3 Simple Ways To Get in the Habit of Being Mindful
By: Raquel Van Ry
The very fact that you clicked on this post and are now reading this proves that you are well on your way to becoming more mindful.
You might be wondering what mindfulness even means, and if you are, then don’t stress and join the club. In its simplest form, mindfulness is increasing your awareness of your mind, the moment, and your surroundings. Sounds pretty great right? The best part about mindfulness is that it’s not exclusive― anyone can obtain it. But like anything, it comes easier with practice. In this world of heightened communication channels, it seems easier to lose touch with the world around us, that’s why it is so important to ground yourself and reconnect with the now.
As promised, I’m going to simplify mindfulness for you: if you’re interested in finding out how you can be more mindful, here are 3 simple tips that I’ve found to be very helpful.
1. Just Breathe
Yes. Breathe. Like all good things, that’s the first step. Close your eyes, lay down, and do whatever you need to do to be able to let go and focus on yourself. Focus on breathing in and out, how it feels, and let your mind come alive. It’s fine if it wanders, but gently bring yourself back to the moment. The best thing about breathing is that you’re always doing it, the only difference here is just focusing on it consciously. Whether you’re cutting onions or getting ready for bed, focus on your breathing and boom: you’re already being mindful.
2. Eliminate Distractions
3. Stay Positive
Just because you set out to do something doesn’t mean you’re going to succeed, so much of our successes are based on our attitude going into it. This is perhaps the most challenging tip in my opinion because our minds are so very powerful and difficult to control at times. If you try to work on increasing your awareness of yourself and the moment and find yourself getting frustrated by your efforts, take a break. Forgive yourself and try again later. Mindfulness is a practice; it may come easily to some but don’t expect it to happen overnight. Be nice to yourself and go for it! You have nothing to lose.
I was visiting a friend recently, and her son (who is more like a little brother to me) was thrilled by my arrival...until he became all-consumed by his video game. I was shocked to see that even when I asked him questions and he turned to look at me, his little fingers continued to tap his screen and his focus was halved as he spoke with me and played his game. Some could argue that he portrayed an excellent performance of multi-tasking, but I merely found it sad.
When did we adopt this need for constant stimulation and distraction? Even if it’s just 5 minutes a day, commit to yourself and add a little mindfulness to your life, it certainly can’t hurt! Mindfulness has been linked to decreasing anxiety levels while simultaneously increasing feelings of happiness, and overall, just regulating the mood of its practitioners. For more information, check out this great article.