Mindfulness is a big buzz word these days but it is for good reason. Life is stressful af and our egos love to run amok making us feel all kinds of uncomfortable feels like fear, jealousy, and anger. Mindfulness is not a panacea, but it puts the individual in the driver’s seat rather than the passenger’s seat allowing us to reset our minds and over time, mindfulness becomes the default setting rather than the thing we scramble for every time we feel like shit. I’ve been practicing mindfulness for a few years and I’m far from perfect and struggle with consistency sometimes but when my practice is consistent, I’m grounded and find myself living in flow with life.
Here are 3 simple ways to add mindfulness into your already busy life!
1. Self Care
Self care is something that needs to happen daily; it is not just an occasional massage or taking your birthday off from work. Self care is cultivating a routine that tends to your vessel, aka your physical body, and well as your spiritual body. Eating nutritious foods, cleanliness of body and environment, knowing and sticking to your values, are all examples of proper self care. Exercise and time in nature are equally important for inner and outer well-being. Self care does not need to be superficial like getting your hair and nails done but these things can be part of an overall self care routine.
I’ve written other blogs about incorporating a mindfulness practice into your daily routine. Mindfulness can be a guided meditation from an app such as Insight Timer, prayer, or just some silent time focused on your breath with the option of adding in a mantra such as “I am” or “I am love”, for example. Repeating the mantra with you breath as an anchor for the mind to minimize wandering.
There is no one right way to meditate and we have 50-60,000 thoughts per day filling up our brains with too much chatter and many distractions. Go into meditation from a place of self acceptance and compassion and know you will sometimes get lost in the thoughts you’re trying to let go of. It just happens. It is part of the process. Just know that wherever you are, you can cultivate peace and calm through mindfulness over time. Give it more than a few chances. Commit to it and watch what happens. If you are human and would benefit from some support getting this practice started, click here to learn about my upcoming mindfulness jump start class.
3. Present Moment Awareness
When you are feeling stressed or anxious or overwhelmed, try asking yourself if the thing that’s on your mind creating these emotional responses is happening NOW. You will likely notice that most of our worries are not happening in this moment but come out while we are future tripping or falling into past memories. This present moment is the only moment that counts. Don’t lose it to the past that has come and gone, or the future that may never arrive. Get back to the here and now where things are probably safe and fine (unless of course, you are in an unsafe situation and fight or flight is necessary). Get mindful in this present moment. Mindfulness can be practiced while walking or doing a repetitive task such as washing dishes in warm soapy water focusing on the breath and the sensations in the moment. You can enjoy a hot beverage mindfully or take short mindfulness work breaks throughout your day going for a brief walk breathing, washing hands in warm water or mindfully eating your lunch.
Know that you are not alone in your struggles and that what I write about is often the thing I’m working on or struggling with. I’m not perfect at any of it but I do know the things I write about have helped me and are backed by bodies of research. Please comment or reach out to let me know what resonates with you or if there is a topic you’d like me to blog about in the future.