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Does your mind ever run all over the place? Never settling on a single thought for long and always worrying about something. Maybe you have moments where you’re so lost in your own thoughts that your physical actions are on auto-pilot...you finish a meal without really tasting a bite or find yourself arriving at the office without consciously remembering much about the journey there?
It’s okay, we’ve all been there because with over flowing schedules and commitments, life can get pretty busy these days. But, what should you do if you’re ready to break the never ending cycle? To say goodbye to the exhaustion and start enjoying more of the little things that mean so much more than having a fully checked off to do list!?
Well, you can start by becoming more present in your day. It’s easier than you think. Don’t be fooled into thinking that mindfulness is for people that have more time than you because it’s more about how you use your time not about how much you have.
Being more mindful throughout our day doesn’t only help to cultivate a calmer mind, it’s believed to help:
• Lower anxiety and stress levels
• Control blood pressure
• Help you to let go of your ego
• Build feelings of gratitude
• Improve focus
• Cultivate spiritual growth
Now, they all sound pretty useful don’t you think?
But, if you’re new to the idea of taking a more mindful approach to your days, you may be wondering where to start. That’s why I’m sharing a few simple tips that have helped me create more mindful days…
CONNECT WITH YOUR BREATH
Use your breath as an anchor throughout your day; to connect you to the present moment and ease feelings of stress, overwhelm and anxiety. It’s much simpler than you think; let’s try it now.
Take a slow deep breath and fill up your belly and lungs – hold it for a second or two and then slowly let it go. Feels good, doesn’t it? Repeat this a few more times and then focus on your natural breath moving in and out for another few moments.
Connecting with your breath can be done anywhere, without anyone knowing that you’re doing it - let it serve as an anchor to the present moment regularly throughout your day.
Do you ever eat while scrolling through your phone? I think that food is one of life’s most simple pleasures and that it deserves our full attention, don’t you. So, try creating a little space around your mealtimes, turn off distractions and really experience your food; look at it, enjoy how good it smells and eat slowly, mindfully tasting each bite - and while you’re there it doesn’t hurt to connect to a little gratitude for it too.
Not only does slowing down and mindfully enjoying your food feel so much better but it’s been shown to create healthy digestion and encourage weight loss.
For years we were told that multi-tasking was the only way to achieve more. But, those days are over. You might feel some resistance to this but I encourage you to try it for a week or two before making up your mind. I’m sure that once you rediscover the joy of focus; taking one task at a time, you’ll love it as much as I do.
Distractions have an addictive nature and so your mind will try to challenge you. But you soon learn to turn down the volume and keep your attention in one place. Take it one step at a time and practice a little self-compassion as you make the changes towards mindfully completing one task at a time.
You have many moments of pause throughout your day; moments where you reach for your phone or wander down the hall to chat with a colleague. I’m not suggesting that you remove these entirely but what if you replaced one or two of these moments with mindful pauses.
Taking a moment to pause, reconnect with your breath and check in with how you’re feeling provides you with a moment to course correct. Some time to let go of any negative emotions before mindfully continuing your day. Try pausing at least once during your morning and once again around mid-afternoon.
Whether it’s colouring, drawing, baking, sewing or any other creative pursuit; learning to embrace your creativity can be helpful for bringing more mindful moments into your day. For me, I love to cook. There’s something about spending some quality time alone in the kitchen that soothes my soul and makes the rest of the world melt away for a while.
If you’ve not explored your creativity for a while, think back on the things that you used to enjoy doing and let that guide you - there’s no right or wrong way to approach creativity.
Enjoy exercise in any form that feels good to you; a walk out at lunch time, an online yoga class when you get home or simply dancing around the room to your favourite playlist. It’s not what you do that counts because the goal is simply to encourage you to feel present in the moment; to slow down your thoughts and embrace a sense of mindfulness in your day.
Remember that mindfulness is a practice. Don’t try and force anything. Release any expectations of what mindfulness ‘should’ look or feel like and open your heart to experiencing moments as they unfold around you.
Are you ready to commit to taking a small daily step to creating a more mindful life?
Then, here’s a little extra motivation - my 30 Day Wellness Habit Tracker - print a copy today and tick off every day that you create a mindful moment in your day.
AUTHOR: LEANNA DOOLIN
Co – Founder of holistic skincare brand, Pure Thoughts and advocate for women finding pause in their day to breathe deeply, give thanks and reconnect to what matters. Loves early mornings, dogs and books that you can’t put down.