ONE BREATH AT A TIME : 10 ways to practice mindfulness
I recently started practicing mindfulness as a way to improve and care for my mental health, and let me tell you… it has worked wonders. All it takes is practicing simple habits through your day, an effortless way to make your mind & body feel rejuvenated & energized - sign me up!
Our fast-paced world has hit a massive hurdle with COVID-19 taking over our “normal” lives and it’s the ideal time to reset your pace. Rejoicing small moments, taking time to unwind and learning to find your balance. Take time off from the chaos and give your mind space to relieve stress.
Connect With Nature
Natural beings surrounded by unnatural things has always seemed odd to me, I think that’s our true disconnect from reality. Being oblivious of the ground we walk on or the air we breathe, life’s essentials that we’ve been almost conditioned to neglect. Connecting with Nature might be hard when you’re trapped at home but bringing life indoors isn’t all that hard. I have fallen in love with these plant propagation videos and started two tiny projects to get the process right. If plants aren’t up your ally or if you’re the serial plant killer, try taking an hour off to bird watch, appreciate the spring blooms & make yourself aware of this beauty we call home.
Learn To Focus
Okay, I’ll be the first to admit. I used to LOVE to multi-task it gave me this sense of pride (which I’m not afraid to admit, haha), the ability to multi-task might seem like a great skill but what I’ve noticed in my personal journey is that FOCUS makes everything more efficient. I’ve been using the Pomodoro technique which has made my life so much simpler. If you choose to live slowly, focus keeps you efficient - they kind of go hand-in-hand in my opinion.
Take A Breath
It’s really not that hard, it takes a few seconds and gives your mind immediate relaxation. Breathing as we know is both a voluntary and an involuntary action, it comes naturally to us & becomes a part of our subconscious lives but what if we gave it a little bit of clout? Acknowledging how you breathe can uplift your mood instantly and makes you more mindful of yourself & your body.
Good Food = Good Mood
I am no expert nutritionist and I’m going to be honest I have my cheat days… many of them *smirks* but what I can say with confidence is that a good nutritious diet is guaranteed to make you feel so. damn. good. I’ve cut off meat from my diet and I can’t begin to tell you how light I feel, think greasy engine turned eco-electric haha. Find your balance, I think food is extremely personal and where there are obvious wrongs & obvious rights building a diet that suits your lifestyle & needs is essential. Pay attention to what’s on your plate, you know what they say “you are what you eat”
Feeling overwhelmed or overworked? Disconnect & reset. It takes all of 5 mins but helps you regain your balance. A moment in your day or week to just introspect can give you so much control over your mind in the long run. Address your thoughts.
Okay let's be real, I don’t think we’ve found a cure yet but we do have ways to keep it in check. Learn to let go of your emotions, acknowledge your thoughts, let them pass & let them go. It’s my go-to coping mechanism - if I feel myself palpitating or stressing out I have now learned to point out WHY I feel that way, so I say to myself, “It’s just a thought” I acknowledge what made me anxious and now the thought has passed. Over consistent practice you’ll find yourself not feeling anxious about certain things anymore, it’s kind of like self-therapy.
Let it Out
Release! How important this is. To be mindful you need to have some form of release, working out, dancing, a run maybe? Remember watching old people in the park laughing as loud as they possibly could? That’s releasing energy, unwanted energy, a healthy way to let go, channelling anger, hate, fear & unpleasant emotions into a healthier release.
I started feeling extremely uncomfortable with my body after a bad experience with a dermatologist. Sounds vain but to think that you don’t look good crushes your soul, I disconnected from my senses so much I almost couldn’t remember how I looked - when I started practicing mindfulness one of the habits I developed was reconnecting with my senses, I started to LOOK at myself and notice things about my body that I never acknowledged, it enhances your senses. Feel your imperfections & find comfort in them, media is not reality.
So there goes, 10 ways to be more mindful. Tell us if you test these out, we’d love to hear about your experiences.