By: Lara Shapiro
Have you ever been venting to a friend or family member – just complaining but not necessarily asking for suggestions or advice? When they suggested meditating or yoga to combat your stress, did you have an urge to roll your eyes, thinking “who has time for that?” If so, you aren’t alone! But, you may be missing out if you’re assuming those mindfulness practices require too much time to become a normal practice.
Our demanding and fast-paced lifestyles make it incredibly easy for us to forget to take care of ourselves while we’re worried about taking care of everything outside of ourselves, too. We all know the tolls that stress takes on your physical and mental health, so what if I told you that taking care of yourself and feeling happier can be easily incorporated into your everyday life?
It’s called mindfulness, and it’s something you can do!
What Is Mindfulness:
Hear me out – I know what you’re thinking. You may have heard this word once (let’s be honest, hundreds of times), but if you’ve never tried it then ya can’t knock it! Mindfulness isn’t always strict meditation. It’s actually something you can do without stopping your daily life.
To be mindful is simply to be aware.
How to Practice Mindfulness:
Meditation can be considered difficult because you are told to not think about anything. If I tell you “don’t think about elephants,” imagine the first thing you’re going to focus on…
Mindfulness is different. Instead, you let those random, uninvited thoughts pop in your head, acknowledge and accept those thoughts, and simply let them pass. It can be practiced in many of our daily activities. It’s about being present in the moment – truly present.
Feel your feet planted firmly on the ground below you; Look closely at whatever object you hold in your hand; Notice the details, the way it feels in the palm of your hand. Smell all the smells and listen to all the sounds, wherever you are, wherever you go.
Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere. Next time you’re eating, close your eyes and take note of every single flavor that hits your tongue and notice of how the flavors change with each bite. While lying in bed, feel the weight of your body being hugged by the mattress down to the nerve endings in your toes. If you’re waiting in line at the grocery store or stuck in traffic, practice mindfulness rather than letting frustration consume you.
When we practice awareness, we are no longer distracted by overwhelming and stressful thoughts. There’s a time and place for everything; when the going gets tough, let it be tough! But when it’s time to give ourselves a break from the chaotic world around us, we can practice mindfulness… And imagine the wondrous impact it can have on your overall well-being and happiness!
How do you practice mindfulness in your everyday life?
Tell us in the comments below!