You’re busy. You work full-time, pick up the kiddos from school, run to the grocery store, and fold laundry once you get home. Rushing to accomplish task after task often becomes a mindless job, and it’s easy to become disconnected from your thoughts, feelings, and the environment around you. Mindfulness works to combat your senseless actions by bringing awareness to your thoughts and activities – and accept them without judgment.
Practicing mindfulness will not only bring your life balance and happiness, but it will improve your emotional and physical wellbeing as well. According to an article by HelpGuide.org, the physical benefits of mindfulness include stress relief, lower blood pressure, reduced chronic pain, improved sleep, and can even help fight heart disease. It is also noted that mindfulness has been used as an important element in the treatment of mental health issues such as depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Practicing mindfulness during your daily activities can become a simple habit. Help yourself become more present by using the following tips to turn mindfulness into part of your daily routine:
Start a mindfulness journal
A mindfulness journal is different from a typical diary. Instead of writing about the events of your day, a mindfulness journal is used for purposes such as reducing stress or enhancing self-awareness. Writing in a mindfulness journal is a calming activity that will also remind you to stay mindful. Before you start your journal, set a goal of what you’re hoping to gain from your mindfulness writing. Keep yourself in routine by writing in your journal daily. Not sure what to write about? Check out this blog post for some great ideas!
Gratitude and mindfulness go hand-in-hand. Practicing gratitude expands your happiness and transforms the way you think. Reflecting on the things you are thankful for in life instead of focusing on the negatives can help you feel more positive and optimistic – which has been shown to lead to benefits such as better sleep, less stress, and a stronger immune system. There are many ways to practice gratitude. Start by writing down at least three things each morning you’re grateful for, compliment co-workers, or keep a gratitude journal to remind yourself of all the things in life you are thankful for.
Commute with a purpose
For a lot of us, the long morning commute is the worst part of the day. Traffic is stressful and the coffee hasn’t kicked in yet. If you have a dreaded morning commute, use this time to de-stress by practicing mindfulness. Instead of getting irritated with other drivers, become observant of your thoughts and feelings and consider why you feel this way.
Meditation is a simple way to practice mindfulness. Make a habit of meditating for just 10 minutes every day. Pick a time that is convenient and easy to stick with. We suggest meditating right after you wake up/before your morning routine or before you go to bed. Check out this nightly meditation video and this morning meditation video for some tips and instruction.
Have you ever sat down to watch some TV and notice 30 minutes later that you’ve snacked through an entire bag of chips? Mindless eating can lead to many health issues including diabetes and obesity. However, when you learn to eat mindfully, you learn to eat with intention and pay attention while eating. Practice eating slowly, keep a food journal, and learn to listen to your body to determine whether you’re hungry or satisfied.
Exercise is an excellent form of mindfulness. Many of us don’t even realize we are practicing mindfulness by working out or taking a peaceful walk outside. Certain exercises such as yoga, Tai Chi, and Pilates work to connect the body with the mind. In addition to helping you master mindfulness, exercising will naturally reduce stress, keep you healthy, and boost your mood. It’s the ultimate win-win!
Put down your phone
Many of us are glued to our phones and feel anxious when we don’t have any Wi-Fi. However, spending too much time in the cyber world instead of focusing on reality and the people around us can have some devastating effects. Stay mindful of your phone usage. Ask yourself why you’re going to use your phone before you pick it up. Keep track of how often you are on your phone and stop using your phone as a cure for boredom. Limiting your screen time will help you connect more with your peers, family, and yourself.
Anyone can learn to be mindful. With a little bit of effort, making mindfulness a daily practice is completely achievable. Try adding some of these tips into your de-stressing routine to add a little more Zen to your life.
How do you practice mindfulness on a daily basis? Leave us a comment below!
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