We can’t all sit still for an hour a day meditating or being mindful. While it’s an admirable goal, it’s not always a realistic one. And we know all too well that once we’ve failed at our goal, we tend to let the whole idea slip. And we forget the meditating and mindfulness all together. So we end up back at square one. Sounding at all familiar? We thought so. But life doesn’t have to be about extremes. Sometimes it’s just about small micro adjustments that end up making a big impact.
Our favourite ways to incorporate more mindfulness into our lives
Take five big breaths every morning.
While starting your day with meditation is a great thing to do, sometimes all we need is a little help to reset and come into our bodies. You’d be amazed at how you can feel after just five big breaths. Start by inhaling for the count of four, pause at the top, exhale for the count of four, and pause at the bottom. Then repeat five times.
You’ll feel a little more connected, grounded, and calm. A perfect place from which to start your day. You can also come back to these five breaths at any time throughout the day if you need a helping hand with stress and anxiety.
Be grateful of what you have, everyday.
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough.”
There are so many studies that show that gratitude can increase levels of happiness and satisfaction. It’s because it makes us stop and look at the things we already have – not the things we think we need – and see the good in them.
Take one minute every night to find one thing you are grateful for. Write it on a small piece of paper and place it in a jar. If you’re ever stuck or having a bad day, you’ll have hundreds of things to take out of the jar, to remind you of just how grateful you should be. It can be as small as peanut butter sandwiches, to as big as you like.
Notice what you eat, why, and how you feel.
One thing we all tend to do these days is to eat on a schedule, eat while doing something else, or eat stressed. And we often have related stomach symptoms that we can’t quite pinpoint. Start a food diary where you write down how you feel before you eat (levels of hunger, levels of energy, levels of stress), where you’re eating, what you’re doing, and what you ate. Then a few hours later comment on energy and stress levels again.
You’ll start to notice eating habits that are likely to be creating unwanted discomfort. For example, eating stressed is almost always going to give you stomach discomfort.
Take a walk
This doesn’t mean exercise. Literally walk somewhere without headphones, without your mobile in hand, without a cup of coffee. Whether you can make that walk in nature or not, walking is a wonderfully mindful task – if we let it be. Walking without distraction or goal, can really slow down the mind and make you more engaged with the happenings around you.
If you work at a desk, take five or ten minutes out of your day to get on your feet. You’ll feel replenished and a lot calmer.