With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it is hard to find time for yourself to truly just relax. Giving yourself a few minutes a day can make such a drastic difference. All it takes is a little bit of determination and small life changes.
Mindfulness is a moment by moment awareness of your thoughts, feelings and sensations. You want these ideas to come and go, without judgement or the need to do anything so you can stay focused on the present moment. There are so many benefits to this practice. It can restore your emotional balance, reduce anxiety, depression, and physical pain, and has also been proven to slow aging, reduce fatigue and improve sleep quality.
If that sounds like something you could use a little more off, here are some small changes to make in your day to day life to achieve mindfulness.
- Take time to treat yourself – Each day you should make a point to do something nice for yourself. Read a book, sign up for a workout class, listen to a motivating podcast, drink some tea, buy that top you have been eyeing for week. When you treat yourself, you acknowledge that you are a priority in your own life.
- Make your bed – the importance of this is CRAZY. Starting off your day with this one simple task will start you on the right foot. You will feel a sense of order and accomplishment and it will inspire you to keep accomplishing throughout the day. You should create this sense of order in areas that you spend most of your time as well. Do the dishes each night so that you have a clean kitchen each morning. Don’t leave work with a disaster on your desk. It will allow you to have a much calmer day and controlled feeling.
- Solidify a mantra – Pick a mantra that really speaks to you. Repeat it to yourself at least once a day. You should focus on the positive things you believe about yourself and your life. Talk about goals you wish to achieve so that each day you work towards accomplishing them. Repeating this mantra daily engraves it in your mind.
- Download an App – Meditation is one of the best ways to create mindfulness for yourself. All you really need is 10 minutes and an app. Think about the time that you spend scrolling on social media throughout the day. Trade that time in for 10 minutes of meditation. Download a free app like Headspace or 365 Gratitude. Headspace is a great meditation app for beginners and 365 Gratitude gives you a positive message each day and prompts you each night to pause and reflect on three things you are thankful for in that moment.
- Watch What You Eat – typically when we eat a meal we are finished with it before even realizing what we just did. Meal time is such a great opportunity to sit down and reflect. Next time you sit down to enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner take a moment to really think about what is going on. Enjoy the smells, tastes, and how the food even looks. Pay attention to how that meal makes you feel. If you are aware you can acknowledge your fullness and are less likely to overeat.
- Take in Natural Light – Working indoors each day really alters our peacefulness. It is hard to see natural light. Try to find even just 20 minutes a day to go outside and get some sunshine. Getting outside can significantly lower stress levels. Go for a walk and really soak it in. Notice your body moving, feel your muscles moving, and pay attention to your surroundings.
- Breathe – The most simple and easy way to be mindful is to focus on your breathing. This obviously happens naturally all day, so find a point to really pay attention to it. Free your mind and focus on basic functions. You can try different types of breathing like short breaths, long breaths, or alternative breaths to see which is the best relaxation fit for you. Take 10 minutes a day to do this each morning or afternoon.
- Engage Your Senses – Focus on your senses so that you can be truly present in a moment. When you enter a new space, acknowledge what is around you. Focus on how you feel and how the space makes you feel.
- Change Up Your Routine – Seeing and doing the same things each day can really tire you out mentally and physically. You need to be constantly inspired and excited. Change up your daily routine to test out new experiences. Take a different route to work in the morning instead of driving on autopilot down the same roads. Try out a new coffee shop and change up your order. Simple switches can make a huge difference in how you feel each day.
Be Present – Try to focus on the person that you are spending time with. Take a step away from the phone, make eye contact, and engage in solely the conversation you are having. Listening is key to really engaging with another person. It is important not get distracted by yourself or your own thoughts. Being mindfully present with others will improve all of your relationships.