We are busy people. We read about how practicing mindfulness and meditation is so important, and we tend to agree. But somewhere off in the distance, we also scoff at the notion. Who has time for that? In an age where social media and the internet have made us victims of short attention spans, it’s important to find ways to slow down our brains and practice some form of mindfulness.
As we journey down the road of trying to improve ourselves – whether it be daily habits, work or relationships – inevitably we get stressed. What if we fall short of our goals? What if we don’t get what we ultimately strive for? These are thoughts that plague all of us. What we need to do is learn to be more present in the moment. Only then can we find joy.
But we also need to get our business done, and this is what taxes us the most. The hurriedness and bombardment of information. There are little things we can do though, to make our day more manageable.
Whether it’s just a couple of minutes after you wake up and before leaving your bed, or a calm few minutes as you’re savoring your coffee, it’s important to pause and be one with yourself before you start your day.
Rather than struggling to find a half hour to practice mindfulness or meditate, try incorporating some principles of meditation throughout your day. For example, when you’re feeling sad or see a situation not to your liking, don’t try and fix the situation. Simply observe and experience it. Allow yourself to internalize it. How does it make you feel? Often by acknowledging it and letting it happen, without judgement or trying to change it, gives you a certain peace.
We are not aware of how we breathe. The breath is a powerful tool that, when used correctly, can reduce anxiety. Your breathing is directly associated with your nervous system. When you’re in a stressful situation, you automatically take short, hurried breaths, and this can raise your anxiety. Learn to recognize how you breathe as you go through your day, and make a point to take deep, controlled breaths often.
Incorporate more thankfulness into your life. Every so often, think of three things you are grateful for. This can even be done during that pause you give yourself first thing in the morning, or before bed. Tell that one person something you appreciate about them. Who knows? You may just make their week!
Allowing yourself to practice mindfulness – take just three to five minutes of light meditation – following your breath as it goes in and out, will help you slow down for your night’s rest. Notice your thoughts, let them dissolve, and return to your breath. Now time to sleep.
It doesn’t matter how busy you are. There are ways to approach your self-care in a mindful way, every day.