During the past year or so, I have received hundreds and hundreds of messages from stressed out people. All have asked me how they can stop stressing and just live in the moment.
Everyone is feeling it. The heavy demands of life can overwhelm us, leaving us feeling tense and overwhelmed. However, there is a secret practice called ‘Mindfulness’ that can help you live a more positive life by focusing on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without deep meaning or judgment.
When you practice mindfulness, you can reduce stress and live more happily in your life. In this blog post, we will explore 10 ways to practice mindfulness in order to enhance your life!
Step One: Practice Mindful Breathing
Did you know that mindful breathing can help reduce stress and improve your health? The next time you feel stressed, try practicing mindful breathing. All it takes is a few deep breaths to start feeling calmer and more relaxed! When we practice mindfulness, we concentrate on our breath and focus solely on the present moment without letting other thoughts distract us from this experience.
This form of meditation helps quiet your mind by focusing only on what’s happening in the here-and-now. Take deep breaths in and out and focus on your mind becoming quiet and still.
Step Two: Connect With Nature
I believe that the greatest escape from stress is experiencing what is right outside your door. When life gets too stressful, it is time to power down. Turn off the cellphone, TV and social media, and instead ground yourself in nature. Take a walk through the woods, sit outside in the sunlight, or go for a walk on the beach. Nature has a magical way of bringing us instant peace. Just remember to take in the moment and be present. Look for three things that you would not normally see or pay attention to.
What trees and plants can you identify? What animals do you see?
By asking yourself these types of questions, you immerse yourself in the moment and re-adjust your focus.
Step Three: Eat Mindfully
Mindful eating is a great way to slow down and appreciate the food you are putting into your body. When we eat mindlessly, we often overeat or choose unhealthy options. However, when we take our time and give ourselves gratitude for what’s on our plate, it puts us in tune with cues that tell us whether we’re full or not.
Before diving in, take a moment to look at the food on your plate. Look at the colors , textures and smell the aromas. Sample a little bit of everything before diving right in. Think of how someone savors fine wine. They swish it, smell it, and then sip it creating a beautiful experience.
Step Four: Be Mindful of Your Thoughts and Beliefs
Our thoughts create our beliefs, and these influence the actions we take. Negative thinking can lead to unhealthy behaviors which in turn can affect your mental health. Our thoughts also contribute to stress levels.
For example, when you have a hard day at work or school, it is easy to let negative thoughts consume us when we get home from being out in public all day long.
Create a habit of letting go of negativity before you walk into your home. At the front door take a moment close your eyes before you walk in. You can get rid of negativity by performing a quick visualization exercise. Picture a red stop sign in your mind and let go of any negative thoughts that may have been plaguing you throughout the day.
Step Five: Listen To Music With Intention
Music has been shown time and again to benefit mood as well as overall brain functioning, including memory skills! Not just any music will do- research shows that listening with intention enhances this effect even further. When you listen mindfully, noticing every detail you appreciate the music on a deeper level.
Here’s how to start:
-Listen to music because you want to and not as a distraction (distractions inhibit mindfulness!)
-Play the song through once before listening again. This way, you can listen without anticipating what will come next or getting distracted by lyrics.
-Notice all the details of sound: notice how loud it is; does your body want to dance along to the beat ?
-Think about how the song makes you feel on the inside. What memories do you recall by listening?
Step Six: Talk About Your Feelings
One of the greatest benefits to practicing mindfulness is building self-awareness. The more you are aware, the better able you are to make healthy choices in every aspect of your life. Talking about feelings and emotions with a friend or loved one helps us process our thoughts so that we can move forward into action rather than being stuck on negative thought patterns.
You can build self awareness by:
-Talking with others, especially those who are close to you.
-Keeping a journal about your thoughts and feelings. Writing out what happened during the day helps us make sense of situations that upset or confuse us. It also gives us clarity on how we want to proceed in future moments when similar events occur.
Step Seven: Practice Meditation of Yoga
Even just five minutes a day of meditation will help remove stress from your body by increasing blood flow throughout all parts of your system.
Here is a simple meditation you can try at home.
First start by sitting somewhere you will not get distracted. Put your hands together and close your eyes. Take a deep breath for around six seconds as you slowly breathe in through the nose, hold it for three counts, then exhale out of the mouth slowly over another five count.
Do this two more times so that you have taken a total of 18 slow breaths each time holding them briefly before releasing them. All the while focus on your breathing and how you feel.
This is a quick and easy way to improve your mental state.
The next step would be learning how to meditate for longer periods of time with the same process as above, but after you have finished this one try adding in extra deep breaths into each session which helps prevent further problems from arising.
If you are not a person that can easily meditate, you can also try Yoga.
There are many simple yoga exercise that you can find on youtube and do in your own home. What many people don’t realize is that yoga is about breath control and breathing, not about exercising itself.
Step Eight: Practice Your Mindfulness Skills in the Moment
There are many ways that you can practice mindfulness throughout your day. For example, when eating at a restaurant try to be aware of every little sense within your body without thinking about what is going on outside or around you.
This will help increase focus and stillness so that even if someone near by drops something it won’t bother you because your mind isn’t racing with thoughts during this moment.
The more mindful we become in our daily lives, the less stressed out we feel overall!
Step Nine: Do everything with intention and purpose.
Don’t waste your time, energy or emotions on things that don’t matter. When you learn to do this, it will help keep you grounded as well as be able to recognize the small distractions throughout our day so we can stay focused on what really matters most .
Focus on creating goals for yourself and how you can achieve them. Think about your goals each night and how your life would change.
Mindfulness is also about having the ability to give our full attention, without distractions or interruptions, so that you can achieve your goals faster .
Step Ten: Learn And Grow
Remember that each moment is an opportunity for learning and growing from past experiences whether they were good or bad because those moments have shaped who we are today. Therefore, if there is one thing I want everyone to take away from these steps toward practicing mindfulness is to enjoy the journey.
This can be hard to do but if you practice mindfulness throughout each day it’ll become easier and soon enough you won’t even have to think about how to stay present, it will happen naturally .
Thanks for reading! I hope that it has helped you in some way and please feel free to leave a comment below with your own experiences.