can be utilized in every aspect of our lives. It’s incredibly useful and can benefit greatly in your relationships, career, spiritual world, and other areas of life.

9. Balance your emotions

Balancing your emotions is also known as emotional self-control. Learning this skill is important if you want to control your emotions under stressful situations. It’s an inseparable prerequisite for presence of mind.


The main goal of balancing your emotions is not to attach to an emotion too much and learning how to recognize and accept it.


The holy trinity of emotions balance is self-awareness, focus, and mindfulness.  

How you look at it is pretty much how you’ll see it. ~ Rasheed Ogunlaru

Self-awareness allows us to understand ourselves better and to predict how we may react.


Focus helps us to concentrate on a problem that we face and give our full attention on it.


Mindfulness helps to get us back on track in understanding that we are behaving out of control due to the emotions.


Regardless of that, it’s always important to give yourself some space and understand that emotions are inevitable. We’re all humans and they’re a part of us. They’re what make us unique.

10. Learn to concentrate

Presence of mind requires mindful concentration. That’s because if your thoughts wander around, you won’t be able to achieve whatever you want.


Concentrating can be hard due to emotional stress, hormonal changes, nutrient deficiency, lack of sleep and many others.


Firstly, you have to identify your living patterns and see whether anything is slacking. Try to fix that immediately.

importance of presence of mind

Nonetheless, you have to train your brain to learn to focus on tasks that require actual brain focus. The simplest way to do that is by meditating which we’ve discussed previously. It’s a great starting point in understanding your mind capabilities better.


After that, set tasks for yourself, such as increasing time of a session of reading a book by 5 minutes every day. So, if you pick up a book for the first time, just read it for 5 minutes. The next day pick up it again and read it for 10 minutes.


You can be creative and do whatever you believe is appropriate to elevate your concentrating skills

Final Words From Delightful Mindset

Presence of mind an inseparable part of a conscious life. If you want to be aware of your surroundings and you want to know yourself better, you should highly consider practicing presence of mind.


It’s important to start slow and not to overwhelm yourself. Everything comes with enough of practice. Don’t rush and make slow, but sure steps on improving your presence of mind.

  1. UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2021, March 23). Exercise boosts blood flow to the brain, study finds: The results add to growing evidence that exercise programs may help older adults slow the onset of memory loss and dementia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 14, 2021 from sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210323131213.htm
  2. Gomez-Pinilla, F., & Hillman, C. (2013). The influence of exercise on cognitive abilities. Comprehensive Physiology3(1), 403–428. https://doi.org/10.1002/cphy.c110063
  3. Harvard Health. ABPP, M. O., PhD. (2019-03-11T14:30:37-0400). Aging and sleep: Making changes for brain health.Retrieved Nov 15, 2021, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/aging-and-sleep-making-changes-for-brain-health-2019031116147
  4. NHLBI, NIH. Sleep deprivation and deficiency. Retrieved Nov 15, 2021, from https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sleep-deprivation-and-deficiency
  5. The science of sleep: Understanding what happens when you sleep.Retrieved Nov 15, 2021, from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-science-of-sleep-understanding-what-happens-when-you-sleep
  6. Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. (2016, November 22). Yogic breathing helps fight major depression, study shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 15, 2021 from sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161122182357.htm