So your days are filled with work and various commitments and you are so caught up in everything that needs to be done. You are so busy and stressed that you have lost touch with your thoughts and where you are at the moment.
Now is the right time to practice mindfulness. A simple meditation technique, mindfulness is all about being compassionate with yourself. It is being observant without being critical; it is being detached from circumstances beyond your control. Mindfulness enables you to recognise negative thought patterns and fight them before they pull you down, putting you back in control of your life.
Done consistently, mindfulness will improve your overall well-being. Studies have shown that mindfulness reduces anxiety, stress, and irritability; instead of worrying incessantly about a challenging situation, mindfulness allows you let those worries go. Mindfulness also enhances mental alertness, focus, and creativity.
Here are 10 ways to be more mindful in your daily life:
- Be in the now
Treat the present as a situation independent from your past or future. The past is past, and you need not worry about the future because events will eventually unfold in due time. Concentrate on being emotionally and mentally present in what you’re doing at this time. Mindfulness is about enjoy the transience and beauty of now. After all, you’ll come across this moment only once in your lifetime.
Start living in the moment by appreciating your family, friends, job, and everything you that’s there in your life. Seize the opportunity to do things you’ve always wanted to do and go about each day with pure, unadulterated joy.
- Actively seek contentment
As humans, it’s only natural that we aspire for better things and circumstances; we’ll want a better car, a higher-paying job, a bigger home. While mindful people strive to have the best, they’ve also learned to accept their circumstances for what they are and not associate their worth with what they have or don’t have.
Keep in mind that you are unique and have skills to offer that sets you apart from everyone else. Your life journey is different from a colleague’s, so making comparisons is a meaningless exercise. Be among people who accept you for who you are.
- Learn how to visualise
When you feel a lack of purpose, create a mental image, or visualise, a goal that you want to achieve. When you visualise what you want, you begin to believe that you can achieve it, preparing you and keeping you motivated to pursue the goal.
There are two visualisation techniques. Outcome visualisation involves creating a detailed mental image of the desired outcome. For example, if your goal is to join your first triathlon, visualise yourself crossing the finish line, hands triumphantly up in the air, with your target race time flashing on the clock.
Process visualisation is seeing yourself accomplishing each step necessary to achieve a goal. Focus on each task and not on the overall goal. Going back to the triathlon example, picture yourself completing the swim, bike, and run legs effortlessly.
- Practice mindful eating
Eating should be natural, healthy, and pleasurable. Mindful eating means you savour every bite of your meal; you don’t rush. You eat with the intention of caring for your body; you choose dishes that satisfy and nourish you. Mindful eating also means you’re addressing your other desires and emotions through other means and not with food, and that you’re using the food you’ve consumed to fuel a healthy, happy life.
- Start your day gadget-free
Instead of checking your email or your social media accounts as soon as you wake up in the morning, why not use this time to meditate and plan your day?
- Acknowledge your weaknesses
You may not be able to change circumstances, but you can change yourself. Denying your weaknesses robs you of the opportunity to improve and grow as an individual. As a result, you might not discover your full potential. And that would be such a loss, because the world needs you, in your peak form.
Share your weak points with trusted family members and friends; they will serve as your lookout and support group as you work towards being stronger and wiser.
- Celebrate wins, no matter how small
Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, your goals won’t be accomplished overnight. A major accomplishment is made up of consistent, persistent little steps. Do not be disheartened if you feel that it’s taking so long to be where you want to be; celebrate every milestone, no matter how minor. Think of them as precious pixels that, when combined, create a big, beautiful picture.
- Learn how to wait gracefully
Life involves a lot of waiting: Waiting in line at the supermarket, waiting for the traffic light to change, waiting at the departure area for your next flight, waiting for your doctor’s appointment, and so much more. Instead of being impatient, choose to use this time to be productive. Read a book, update your shopping lists, listen to music, or even start a conversation with the person next to you.
- Guard your thoughts
You have the power over your thoughts, and not the other way around. While you can’t prevent certain thoughts from entering your mind, whether you act on them is entirely up to you. When you practice mindfulness, you have the ability to observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance and respond to each one accordingly.
Release all those pent-up ideas and emotions by writing them in a journal. Take this opportunity to reveal what you really think. This exercise will clear your head and relieve stress.
- End each day with a grateful heart
At the end of a busy and stressful day, take the time out to recall things that made you happy. Did you have a funny conversation with your children this morning? Did your boss compliment you for a job well done? Were you welcomed home by your dog’s sloppy kisses? No matter how frantic and crazy it gets, there are still so many things to be thankful for.