Be on your way to the happiest and healthiest version of yourself with these six ways to practice mindfulness.
We often avoid the things we need most, especially if that includes slowing down. Our fast-paced society has ingrained the mentality “the busier the better”, though this is not the case. Are you guilty of constantly refreshing your email inbox? Mindlessly scrolling through Instagram? Feeling as though there aren’t enough hours in the day? If you said yes, you’re not alone! With the prevalence of social media, we are constantly connected from dawn until dusk. Whether you feel it or not, it takes a toll on your mind, body, and health. This is why mindfulness is so important.
While we can’t always control our environments, avoid stressful situations, or change our busy schedules, there are simple ways to implement mindfulness into our day to day lives, leading to a calmer, more clear-headed you.
Shut out the outside world while you rejuvenate your mind and body. When stress-levels are high and your to-do list is never ending, book a float session at La Jolla's best float spa, Livkraft Wellness. It seems ironic to schedule a 60-minute float session when it feels like you can’t even make time to breathe, but it’s what your mind and body need the most. There is no other place where you can disconnect from reality and reconnect with your thoughts. During your next float session, give sensory deprivation a try! With no touch, sound, sight, or noise, allow your body to enter a state of complete relaxation and leave feeling relaxed, refreshed, and recharged.
Aim to make meditation a part of your daily routine, even if it’s just 5 minutes. Constant distraction can take away from our ability to be present in the moment, whether it’s while we’re eating, driving, listening, or even walking. As we become more mindful, we train our brain to be in the present moment and appreciate what’s in front of us. Daily meditation practice can enhance our ability to focus and help us cultivate more clarity and appreciation. Try a 5-minute meditation practice at the very beginning or very end of the day. If you’re not able to focus, that’s ok! Keep coming back to your practice, the more you practice, the easier it will become.
We love using the Muse App! The Muse App gives you real-time feedback on your brain activity, heart rate, breathing, and movements using EEG hardware in the form of a sleek headpiece to transform your meditation practice. Your brain waves are translated into the sounds of weather (how cool?) The more active your mind, the louder the weather gets! Use your personal feedback to support and improve your meditation practice!
Breathwork, one of the easiest, most effective ways to practice mindfulness, yet is often overlooked. Take a moment and focus on your breath. Close your eyes, and inhale for a slow count of three, letting your chest rise as you breathe air in. Hold at the top for a count, then slowly exhale back out for a count of three as your chest deflates. Put all your attention on your breath, noticing the shift in your mindset. If your attention starts to wander, let it, and then come back to your breath. See how easy that was? Notice how you feel. Come back to this practice when you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or frustrated. Just one conscious breath can change the course of your mindset, your mood, and even your day!
Most of our day to day life is on auto-pilot; we partake in routine tasks without realizing we’re doing them. Think about the last place you walked, what were you doing? Were you rushing, texting, on a phone call, walking your dog, eating, talking to a friend? Maybe doing several tasks at the same time? Now think about the last time you took a walk and gave your full attention to the experience. When we bring awareness to our actions, there is a newfound appreciation. The next time you take a walk, do so mindfully. Breath in the air, listen to the noises surrounding you, notice the landscape, the smells, the feeling of the outdoors. Maybe you walk barefoot and ground with the earth, feeling a connection to nature. In a busy and chaotic world, sometimes what we really need is to disconnect to reconnect.
Food has become a means of comfort, a way to relieve stress, and an activity we do out of boredom or habit. The problem isn’t necessarily the foods we’re eating, but rather the mind-state we are in. Oftentimes when we eat, our mind is unconscious. This may lead to over-eating, binging, and even a means to escape our emotions. Mindful eating isn’t meant to serve as a diet, but rather a tool to reconnect you to your mind and body.
When eating mindlessly, without realizing it you are halfway through a bag of chips or pint of ice cream and weren’t even hungry. Maybe you just devoured your lunch in record time while you’re in the car on the phone, yet you find yourself hungry an hour later. Stressed from work? The first thing you find yourself doing as you walk in the door is opening the door to the fridge.
By simply slowing down, we are able to become more in tune with our bodies and what we really need.
The next time you eat, try practicing these mindful eating tips:
One of the most rewarding ways to practice mindfulness is through a daily gratitude practice. While practicing gratitude is fulfilling, it’s also good for your health! Research shows a habitual gratitude practice is associated with boosting immunity, improving sleep, feeling less lonely and even lessening feelings of depression.
It seems obvious but the more you bring your attention to all that you’re grateful for, the more grateful you’ll feel! How many times a day do we say thank you, without realizing we are saying it? When bringing mindfulness to our actions, we become more present to our thoughts. Instead of a quick thanks and letting your mind move to the next thought, try questioning why you are grateful in that moment. Doing so can help us appreciate all that we take for granted and help cultivate positivity in our lives.
Try keeping a gratitude journal. When you wake up each morning, before you do anything else, write down 3 things you are grateful for. Before you go to bed in the evening, write down 3 positive things that happened during your day. It could be as simple as enjoying your dog cuddles or enjoying the fresh air, the goal is to shift your mindset to whatever you’re grateful for in your life!
We love using The 5-minute journal!
Although we live in a fast-paced society, slowing down allows us to live in the present moment. Incorporating mindfulness practices into our daily lives helps release stress, connect the mind and body, and improve overall well-being. Give these mindfulness techniques a try when you’re feeling anxious, overwhelmed or just need to reconnect back to your body!
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