Seven Ways to Be More Mindful Right Now. Perhaps you’ve heard the buzzword “mindfulness” floating around on your favorite blogs, but you aren’t quite sure what it means. The answer is simpler than you think. “Mindfulness” simply means paying close attention to how you feel, your surroundings and the relationship between the two. When you practice mindfulness, you better understand yourself and can achieve a deep sense of zen, regardless of where you are. Here are seven ways to be more mindful today.
You don’t have to be soaking in the tub or relaxing in a yoga class to calm your mind and find some quiet. You can steal serene moments no matter where you are: waiting in line at the coffee shop, stuck in traffic or grabbing some water in the break room. Simply stop, take a few deep breaths and appreciate where you are and what you’re doing. Appreciate the positive parts of it and allow yourself to feel any negatives, then quickly move on.
If you have trouble focusing on a single moment without looking ahead to the next, perhaps picking a word or a space that reminds you to sit back is in order. Train yourself to soak up the moment as soon as you take a sip of coffee or when you catch a glimpse of yourself in a certain mirror in your home. By creating an association between an object or act and mindfulness, you’ll have reminders built into your daily routine.
Meditation stems from Buddhist and Greek practices. It invites practitioners to fully experience feelings without any judgment. While you don’t necessarily have to practice formal meditation in order to be more mindful, it doesn’t hurt.
Whereas these first few tips have demonstrated ways to be mindful without setting aside any specific time, meditation requires your undivided attention. Start with just a few minutes a day using an app like Headspace. The app will walk you, step by step, through the process of meditation, so no prior experience is necessary. This is a great way to treat yourself to some serenity. Try it before bed.
It’s impossible not to feel present when you step outside into nature. The earth organically encourages mindfulness with every soft breeze, every quiet chirp from a bird and every soft crunch as you trample across the frosty terrain. This winter, instead of hibernating, head outdoors to explore a park near your home. It can be a tried-and-true standby or a state or national park that you’ve never discovered before, just as long as you challenged yourself to be totally in the moment and mindful while you’re there.
If you’ve ever gotten lost in a wormhole of YouTube videos and celebrity Instagram posts, then you already know that your smartphone is the enemy of mindfulness. It’s impossible to feel present and grounded when your mind is at the Met Gala alongside Jay-Z and Beyonce. So give yourself a break from the constant information and communication — switch off your phone. You can start with just a few minutes a day, but if you feel prepared to go without for a full hour, more power to you.
Don’t be fooled by the term “mindful.” It’s not just about the mind. Mindfulness means paying attention to what you’re putting into your body and how the food nourishes you. There’s no better time to commit to more mindful eating than the New Year. This means choosing healthy, balanced meals that include lots of fruits and vegetables, as well as the occasional indulgence. Learn to listen to your body and eat only until you’re full. This alone is a great act of mindfulness that could have transformative effects.
While mindfulness — and meditation, in particular — require you to focus and block out everything else, that doesn’t mean you should fear slipping up. If you’re attempting to get in the zone and drink in the present moment, but you find your mind wandering, give yourself some grace. If being mindful and present were easy, everyone would do it all the time. Let the daydreams come and go, and accept them for what they are: expressions of your imagination. Then simply refocus your thoughts.
Now that you have some simple ways to practice mindfulness, it’s time to put them into action. Jot down your favorite recommendation on a post-it note and stick it on your bathroom mirror or your computer at work. Then, whenever you get a chance to be mindful throughout your day, pat yourself on the back for a job well done. With a little bit of patience and constant practice, you’ll become a naturally mindful person who requires no reminders!
Guest Post by Kacey Bradley
Kacey Bradley is the lifestyle and travel blogger for The Drifter Collective , an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she frequently writes for sites like US Travel News, Thought Catalog, Style Me Pretty, Tripping.com and more!
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