Mindfulness. It’s a word you’ve probably seen a lot of lately. Whether it’s from your favorite yoga channel or wellness blog, the enthusiasm for living a mindful life has blown up over the past handful of years.
What does it mean to be mindful?
Mindfulness is a state of being where one is fully present. It’s a tool that teaches us to be aware of our surroundings in an objective way so we can perceive our own circumstances without judgment. In many ways, it plays a key role in cultivating a healthy lifestyle. By letting go of past regrets and future fantasies, we can approach any situation in our lives without becoming overwhelmed.
How can I lead a mindful life?
A common misconception about mindfulness is that it can only be reached through deep meditation. And let’s be honest here, that can be intimidating. However, the journey to mindfulness is meant to be accessible, so don’t let that put you off!
Here are some simple tips to begin leading your own mindful life.
1. Start small.
Mindfulness is an excellent coping mechanism for catastrophic situations, but it’s something you have to work towards. Suddenly “trying it out” for the first time mid-crisis isn’t the best strategy. In other words, practice makes perfect. Start by taking stock of the more pleasant moments in your life.
2. Focus on your habits.
Repetition is a great way to learn, after all. Pick a simple habit from your day, such as brushing your teeth, and really pay attention to what you’re doing. Try not to let your mind wander. Repeat this every day, adding more habits to your list.
3. Be curious!
If you ever find yourself frustrated in a way where you don’t know how to react to a situation, take a step back, and approach it with curiosity. Ask yourself questions. This will help you break out of a toxic headspace and move forward with clarity, so you can make good decisions.
4. Focus on your breath.
Breathing is something we are so accustomed to that it’s literally mindless- we don’t have to think about it! Paying attention to your breath is an imperative step to mindfulness because it helps bring awareness to the present. It facilitates focus and calms you down in stressful situations.
5. Physically ground yourself.
Grounding yourself involves focusing on the sensations around you. For instance, how does the ground feel beneath your feet? Is it hard concrete or soft dirt? Feel the texture of the wall beside you or run your fingers over your computer’s keyboard. Really concentrate on how it feels. As a result, you’ll be more grounded and ready to tackle whatever situation you’re in.
6. Be aware of your senses.
Your senses are constantly working hard, so they are the perfect focal point for mindful concentration. Step out of your thinking mind and simply allow yourself to sense. At any given moment, focus on one thing you can hear, one thing you can see, one thing you can smell, one thing you can taste, and one thing you can feel.
Mindfulness is a process, so don’t sweat it! Just take a deep breath and let your body sense the present.