It's impossible to control all aspects of life. It's too unpredictable for that! Stressful things happen, and people are confronted every day with stressors they have little ability to change. However, you can change your thinking and the way you look at things that happen in your life to regulate how you respond to circumstances that make life more tough and stressful.
One way to do this is by becoming more mindful and adding more mindfulness practices to your everyday life.
Make Time for Meditation
Meditation doesn't have to be a time-consuming endeavor. You can reap the advantages of focused meditation in as little as 5 to 10 minutes. The greatest time to meditate is immediately after waking up in the morning, when your mind is clear of to-do lists and other distracting thoughts.
During meditation, you learn to focus your awareness on the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique. Be consistent and patient with your meditation practice.
Recently, we reviewed Zoe Bray-Cotton's 12-week Yoga Burn program, which you can read in a future post. We saw improvements in our ability to reached a mediated state and improvements in both awareness and health. Here is a link video page to learn more (link)
You can't learn to meditate overnight. It takes practice, but the benefits are cumulative. The more you do it, the better you'll get.
Take More Breaks from Technology
With all the technology in our lives today, humans are constantly bombarded with information. Technology, in all its glory, is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it's extremely liberating -- it makes our lives more convenient and easier to manage than ever before. On the other hand, it can be just as equally distracting and disorienting. You're told that you need to be "connected" and "up to date" on everything.
Although you might think keeping up with the latest news nourishes your mind, it actually clutters it with too much information. It's like multi-tasking and trying to do too many things at once. It's hard to be mindful under those circumstances. Plan technology breaks into your day. Take a 20-minute break where you step outside and enjoy nature or do a stretching or yoga session. Don't look at your phone when you eat and when you exercise. Instead, focus on the taste, texture, and aroma of your food and on your body movements when you exercise.
Don't let technology hijack your brain.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
A gratitude journal is is a valuable tool for developing mindfulness. By focusing on and writing down the thing, you're grateful for each morning can help you become a happier, more fulfilled person and enhance the quality of your life. If you're not familiar with the concept of a gratitude journal, it is simply a diary in which you write down three good things that happened to you each day. Coming up with those three things every morning forces you to focus on and acknowledge the good things in your life.
Everyone has things to be grateful for; it's a question of recognizing them. Writing in a gratitude journal can help you do that.
Spend Time in Nature
The benefits of spending time in nature are well recognized. Nature time can enhance your creativity, boost your mental and physical health, and help you form deeper connections. What you might not know is that spending time in nature can change how you think and make you more mindful. With the pressure of day-to-day life, it can be easy to forget that you're part of something much greater than yourself: the natural world.
Spending time in green spaces and natural environments helps you form a deeper connection with something larger than yourself.
Question Everything, Especially Your Assumptions
It's easy to look at the world without really seeing it. Mindfulness is about taking a fresh look at your surroundings and the people you interact with and seeing them through the eyes of mindfulness. Doing this will help you see the world in a new world, unencumbered by preconceived notions. In turn, you'll have a fresh perspective on life that will even jumpstart your creativity as you let go of stale ideas and perspectives that hold you back.
Mindfulness makes you more creative!
The Bottom Line
The state of mindfulness is one of active, open attention to the current moment. Rather than letting life pass you by, mindfulness entails being present in the moment and being open to new experiences, and that's beneficial for your health and outlook on life. Enjoy the benefits that being more mindful offers.
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