As far as ‘hot topics’ go, the practice of ‘Mindfulness’ is not one that is going to go anywhere quickly. With regards to simple stuff that makes your life a thousand times better, we’d even argue that taking some time out for you and practicing self-care with purpose is the best, and only, way to make sure you’re getting the good stuff.
The world we live in is busy. Our minds race quicker than Usain Bolt’s Sprint, and our thoughts and emotions can scatter everywhere, leaving us feeling quite stressed and anxious. To-Do lists and deadlines plague the few minutes we take for ourselves, and guilt can often take over our downtime, leaving us with no space at all to breathe.
In this life, many of us won’t even allow ourselves 5 minutes to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee, with many gadgets and gizmos being marketed towards a busy society, insisting we ‘enjoy’ these things on the go.
Life is hectic. We have to stay on the go, or we’ll sink, right?
Why would we have 30 minutes to sit and meditate at the beginning of the day? Many of us don’t. However, we know that taking a few minutes each day is essential for our physical and mental wellbeing, cultivating mental spaciousness, and helping to achieve a positive balance. You cannot pour from an empty cup, so it’s time to debunk the myth that you’re just too busy to look after yourself.
The best thing about mindfulness is that it’s free, can be done anywhere, and it doesn’t have to take up too much of your day in order to make a real difference.
It’s a new year, and 2020 doesn’t look like it wants to cast away the art of mindfulness anytime soon. Here’s why we think why taking part in these all-important activities will help you to live your best life, ever. We’ll look at how making some simple changes to your daily routine will give you the foundation you need to go and crush it.
For the busy bees in this world, there are some simple mindfulness activities that you can use daily to free your mind and gain some much needed calm in among the madness and chaos of the daily grind.
Here are some activities that take minimal effort, and that can be done anytime, anywhere. Make them an essential part of your daily routine to make sure that you get your best year ever.
Why Should You practice Mindfulness?
Mindfulness helps us to cope with the problematic stuff that life throws at us in the day to day. We need to cultivate the minute-by-minute awareness of our surrounding environments in order to get the best out of life.
Practicing mindfulness exercises regularly, rather than allowing ourselves to be led by our emotions or present circumstances that influence negative past experiences, is a better way to live in the present. In allowing our past experiences to muddy the waters of any future occurrences, our minds are not rooted in the present moment, and we do not allow ourselves to experience life’s changes and challenges in a calm, assertive, clear-minded way.
Being mindful helps us to develop a fully conscious mindset that frees us from our previous ways of thinking, which could be potentially damaging and self-limiting. In freeing our minds, we are then able to be fully present, focusing in on the positive emotions that increase empathy, compassion, and our understanding of others.
Having a clear, conscious, and present mind removes the focus away from us and our struggles and makes way for a more selfless existence designed to serve those who may be struggling around us.
Appreciation is the conscious effort to notice five things in your day that you see or regularly use that usually go unappreciated.
They can be people, objects, tastes, or visions, but there needs to be five at the end of every day–use a pad and pen, or even just your phone to check off these things before you go to sleep at night.
The reason to do this is to give thanks and appreciation for the smaller, often thought of as insignificant things in our everyday lives that support us every day, but hardly get thought about due to our insatiable desire for the bigger and better things in life.
Examples can be… your nose allowing you to breathe in the smell of freshly baked goods in the store first thing in the morning, hot showers that start your day, having a closet that is home to the clothes that keep you warm, your ears hearing the sound of babies laughing and your favorite song playing.
Please answer these questions in your head:
- Have you ever taken the time to properly acknowledge how these things play a part in benefitting your life and the lives of others around you?
- Have you ever wondered how these small things can be used to create a more modest piece within a giant puzzle that we call the world surrounding us?
- Can you imagine what life would be without these things?
- Did you ever think about the brains behind inventing some of these things that make life… better?
This can be done standing up or sitting down, anywhere, anytime. All you need to do at this time is to be still and focus on your breathing for just one minute.
- Breathe in and out slowly- one inhalation and exhalation should last for around six seconds. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, letting your breath flow freely in and out of your body.
- Use this moment to let go of your thoughts. Stop your mind from racing around the things that need to be done that day. Let your thoughts fall as quickly as they arise as you become at one with your breathing.
- Watch your breath, focusing on your sense of awareness as the breath fills you with life. Allow your knowledge to work its way up and out of your mouth and dissipates into the world.
You may not see yourself as somebody who would ever be able to meditate- well, you’re already halfway there by thinking that alone.
Enjoy one minute of this mind-calming exercise? Try two or three at a time next time!
The purpose of this exercise is to establish a heightened awareness and appreciation for the simple, daily things in life and the things that happen as a result.
Cast your mind to something that happens more than once every day that we take for granted, like leaving your home through a door.
When the door handle is touched as you go to open the door, stop for a moment, appreciate the place you’re in at that moment in time, how you feel in that second, and what lies behind that door as it is opened.
Or, when you pick up your phone to check it in the morning. If you wake up to a text from somebody you love- take a second to be thankful that you have somebody in life who is thinking about you. Even simply be grateful for the hands that created the technology, and the ones that hold it at that moment.
These are ‘touchpoint’ cues that don’t have to be physical, either.
There will be moments where your purposeful, positive thinking will turn sour. You will need to take a moment to stop, label the thought as unhealthy, and release the negativity.
Choose to take a touchpoint that resonates with you, and in place of going through your daily tasks on auto-pilot, seize the moment to cultivate purposeful awareness of what you are doing and the positive influences these actions will have on your life.
Doing Good For Others
Having a healthy mind builds a beautiful, solid foundation to build the walls of a free spirit. A man’s home is his castle, and your mind is home to your wellbeing and purpose in life. It’s not only something to benefit you, but to improve the prospects of others, too.
In a poem by Marianne Williamson, she writes that:
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.
With this in mind, we can see the importance of freeing our minds so that we, too, can permit others to do the same, making the world a more beautiful, free place to grow in.
Make 2020 your year by making negative thoughts captive and free your potential in life, work, and in your personal relationships by using our tips to make 2020 your best year ever this year!
What is your 2020 vision?
How can you use mindfulness to make it happen?
Lets us know!
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