Five Ways to Practice Being Mindful

The question I've been getting asked this past month is "are you still blogging?' and yes of course I am. With all the changes going on this Summer I seriously needed to just step back and take a break, reassess what I'm doing and what direction I'm going into in my life. We may not have control over
everything that goes on around us, but we have to be able to ground ourselves when our life starts to to feel like it's spinning out of control. Although I do practice meditation, I'll be the first to admit that I get lazy sometimes even though I understand how it benefits me. I decided that I really have to make it more of a priority to help keep me in balance and that it needs to be included in my everyday routine. Besides setting aside time to meditate, I've started finding ways to include being more mindful throughout the day.

So what is mindfulness and how to Practice..
To be mindful is to observe your thoughts, emotions, and surroundings as it is without judgement. Don't be harsh or judgemental about what you observe, just bring awareness into what is happening. You might catch yourself losing focus and your mind wandering off, simply come back to your breath which will bring you into the present moment. While practicing mindfulness you want to focus on your senses, what do you see, hear, taste, smell, feel? Pay attention to the details, it's all about the details baby! There are many guided mindfulness meditations you can listen to through apps that can be downloaded, you can also find lots of great videos on YouTube. I like to try out different ones, some are great and other just don't do anything for me, but it's always good to be open to the experiences.

Benefits of the mindfulness meditation: 
Being mindful helps you to appreciate and be in the moment, we are usually lost in thoughts thinking about the past or the future. Practicing mindfulness regularly will improve your life, you'll worry less, have more patience, mental clarity, improve your relationships, be kinder, and more compassionate. Mindfulness is also very healing and will teach you to trust yourself and your body's intelligence, it can also improve your health. When you become mindful, you will be able to see the world with a beginner's mind.

5 ways I'm practicing Mindfulness:
Before I share these with you let me just say that although these seem simple, they are not all that easy since our mind often wanders BUT hey, that's why it takes practice. :)

-Focus on the breath: I'm definitely not a morning person so this really helps me to get my day started on the right foot. As I wake up I sit up on my bed on a very relaxed state, then I focus on my breathing as I slowly inhale and exhale. Feeling the air as it fills my lungs and as I exhale it back out. After a few minutes (or however long my body feels like) I shift my focus to feeling gratitude for all that I have, the air that I'm breathing, and for another day. It feels really great to start off the day by raising your vibes, who doesn't want to be in a good mood in the morning?!

-As I stretch: Before working out I always like to start off by stretching, or even just that morning stretch right when I get out of bed. I take my time and notice the sensations in my body from my toes all the way to the top of my head, moving though each area of my body slowly. I don't judge any kind of pain or cracking that I feel, I just have awareness of it. I do keep the gratitude feeling as I do this and send my body a little extra love in areas that may be asking for it.

-While Eating/drinking: Focus on the senses. Ever notice how when you're really hungry and you finally taste that first bite of your food and it's absolutely delicious? That's when you're completely in the moment and focused on what you're eating. Take notice of the taste, the texture, the temperature (is it hot or cold), and the smell. Whenever I'm eating alone I'm usually watching TV, YouTube, or playing on my phone, but sometimes it's good to put away all the entertainment and just be in the moment. I find myself appreciating the food more, not only how good it taste but how it nourishes and energizes my body.

-While walking: It's strange how we're always on auto-pilot mode, ever notice that? Whenever I go for a walk I usually have my headphones on and go into my little music world tuning everything else out. Being 100 percent in the moment is a very interesting experience, and it's also different when you're walking through the city as opposed to being in nature. While practicing mindful walking, feel how the weight of your body is grounded, focus on each and every step from heel to toe and observe what it physically feels like. Observe any thoughts and emotions that may come up while walking, remember not to judge but just have awareness of it. What do you see and hear? What do you physically feel? The cool breeze on your skin, the birds singing, cars driving down the road.. Pay attention to the details.

-While conversing: I thought I was a pretty good listener when it comes to the conversations I have with my family and friends, but if you pay attention to yourself you'll find that a lot of times you may zone out and come back to the conversation then pretend you were listening the whole time. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about..with that occasional nod and "mmhmm." Now really listen to what friends and family are saying when they are speaking, don't be lost in thought or thinking about what you're going to say next. I'm working on actually listening to what they are expressing and feeling while giving them my full attention, I'm sure this will also help me to understand them on another level and deepen our connection.

I hope that this will inspire you and give you ideas on ways that you can incorporate mindfulness into your lifestyle. Connect with me by leaving a comment below or meet me on Twitter/Instagram.


1 comment

  1. I'm happy to know I'm not the only one having a hard time with consistency with my meditation practice. You're so right about all the benefits of mindfulness, but with a busy life it can sometimes get put on the back burner. Thanks for the tips!