Mindfulness is bringing awareness to your thoughts and actions without attaching judgments. It can be incredibly helpful to improve your overall well-being, but it is not achieved overnight. In order to be more mindful, you must practice it consistently and be patient with progress because making one change may be simple, but turning a change into a habit takes time.
Here are five simple ways you can apply mindfulness to your daily life to promote a healthier, happier, more balanced lifestyle.
1) Pay attention to how you feel after a meal. Ask yourself how you feel in regards to energy and mood. The food we put in our bodies affects our energy levels and emotions more than we may realize. Therefore, paying more attention to this can be helpful when seeking to make improvements to diet.
2) Notice what you think about when you exercise. Are you telling yourself you are strong and determined? Or are you saying negative comments to yourself that are hindering your progress? Work on speaking kinder to yourself. Words of encouragement will help you stick with your routine more than negative words and self criticism.
3) When you wake up in the morning, try easing into the day by calming your mind and reading a devotional with a cup of tea or coffee before you reach for your phone to look at emails or social media. Be in control of how you start your day and set the tone instead of letting the outside world put ideas into your head before you even have a chance to get your day started.
4) Similarly, when you go to bed at night, find something that eases your mind and takes you away from the chatter such as a bath, a book, soothing music, or gentle yoga sequence focused on stretching. Think about ending the day just as smoothly as you started. And remember, tomorrow is a new day with new opportunities.
5) If you tend to worry often or be an anxious person, find a few minutes each day to focus on sitting still in a quiet place, closing your eyes, and slowing down your breathing. Try inhaling for five seconds, pausing for a second, then exhaling for five seconds. Repeat. Set a timer and start with smaller increments, gradually building up time as you become more comfortable. The more you can focus your attention to your breath, the more you will realize that your thoughts are simply thoughts and the anxiety and worries will lessen.
To read more about mindfulness, check out my article with Cape Fear Living Magazine here