When in the mindful, present state, we are able to keep in alignment with our goals, and decide which actions we are going to take, without this, the subconscious mind takes over and we will be running on “auto-pilot”. Without a trained subconscious mind, outdated “programs” will be running, old beliefs will be the driving force of our actions and emotions. So, mindfulness is vital for us to be in control of our everyday lives, allowing us to choose what we do on a daily basis.
Do you want to be in control of your thoughts, emotions and life? Practice being mindful, every day and you will notice a positive shift in your life.
Being in a state of mindfulness involves being open, attentive and focused on the present moment. It’s a nonjudgmental approach to being aware of our own emotions, experiences and surroundings.
Mindfulness can help control anxiety, improve mood and quiet your mind from intrusive thoughts. It also helps people manage physical pain. There’s really no end to the benefits of mindfulness.
Here is a list of ways mindfulness can help you:
Increase mental clarity
Increase mind body connection
Increase emotional intelligence
Increase spiritual intelligence
Decrease risk of depression
Reduce chronic pain
Increase sleep time and quality
Increase awareness of what you're eating
Be less critical of yourself and others around you
Increase awareness of your impact on the planet
How to practice mindfulness?
Pay attention to daily activities
Meditation is a great way to practice mindfulness and bring yourself into the moment but there are many other ways. Pay attention to everything you are doing, walking, talking, listening, sitting, eating, studying. Feel every sensation you can, feel the emotions behind what you are saying or doing.
Pay attention to your breath
The way we breathe is a huge indicator of our physical and mental state. When we're stressed and caught up in emotions we tend to have shallow breathing. When we focus on deep breathing, we allow more oxygen to pass into our lungs and thus circulate round our body, providing our cells with energy and life!
If you're unable to just sit and meditate, try painting, drawing, yoga or getting creative in the kitchen. Let your creative juices flow, don't think, just be present in the moment with what you are doing. Get lost in your creativity. There must be something you are able to do for hours which allows you to immerse yourself.
Focus on singular tasks at a time
With this crazy, busy world we live in we often divide our attention between multiple things at once. We watch TV whilst checking out phones, whilst talking to other people and eating. The background noise from the TV is only filling our subconscious mind with garbage, if we don't want to pay our full attention to it, is it really that important to us or are we just wasting time?
Being mindful while eating
When did it become "tradition" to sit in front of the TV and have a family meal, or eat whilst driving. It's sad to think that food has to be "fast" these days. Food is what provides our body with nutrients, energy and life! Eating should be savored, slowed down and enjoyed. I find there nothing better than eating meal I have prepared myself and just sitting and eating. Paying attention to tastes, sensations and fully focusing on the act of eating feels amazing compared to shoveling food into our mouths without paying any attention. No distractions from any electronics. I strongly believe in home cooking for all meals and only eating out when necessary. Especially being a vegan, it's not as easy to find food to eat when I'm out with friends or family. I love the satisfaction of knowing exactly what is in my food and the pleasure of creating a meal for myself. When did focus turn to having convenient and fast food over healthy, nutrient dense whole foods?
Being present in a conversation
There's nothing worse than when you're talking to someone and they constantly check their phone, you don't feel as if they are listening or even care. Make it a habit to really be present and look at the person you're speaking to. Pay attention to their movements, their tone of voice, their facial expressions, their eyes. You will be able to understand a lot more about someone and show appreciation and love when you communicate in a mindful manner. It will also be reciprocated and make you a more likeable person.
Don't always check your phone
Just like not checking your phone constantly around other people, in the day it's good to allow certain times for checking your phone for messages, emails or anything else. I know it will be tough at first, especially if you're waiting for a response. Just think what it was like when there were no mobile phones, no computers even! It will do wonders to get out of the habit of becoming reliant on technology. Especially turning all technology off at least 30 minutes before going to sleep as the blue light alters hormone levels, preventing healthy sleep.
Seek new experiences
When we try something new, we become more mindful as we are learning, exploring and our brain has to figure out all the new stimuli around us. We are able to have a sense of appreciation which we wouldn't otherwise with daily activities. Adventuring keeps us vibrant, opens our eyes up and allows us to grow. We step out of our comfort zone and into the supposedly unknown. I know from experience that when I try new things I feel a huge rush if energy and excitement and I feel more alert.
Spend time outside
Spending time in nature is a powerful way to reset our systems, release stress and feel connected, decrease stress, energy levels, memory and attention. Just going outside for 10 minutes at a time can help you calm your mind, gain new perspective and feel more connected to yourself, get some fresh air and take in all the beauty around you. Pay attention to smells and sounds, look around you at every single thing you can see and imagine it’s the first time you have ever seen it, you will feel a strong sense of gratitude and contentment.
Accept what is
When we are mindful of ourselves and the world around us, we learn to accept things for what they are. Mindfulness allows us to accept our emotions and whatever thoughts we allow ourselves to have and choose which ones we want to focus on and give attention to. Once we are able to accept who we are then we are able to show love and gratitude for everything we have.
Learning to stay present
Count down 3,2,1 (the subconscious can’t count backwards so you will be bringing your attention to the present) Say aloud “I’ve got this” or “I’m powerful”
Bring your attention to the sensations in your body
Breathe in deeply through your nose, paying attention to your lungs expanding. Breathe out through your mouth
Pay attention to all 5 senses then proceed with your day
When you de-clutter your mind of unnecessary thoughts in the present, you have more mental openness and energy. This will allow you to be better prepared to address challenges, and see solutions instead of obstacles. Any challenges you face will not only seem smaller and more manageable, but you’ll be more likely to come up with creative answers.
Breathe in for 6
Breathe out for 7