Mindfulness. We’ve all heard the word, but what does it truly mean? Mindfulness is best defined as the practice of creating a focused awareness on the present moment. If you’re currently concentrated on this present moment and only this present moment, you are being mindful. Mindfulness isn’t an easy practice to master, but we’ve got some simple tips to help you in living a more mindful life.
Engage your senses.
We hear people telling us to be mindful of our surroundings all the time, but rarely do we take this advice to heart. Increasing your overall awareness begins with engaging your senses and aligning your mind with your body. Smell a flower, listen to a friend play the piano, pet a cute dog, go for a swim! The possibilities are endless.
Work on your breathing.
Breathing seems like a pretty easy task, but it’s actually more difficult than you think. Most yoga classes incorporate breathing exercises at the beginning or end of the class, but you can also practice by yourself at home. By concentrating on your breathing patterns, you’re drowning out other thoughts and being more present.
Once you master your breathing, move on to meditation. Meditation is the act of spending time in quiet thought or contemplation. It may seem like one of those things that people only do for religious or holistic reasons, but meditation is actually the most effective way for anyone wishing to focus their thoughts and become more mindful. There are even free apps that guide you through short meditations – one of our favourites is Stop, Breathe & Think, which tailors meditations depending on your emotions!
We’re all busy people, and we don’t always have time to think about what we’re grateful for in our lives – or so we think. Spend five minutes at the end of each day to think about (or write down) a few things you feel gratitude towards. We are more fortunate than we think, and sometimes it takes an exercise like this for us to realize it. Express gratitude both internally and to others to live a more mindful life.
Limit your social media consumption.
It’s almost impossible to live without social media, but it can be life-consuming in large doses. Mindfulness is about living in the present, and social media detracts from that principle. Social media is a fantastic tool for so many reasons, but it forces us to pay attention to the highlights of other peoples’ lives, which can be quite damaging. If you are regularly checking Instagram, try not to invest yourself too much – be mindful and objective.
Control your thoughts.
Negativity – we all experience it. Negative thoughts often slip into our brains and are incredibly difficult to get rid of. While these thoughts aren’t entirely preventable, they can be combatted with positivity. If your antagonistic thoughts are consuming you, think about something positive instead. You may have to force positive thoughts into your head at first, but these thoughts will soon replace the negative ones automatically.
Mindfulness isn’t always easy, but by incorporating these practices into your day, you’ll be well on your way to living a more mindful life!