You've probably heard about mindfulness. In recent years, the term has been gaining popularity especially due to the number of researchers that have been proving the tremendous benefits of it.
Simply put, mindfulness is the practice of focusing body and mind on the present moment. The habit of paying attention to your body's sensations and observing the mind's behaviour is a powerful tool for improving mental wellbeing.
In this blog, I want to share with you 6 mindfulness habits that will help you better deal with mental and emotional challenges that might hit you throughout the day.
1. Integrate mindfulness meditation into your routine
Meditation is an essential tool for living a mindful lifestyle. In simple words, mindfulness meditation is the act of paying attention to the experiences around you, as they happen. Few of the MANY science-proven benefits of meditation are:
- Reduces stress
- Helps to control anxiety
- Combats depression and improves positive thinking
- Boots self-awareness
- Helps in creating healthier sleep habits.
The list goes on and on... if you wanna learn more about the benefits of a ongoing meditation practice, I suggest reading this article.
Try incorporating meditation into your morning or bed routine. You can even practice "mindful driving" while commuting to work. Just allow your mind to experience a nonjudgmental awareness by observing your internal state and the external reality with compassion and no judgments.
2. Savour the small moments
Fully appreciating small moments throughout the day means turning daily tasks into "mini mindful moments". Savour the first sip of coffee in the morning, a bite on a healthy sandwich, or stop to truly appreciate the nature around you.
Again, this is all about focusing on the present. If you are checking your phone while eating or constantly worrying about your work, for example, you will not be able to enjoy all the sensations that a moment can provide you. Connect to all your senses in order to fully live the present and you will turn any moment into a mindfulness practice.
Having a more mindful lifestyle is not easy, especially in the modern world. With tons of accessible ways to get instant entertainment and so many "distractors" fighting for your attention, ignoring all this noise is not easy!
However, unplugging it's probably a necessary first step to all of the practices mentioned above! If you want to truly live mindfully, you will have to ignore your F.O.M.O. (Fear of Missing Out) and embrace J.O.M.O. (Joy of Missing Out).
Take a moment of your day to purposely disconnect from all intentional distractions such as phone, internet and television. Unplugging means truly letting go of the need to know everything all the time! Enjoying tech-free time to truly connect with the ones that are around you. your screen time will give you more time to
4. Count your blessings
It's fair to say that gratitude is another powerful practice to keep in your "mindful toolbox". Cultivating the habit of expressing gratefulness will help you have a more positive look towards everyday events. It also allows us to appreciate things that we tend to take for granted.
Counting blessings helps us discover the good in our lives and mindfulness allows us to use this knowledge to overcome the cycle of negativity. This means that by being aware of your blessing you will be able to more easily stop your negative thoughts from growing.
Gratitude changes the way you react to negative situations. Instead of getting frustrated because of these feelings, you will mindfully acknowledge them, allow yourself to experience them and fight them with gratitude!
5. Practice self-awareness
Many people give up on mindfulness because they get frustrated when they fail to focus on the present. I will tell you a secret: the moment you realize you are not being mindful, you are being mindful!
Mindfulness is as easy as paying attention to yourself getting distracted! All that really matters is that you practice self-awareness. Especially when you feel negative emotions, allow yourself to live and learn from them. Try stepping away from the situation, observing your reactions and the events or people that tend to trigger those reactions.
When you watch the mind, you will realize that it can be quite predictable. Understating the elements that spark certain emotions, will give you the clarity to more easily and mindfully deal with them.
Happiness and self-awareness go hand in hand. A happy life is not a life free of negativity or suffering, It's a life where these feelings are not strengthened by the mind. Instead, they are compassionately acknowledged and accepted.
A number of experiments found that when people multitask, they take 50% more time to complete a task AND they're 50 percent more likely to make mistakes. This means that, at the end of the day, multitasking will significantly decrease your productivity.
Instead of dividing your attention between different tasks, focus on doing one thing at a time. Stop hopping from job to job and direct your mind and body to one chore for a defined amount of time.
If you have a hard time sticking to one task and find hard to stay away from distractions, try using technology to your favour. Apps such as freedom, focus and focus booster will help you track the time you spend in each task.
I know that these tips are easier said than done. Even though cultivating a mindful lifestyle is not difficult, it requires patience and dedication. So a final tip is: when you feel like giving up, remember why you started and remind yourself of the numerous benefits that mindfulness will have on your mental wellbeing. Start slowly by putting in practice only one of these tips and progressively incorporate the others.