Mindfulness can change your life AND it is easy, but what exactly is it, and can anybody do it?
Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of yourself and your environment, allowing you to live life to the fullest. From Buddha to Oprah Winfrey, many well-known people and great souls believe in the power of mindfulness. The good news is anyone can practice mindfulness, it doesn’t matter what age you are. Here are some simple things to add to your daily routine to make you more mindful and completely transform your life.
Fill your Life with Gratitude
“Gratitude is wine for the soul. Go on, get drunk.” – Rumi
Being grateful is a key factor when it comes to mastering mindfulness. It helps us focus on the positives in our life and in turn we have a better attitude towards curveballs that may be thrown our way.
Keeping a gratitude journal can be a good way to remind yourself of all the great things in your life. As you write and list down each thing, be mindful of how they make you feel and hold on to that positivity. When you’re feeling down, looking through your gratitude list can help lift your mood and put things into perspective.
It’s as simple as writing: “Today I am grateful for…” and repeat the process with all the things you feel gratitude towards. It can be the beautiful weather, the delicious food you had, or time spent with a loved one.
You can journal when you wake up – to set a positive tone for your day – and/or before your go to bed – being thankful for another wonderful day.
Live in the Moment
“The point of power is always in the present moment.” – Louise Hay
We are often dwelling on the past or worrying about the future – we forget to just enjoy what’s happening right now. Allow your thoughts to flow and then filter them. Don’t chastise yourself if negative thoughts enter your mind. The mind will always wander, but with time and practice, it’ll be easier to bring it back to the present.
Instead of doing your chores with your mind on autopilot mode, be mindful of what you are thinking. Focus on the task at hand.
When you’re having a conversation with someone, be completely present and give them your full attention. This will strengthen your relationships significantly as you listen and communicate better.
Awaken your Senses
“Wherever you are, be there totally.” – Eckhart Tolle
Turn every mundane activity into a mindful opportunity.
We usually watch the news, catch up on our phone notifications, or listen to the radio while having our meal. Try this for just one meal a day – switch of all your distractions and focus on the food on your plate.
Chew slowly on each bite and enjoy the taste and the sensation of the food on your taste buds, and think about how healthy and delicious this food is and the positive effects it will have on your health.
When you’re out for a walk, FEEL the ground under your feet as you take each step, LISTEN to the sounds of the nature, BREATHE in the fresh air, OBSERVE the magnificence of the outdoors, and SMELL the natural scents of the environment.
Focus on your Breath
“Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment. The only moment.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Inhale. Exhale. We do it all the time, but we hardly ever stop to notice our breaths. Try taking a slow deep breath. Doesn’t that feel good? Notice the relief that passes through your body with just that one slow breath. We hold so much tension in our body that we don’t even realize it until we release it.
You can do this anytime and anywhere. Even when you’re still in bed in the morning, lie still and just take a couple of deep breaths and relax.
You can try doing yoga and meditation which teach discipline to breath mindfully. This can reduce anxiety and depression and in turn aid you to sleep better at night.
Holli Beare – a Spirit Breathwork Facilitator and Sound Healer – speaks about her experience with mindfulness, “For me, having a regular mindfulness practice gives me a reference point that I can always come back to. It means that every new activity I begin, I can come back to that point and start with a clean slate”.
Look for Beauty in the Ordinary
“Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it.” – Confucius
It may not always feel like it, but happiness is a choice. You can choose to see the beauty of nature when it rains, or choose to complain about the wet weather. It’s as simple as that.
You can start off by being mindful of the thoughts that run through your head. Catch a negative thought before it spirals and switch it to a positive one. Try it a few times a day first and then make it a conscious habit to tackle your old mind patterns.
Mind how you speak to yourself. You hear your inner voice more than you hear anyone else’s. Be kind to yourself. Doing positive affirmations can be lifechanging. Try a couple and watch your self-esteem skyrocket overtime.
Uplift yourself and be confident in who you are. Loving yourself will help you to love everything around you as well. When you’re able to see beauty in yourself, the world becomes beautiful.
Practice, Practice & More Practice
“Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.” – Sharon Salzburg
Mindfulness is a powerful tool that works better when you get more familiar with it. Repeat these practices until they become unconscious habits. Go on, it’s time for you to be the best version of YOURSELF.