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How Mindfulness Can Enrich Your Life

 

In today's world, we spend the majority of our time in our day-to-day lives on autopilot.  We are reacting to consistent daily distractions, and life seems to be managing us instead of the other way around. We are getting so busy that we often forget what we were doing in the first place.  Our minds are constantly wondering from one thing to the next.  “What do I need to make for dinner”, “Do I need to pick the kids up from school”, “What dress am I going to wear for my big date tonight”.  And the list goes on.

There was a Harvard study that was done to test how often the human mind wanders, and the results of this study were resounding.  The study showed that our minds tend to wander approximately 47% of the time. What this means is that almost half of our time while we are awake, we are going from one thought to the next and so on. Unable to focus or concentrate on what we are doing or what we need to do.  This can have a major impact on your life. 

Lack of focus can lead to: 

  • Depression 
  • Anxiety
  • Overwhelm
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Lack of productivity
  • Lack of purpose

You’ve probably heard of the saying “Focus Time” but how often are you able to achieve it? With mindfulness, you have tools to achieve focus, increase energy, decrease stress and anxiety and much more. 

To get to this state of mind, you start with self awareness.  To become aware of your thoughts, emotions and actions, this is the path to mindfulness.  Mindfulness is the art of being fully present in the moment. Focusing your attention on kindness, compassion, love, and joy. 

In a state of mindfulness, you are relaxing your body and letting go of all tension in your body.  You're mentally scanning your body, aware of your emotions, your thoughts, the sensations throughout your body and in the environment. You are present and sensing the moment through a soft lens without distraction or the feelings of judgment. You are completely present and engaged in the moment, on purpose.  

There are several benefits of mindfulness. Here are just a few.

It can help to decrease: 

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Addiction
  • Loneliness
  • Burnout

It can help improve:

  • Focus and Concentration
  • Positive emotions
  • Mental health
  • Purpose
  • Self awareness
  • Energy
  • Sleep
  • Weight loss 

Mindfulness is a skill that can be learned and here are five different ways that you can achieve a state of mindfulness.

1) Mindful Meditation 

Learn how to become self aware, aware of your surroundings and to live in a state of mindfulness.  You start this by focusing on your breathing. Breathing deeply in and breathing deeply out.  Repeating this pattern until you have reached a feeling of calm.  As your thoughts start to wander, you gently recognize this and then bring your thoughts back to your breathing. As a beginner, this may take some time to quiet your mind, to embrace the stillness and just focus on your breathing.  Bring in feelings of gratitude and love.  By doing this you are elevating your positive energy.  

2) Time in Nature  

If life is a bit hectic, you can go somewhere away from the crowds to a quieter place. This could be your backyard, or to the beach, or a garden, simply anywhere in nature to be with yourself.  By taking your shoes off and putting your bare feet into the ground, you can ground your energy. Which means rebalancing your energy. This mindful practice can help to calm yourself if you are feeling stressed or anxious. 

3) Breaks On

Plan your days out accordingly to slowing down and pacing yourself throughout the day.  High speed can lead to more stress in your life and more mistakes.  Take time throughout your day to take frequent breaks.  Set a timer to work for 50 mins then take a 10 minute break where you do some stretching.  Do this throughout your day. Also take time during your day to come to a complete stop.  You can sit on a park bench or lay on your bed but stop what you are doing for 15 - 20 minutes.  Take a deep breath, close your eyes and be present in the moment. 

4) Disconnect from Electronics

Putting your electronics away and out of sight for a while.  You can put them in a draw, or a cupboard when you get home or when you're eating dinner.  This should reduce your screen time and limit your time on social media and watching the news which can increase anxiety and a lack of focus. By putting your electronics away, you can bring to yourself a sense of calm, and mental clarity to the moment. 

5) Daily Affirmations

You can journal these or put them on sticky notes where you see them everyday, like on your bathroom mirror for example. This practice will help you start to reprogram your thoughts and behaviors to see what you want to be focusing on so that you start focusing on the things that really matter in your life. Imprint this behavior in by celebrating every win, whether it be big or small. 

With mindfulness, you can powerfully restore and reconnect purposely with the moment at any point throughout your day. Bringing peace, calm and joy into the moment and when done regularly this can also bring clarity and balance into your life. So whether you choose to meditate, put the “breaks on”, put your electronics away, go out into nature for a bit, do daily affirmations or all of the above, you’ve started on your journey to finding mindfulness for yourself.  This is a lifestyle change with big benefits.  Providing you with better focus, more clarity, a sense of purpose, better sleep, more energy and so much more.  You deserve to live your best life and through mindfulness, you are on the path to achieving it!