New Year, Better You with Mindfulness
Merriam-Webster defines mindfulness as “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.” So why is this important? For many reasons. One being that often we find ourselves racing through life and thoughts, completely missing important moments, conversations or time spent. To help ease the stress of thinking too much, mindfulness brings us back into reality and relieves the anxiety of going 100 miles a minute.
Want to learn how to incorporate more mindfulness into this year? Here are three simple ways to integrate mindfulness practice into each day.
1. Morning Mindfulness
Start your morning off without any distractions. Do not reach for the phone. Instead, stretch your body and focus on the feelings surrounding you – the morning sunlight peeking through the window, the softness of your duvet, the warmth of your purring furry friend at your side, maybe even the plush carpet as your feet hit the ground. Move about your morning paying attention to the taste of your coffee and eating your breakfast without any interruptions. Make this activity a routine, perhaps even adding in a bit of journaling and meditation. This doesn’t have to be a long process, but even 15 minutes with just you and your thoughts can have a profound impact on your day.
2. Afternoon Check-Ins
As the day moves on, it’s easy to get wrapped up in your to-do list. Check in with yourself as the day goes on – maybe even each hour or every other. In these moments, stop what you are doing and pay attention to your body. Are your shoulders tight? Teeth clenched? Hips achy? Remove yourself from your workspace or external stressors and find a cozy space to ground. Stretch and move your body to wring out the tension that is crippling your mind and body. Eventually, these moments of catching your physical stress will make you more mindful when you position yourself in a way that is uncomfortable or triggering.
3. Nightly Meditation
End your night in a quiet, cool place of calm. Do not allow yourself to scroll or text, instead just breathe. Keep your mind clear of any feelings or external thoughts. Just breathe in and out. While meditation can be hard for many at first, setting yourself a goal of five-minutes a night can help create a habit and even help you fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
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