Being mindful is probably one of the habits that successful people have. Taking the time to pause, assess the situation, and think critically about what you should do and not do determine how well (and not) the situation or your life may become. After all, making choices come with different consequences. And having the presence of mind to clearly decide increases the possibility of choosing the one you are less likely to regret.
With all the unknown the future holds, we know it is extremely difficult to find time and the urge to train our minds to focus. Not to mention the distractions and busy schedules that get ahead! This leads us to be more susceptible to negativities and bad habits that drown every aspect of our well-being. Social media makes us feel we are constantly running out of time, and we feel guilty for being into it. This concept of being productive all the time and having your life figured out at a certain time, which is imposed by others, tends to slow us down even more. We worry about everything that we end up doing nothing!
This is why practicing mindfulness is important. The ability to direct our attention and awareness to the present helps our mind to bounce back from being clouded to being more at ease in the current situation. It allows us to be more intentional with our decisions, be more aligned with our goals, and just pull us out of spiraling into overwhelming thoughts, which makes us decide effectively and wisely.
Here are 5 mindfulness activities you can practice whenever you need a mental break, emotional lift, or just want to take a moment to focus:
Observe your thoughts
A famous book by Joseph Nguyen, which has been translated into 17+ languages, is entitled "Don't believe everything you think." Our minds are accustomed to naturally observing and thinking through things, but it does not always mean we should believe it! If we do, we get to be easily vulnerable with doing what is said to us. Instead, we must pay close attention to our thinking process and understand the way we think. This way, we can start focusing on what matters and not dwell on things that drain our energy. Being conscientious about how thoughts are programmed in your mind makes you avoid more of the negative ones.
Establish your anchors
This routine is mentioned in an article by PsychCentral, which is all about identifying the things or habits that keep you grounded and bring you back to the present moment, especially when you start to feel uncomfortable or off-center.
This includes mindful breathing, journaling, exercising, doing a body scan, listening to music, and other healthy habits that calm your mind and body.
Our body reacts exactly how we feed it. You can't expect to feel strong or be full of positive energy if you do not take healthy food! To help you stay present throughout the day, it is helpful that you eat food filled with nutrients that allow you to have more energy and tackle the day effectively.
While you should be mindful of what you eat, it is essential that you are also sensitive to how you eat. This means you should avoid multi-tasking whenever it is mealtime. Do not scroll over your newsfeed or binge-watch Netflix; instead, savor your food and be present to avoid overconsuming.
Take a pause and breathe
A series of deep breaths helps us calm down when we feel anxious and overwhelmed by tasks. As we move our bodies from time to time, we may find it hard to stay present and not be caught up with what's happening around us. Resting and breathing techniques are proven to have a calming effect that will help us stay grounded. This is especially important on days we have a long to-do list to accomplish!
Whether it is for 5 or 10 minutes, sitting quietly in a comfortable spot by yourself will help you tune in to the moment. As you allow yourself to breathe, your body to rest, and your thoughts to flow, you will find it easier to refocus and think more clearly.
This can also be the best time to clean up your head or ask yourself questions necessary to know what to prioritize and what to let go of.
The more you are intentional with what you do, the more you can live with greater purpose, happiness, and satisfaction. And although there are many things in today's fast-paced world that stay in the way of being more mindful, practicing mindfulness will help you reduce stress and the overwhelming feeling of pressure, create healthier relationships, and live your life to the fullest.