living a mindful life

/ mindfulness [ noun ]:

… the mental state in which one becomes aware of the present moment, calmly acknowledging and accepting the ways in which one is thinking and feeling, and the sensations occurring in one’s body.

… the conscious state of being aware.

Being a crazy over-thinker, being an anxious, nervous and constantly on edge person, I live every day not knowing how I am going to feel.

The weirdest scenarios or circumstances can set me off and I can completely zone out and become a different person because of my anxiety and inability to navigate certain situations that I find myself in. Sometimes it can be a situation as common as standing in line at the grocery store or driving in rush-hour traffic, while other times it could be a situation that doesn’t occur TOO often, and that a lot of people may find stressful like the first day at school or starting a new job.

Lately, there are probably more times in my life that I am feeling anxious or nervous than not, but I am quickly learning how to navigate those feelings and overcome them. Who wants to have a panic attack in a busy, long line at the grocery store and have to jump out of line to get it together & then have to wait in said long line again? Not this girl, I can tell you that.

There are many things that I am doing to overcome my constant anxiety… being mindful is one of them.

Living a mindful life is something that has become something that people commonly strive for, and I am one of those people. There is something so fulfilling about living in the moment, being present and truly being.

knowing that you can / should be mindful is a start, but actually being mindful is different.

There are those times during the day that the mind becomes overactive and commands our attention, dragging our thoughts ALL over the place and not allowing us to live in the moment & this is the perfect time to bring ourselves back to basics and ground ourselves through mindfulness. It is also a way in which coping with anxiety or stressors can be handled.

Mindfulness is one of those things that can seem totally overwhelming at first ( like a lot of wellness and health ideals ), but once you begin practicing mindfulness and living a mindful life, the overwhelming sensation wears off. Mindfulness can be such a rewarding, fulfilling and relaxing state of being.

OK, so.

Sure, that all seems great, being mindful and all, but how can we actually do it? I found that, when I started focusing on being more mindful, that it was best to do it in ways that I could incorporate into my life multiple times a day, while doing ‘normal’ things.

It was super intimidating at first to practice meditation ( more on this to come SOON! ) or even yoga, but being mindful while doing every day things and not having to sit alone with my thoughts was less intimidating.

four simple and easy ways to incorporate mindful practices into our daily lives:

+ being mindful while eating

+ being mindful while walking

+ being mindful during conversations

+ being mindful of your environment

While eating, instead of scrolling through social media, texting your friends, or binge-watching Full House on Netflix, focus on your food. Think about the taste, enjoy the smells, think about the texture, count how many chews it takes per bite. Take a moment and pause for gratitude; be thankful for the food that you are consuming and really, truly enjoy each and every bite.

Next time you’re up and walking, focus on what you’re doing. How many times a day do you get up from your desk and go to the washroom? How many times a day do you walk up the stairs in your house? Focus on what you are doing, notice how your feet move and hit the floor, become aware of what your arms and body are doing, stand up taller, count your steps, really focus on what you are doing. Connect with yourself on your next two-minute walk to the washroom.

Do you ever get so caught up in your own thoughts in a conversation that you kind of zone out on what the other people are saying? Maybe you’re too busy figuring out what your going to say, or trying to think of the best way to explain yourself when you get a chance to talk? Conversations don’t have to be a quick thing. You don’t have to rush through them and be constantly planning ahead in your mind what you’re going to say. Take a minute and really listen to what the other person is saying. It will allow you to have a better response because you’ll actually be fully paying attention to the words they are speaking.

Sometimes I get overwhelmed by my environment ( busy grocery store lines ) and I have found that being mindful of my environment has really helped. How often do we visit places like our local grocery store? But have you ever really noticed what it’s like – what colour are the floors, are there windows or solid walls, how many aisles are there? By becoming aware of these things, it can take your mind off the anxious feelings because you become focused on something else.

Your mind deserves all of the attention that you can give to it & more.

Mindfulness has been said to reduce anxiety, stress, negative thoughts and beliefs, and helps us to focus, believe and think more clearly. What more could you really want? 

There are so many ways in which we can incorporate mindful practices into our daily lives. I’ll be sharing more on other ways in which we can become more mindful in posts to come, such as:

+ body scans

+ meditation

+ yoga

+ visualizing techniques

+ journaling

+ pausing

Do any of you practice mindfulness, or is it too overwhelming of a thought to engage in? If you do, what are your favourite ways to engage in mindful practices?

x JE


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