We all want to feel more relaxed, be more focused and have more energy every day. Our overall mental, emotional and physical well-being is directly linked to how well we deal with our everyday experiences.
One of the reasons why the idea of mindfulness has become more known and practiced is because of the benefits it brings to our overall well-being.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is being alert, open and present to what is going on around us at any given moment. In a state of mindfulness, we are able to observe our thoughts and feelings without any judgement, which means we can get a better idea of our habitual ways of thinking, feeling and acting. In a state of mindfulness, we feel more connected to everything around us and more likely to be in the present moment instead of thinking about the past or the future.
When we are in a state of mindfulness, we will:
- Be focused only on the present moment.
- Not judge or categorise our thoughts and feelings as either good or bad.
- Avoid reliving past experiences, good or bad.
- Focus only on the “now.”
Some of the benefits of practicing mindfulness include:
- It helps you maintain our concentration and focus better.
- It helps us relax more, which in turn, helps us manage stress better.
- It gets us into the habit of slowing down our thoughts as we slow down our breathing.
- It makes us more aware of things happening around us at any given moment.
In order to practice mindfulness consistently, there are a few things we can do everyday that can help us develop the habits required so that mindfulness becomes a part of how we operate. Here are seven habits we should consider developing in order to fully receive the benefits of mindfulness.
- Pay more attention to your breathing. As we grow older, we tend to breathe shallower and faster without even realising it. Slowing down our breathing and taking in long, deep breaths almost always makes us more grounded, centred and calmer. The best part about this is when we can this at any time and it can take as little as 60 seconds to get back to a state of mindfulness.
- Practice being in a state of innocence. This is a technique that comes naturally to children but we tend to lose it as we grow older. Being in innocence means observing what is going on around us by being child-like. In other words, we observe the world around us through the eyes of a child. This will make us pay attention to all the wonderful, miraculous things that are happening around us at any given moment. The more child-like we are, the more we will recognise what a wonderful life we actually do have.
- Be conscious of what you are eating. A bad diet or meal has a huge impact on how we feel and on our energy levels. It is our responsibility to ensure we educate ourselves on what types of foods will serve us the most and help us maintain our focus throughout the day. We obviously want to eat foods that will give us the energy we need to help us get the things we want done a lot easier and with less effort.
- Get enough sleep every night. Lack of sleep throws us off our game so easily and we seldom recover until we have caught up on our sleep. Trying to force ourselves to get through a day when we haven’t had enough sleep is hard and can be extremely unproductive. More and more research are concluding that adults require around eight hours of sleep every night.
- Be active throughout the day. In the modern world, we spend so much time sitting down when we do work. Our bodies are designed to be active so if our jobs require us to sit down a lot, we must ensure we are keeping our bodies engaged and active. Short walks or stretches throughout the day are helpful plus we must also engage is some form of physical activity numerous times per week. Again, it is our responsibility to find what is optimal for us in order to help us stay more present throughout the day.
- Give yourself some quiet time. One of the best things we can do especially when things are hectic or chaotic is give ourselves some time out. In sports, when one team is getting the better of the other team, often the coach will call a time out to get the players to regroup and refocus. You and I are no different — we need to be able to take timeouts to get centred, refocus on the present moment and do what needs to be done. During this time, some form of meditation or deep breathing is extremely helpful.
- Practice being grateful daily. This could well be one of the most valuable habits we can form. Being grateful automatically shifts the vibration we’re in and puts us in a more receptive and appreciative state. No matter what we’re experiencing at any given moment, being grateful will help us appreciate all the good things that are happening to us and are around us all the time.
The benefits of mindfulness cannot be denied. The key is to get started now. All it takes is to start with one thing and then add more as time goes on. If we incorporate these habits into our daily practices, we will feel a lot better and ultimately be a lot happier. Isn’t that what we really want?
Question: What is another easy way to practice mindfulness every day?
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