Whether it is working towards a career goal, working towards a physical health goal, or a relationship goal, there are always numerous things calling our attention. It can be easy to get caught up in all of those aspects of life and forget to keep your mental/emotional health in check. Mindfulness can be used in large and small capacities to make a difference in how we manage stress, acknowledge feelings, or just slow down and enjoy the moment. Essentially it is being present with your body and mind and not judging anything that you are aware of in that moment.
When it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, eating right and exercising are always the first changes we make, but incorporating mindful exercises can help to integrate that healthy lifestyle. Lets get real, no matter how great our bodies feel, a relaxed, confident and compassionate mind can really give you that extra boost.
Here are 5 ways to incorporate mindfulness into your every day.
Look at your food (Mindful Eating)
Too often we are rushing through meals. Take the time to really taste what are you putting in your body. Take slow and intentional bites and savor it. Slowing down your eating is also good for digestion. Bonus!
Learning to take deep breaths instead of shallow breaths can make a world of difference. Take some small stickers and place them in different areas around your home and workspace. See them as a reminder to take three deep breaths. This creates a physiological response of calming and requires you to focus on the here and now.
Give yourself Compassion
One of the foundations of mindfulness is to be non-judgmental. This can be especially hard for women who tend to be very critical of themselves. First thing in the morning, take a look in the mirror and think something positive about yourself. We deserve the same compassion and kindness we give others.
Our bodies can tell us a lot about how we are feeling emotionally. Take time throughout the day to check in with your body. Notice if your shoulders and neck feel sore or tight. Maybe there is extra stress at work or you are avoiding talking to a friend about something. Either way, being aware of any discomfort or comfort in your body brings you back to the moment of being in your own body.
Think of something you do every day that you do quickly or usually without much thought; for some this may be cooking, laundry or showering. Try being completely aware and present next time you do one of these activities. Pay attention to every detail of it. This can help you slow down and be more.
Integrating mindfulness is a process and it won’t happen overnight. It requires continuous practice. So making small changes to your day-to-day routine can be the easiest way to practice that awareness. Learning how to keep the distractions of our worlds at bay can provide great insight, gratitude, and inspiration. Most importantly it is an integral part of living a healthy lifestyle, the bringing together of the body and the mind.