Today, we know that true health is not just about taking care of the physical body and eating right. What is equally important now is the health of our mind. Our bodies will be at their best when we feel good about ourselves!
So, first things first. What is mindfulness exactly?
Wikipedia tells us that ‘mindfulness’ involves intentionally bringing one’s attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment. Mindfulness is about training yourself to pay attention in a specific way. We spend so much time thinking over stuff that has happened in the past, or worrying about things that may happen in the future, that often we actually forget to appreciate or enjoy the moment. We often fail to realize the beauty of life and our surroundings, and fail to hear what our bodies are trying to tell us. Mindfulness is also an attribute of consciousness long believed to promote well-being. Research studies have indicated that the idea of mindfulness is strongly correlated with well-being and perceived health.
So what can you do to be mindful?
Just exist in the moment. Stop. And. Enjoy. Look around you and actually take in what you can see and take the time to appreciate it, do you see that beautiful sunshine through the clouds, or that stunning flower in the park? Take a deep breath and smell the air. Enjoy what you are currently experiencing in the here and now, without worrying about the past and the future.
Make time for yourself and schedule this in. No excuses here ladies, we deserve to do something we really love to do! Book yourself in for a massage, have a hot bath, go for a long walk, or even watch your favorite TV show; as long as its time away from you laptop or phone, your phone is not your friend!
Accept stress. Eh yes. No one is claiming stress will no longer exist when you are being mindful. You will still feel that pressure at times, or feel annoyed and frustrated. Stress is everywhere and a part of life that can’t be changed, so why not change the way you deal with it? Let’s take a deep breathe, accept it, and move on. Life is more important that getting worked up over something you will have forgotten about next week.
Meditation. Forget about its ‘floaty’ reputation. Meditation can actually help reduce stress and has the potential to improve the quality of your life. It helps lead you to a state of ‘thoughtless awareness’, where you acknowledge your thoughts without identifying with it. Meditating has many benefits and will improve both physical and emotional responses to stress. To experience the benefits, you will have to practice it regularly, but even a few minutes every day should see results!
Being mindful doesn’t happen overnight, but if you try and keep an open, positive mindset towards living mindfully, the rest will follow. Focus on the things you enjoy and believe in, pace yourself in life and have some ‘you’ time as often as you can. Before you know it, you’ve freed your mind!