Mindfulness is all about being in the here and now. It’s a state of paying deliberate attention to the present. When you’re being mindful, you see your thoughts and emotions in a completely non-judgemental ideal – neither good nor bad. This then gives us a greater and more compassionate sense of ourself, which allows us to take a more effective approach to dealing with difficult times.
The brilliant thing about mindfulness is that it can work for anyone and everyone, and everyone could undoubtedly benefit from it. Even the most seemingly up-together and successful people could benefit from mindfulness because contrary to what they would have you believe – no-one has their shit together.
As you are most probably aware, life doesn’t slow down for anyone. It is wholly unpredictable and just when you think you have managed to gain an element of control, something will almost always pop up out of blue and throw all of your progress to the wind. It happens to us all.
So give these “11 mindfulness habits” a go and see how they could benefit you. Just remember to take your time – the more patience you have the better results you will get from it.
Take notice of your blessings. It encourages you to find happiness in the smallest and seemingly irrelevant things. Maybe think about starting a gratitude journal – I swear by mine!
LISTEN, DON’T JUST HEAR
Concentrate and really listen to the words that come out of someone’s mouth.The conversation itself uses not only your precious time but also theirs, so make the most of it. You may be surprised about what you learn about that person just by simply listening.
DEVELOP ONE HABIT AT A TIME
It’s important not to overwhelm yourself otherwise you’ll put yourself off wanting to achieve any of them. By all means, make a list of all the healthy habits you would like to adopt but only focus on accomplishing one at a time. Keep at it until it becomes so natural that you do it without consciously thinking about it, then move on to the next habit.
If you want to practice mindfulness, it needs to be a priority. Mindfulness helps you keep on top of your emotional awareness which is paramount to your mental health and well-being, so you need to keep at it.
Say no more.
Showers are such a fab opportunity to get some mindfulness time in, you need to shower so you may as well use that time wisely. Every time you shower, visualize washing away all of your stresses and worries. Concentrate on the feeling of the water against your skin. In your mind, watching the water wash away all of your negative thoughts and feelings, watch it swirl down the drain – gone, forever.
BREAK YOUR DAY UP INTO CHUNKS
For one, this makes the prospect of the upcoming day a lot easier to handle. Also, if you visualize your day in chunks then it naturally makes you mindful of how you spend your life in general, and makes you more aware of wasting precious time.
SMILE TO STRANGERS
Above everything else, it’s a nice thing to do and it makes you feel good. A random smile to a stranger across the street can the whole dynamic of your day without you even realizing it and it’s likely to the same to them too. Just, not a creepy smile – that would just be scary.
Reading is a form of meditation and it’s a brilliant way to bring the mind home. Reading has been known to induce similar feelings to meditation – if the book is good then you completely zone into it and it can slow the mind down, calms your thoughts and gives you ability to refocus. Plus, it’s just great. Just saying.
SPEAK KINDLY TO YOURSELF
This is probably among the most important of this little list. You’ve probably heard the saying “you must fall in love with yourself before anyone can love you”? That’s because it’s true. Also, if you are constantly criticizing yourself then you aren’t going to get very far – try talking kindly to yourself and being your own cheerleader and I can guarantee that you will be surprised by the results that follow.
There’s nothing quite as therapeutic as a good cry. Crying connects us truly to our rawest self, it’s an act of pure bravery. We’re showing a weakness that we probably don’t reveal to many and that can be a little scary. However, it does release a huge amount of emotions – both good and bad. There’s a lot to be said for letting it all out and allowing yourself to start afresh.