GLOSSARY: Contacting the Present Moment

Contacting the present moment means being psychologically present: consciously connecting with and engaging in whatever is happening in this moment. Humans find it very hard to stay present. Like other humans, we know how easy it is to get caught up in our thoughts and lose touch with the world around us. We may spend a lot of time absorbed in thoughts about the past or the future. Or instead of being fully conscious of our experience, we may operate on automatic pilot, merely “going through the motions.” Contacting the present moment means flexibly bringing our awareness to either the physical world around us or the psychological world within us, or to both simultaneously. It also means consciously paying attention to our here-and-now experience instead of drifting off into our thoughts or operating on “automatic pilot.”

SOURCE: Harris, R. (2009). ACT made simple: An easy-to-read primer on acceptance and commitment therapy. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

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