How are you feeling today?
I pray that you are feeling good and ready to conquer another week filled out discovery and growth.
How many times have you started your day with a to-do list, only to find yourself stressed out, frustrated and overwhelmed?
I know I have, but I also know that the brain is programmed to focus on the negative. So we're often reactive instead of proactive with our thoughts and actions. But here's the thing: you can train your brain to be proactive and more positive using mindfulness techniques.
You probably think, "Not another post about mindfulness." But I'm here to tell you that developing a habit of incorporating daily mindfulness activities is the key to your well-being.
I'm not talking about sitting in a lotus pose with your eyes closed chanting "om." I'm talking about getting comfortable and using simple tools that can be done anywhere at any time to help you get centered and focused.
For me, practicing mindfulness is as simple as being intentional with my breathing exercises and meditation. In the morning when I get up, I'll sit on my bed in a comfortable position and meditate for 10 minutes. During this time, I focus on my posture, breath and mindfully reflect on my thoughts and feelings. As a result, I am more aware of my emotions and can make smarter decisions when facing challenges throughout the day.
You may also be thinking "I understand that all this ‘mindfulness’ talk is cool and all, but it’s hard to remember to be mindful".
Well, here are three tips to help you create a simple and practical routine that fits your daily life:
1) Set Small Achievable Goals
When you're starting a mindfulness practice, it's important to set small achievable goals. Start with short consistent practices such as observing your thoughts without judgment through meditation for 3-5 minutes. As you practice and build your confidence over time, you'll naturally increase the amount of time you spend meditating or focusing on your breath at any given moment. The key is to make sure the action is something you can keep up consistently over a period of time so that it develops into a habit. As soon as it becomes second nature and integrated into your routine, pick another small achievable goal that builds on the one before—maybe now you'll meditate for 8-10 minutes.
2) Set Reminders to Stop and Breath
Getting centered is all about being in the moment, but it can be hard when you're feeling stressed out.
To help you get there, you can set a reminder on your smartphone or fitness watch to stop what you're doing and take a few deep breaths. Don't think about anything in particular instead just focus on breathing in your nose and out through your mouth. Focus on being in the moment by acknowledging thoughts that pop up without judging them as good or bad and let them pass. Just keep your attention on your breath until the reminder goes away.
3) Set Aside a Specific Time
You can practice mindfulness at any time; however it's helpful to set aside a specific time each day or week to get the most out of your practice. This includes identifying your ideal practice time, committing to that specific time and creating an environment that supports your practice so you can be successful.
When choosing a practice time, consider what works best with your schedule. Many people find it easiest to practice mindfulness first thing in the morning upon waking up or at night before going to bed. The key is to find what works best for you so that you stay consistent and disciplined with your practice.
In the end, developing mindfulness habits doesn't have to challenging. By utilizing the three tips above, you can train your brain to be present, proactive and aware so you can reduce stress and increase your overall productivity.
How can you incorporate new mindfulness practices into your day? What small achievable goal can you set for yourself this week?
Be Blessed and Mindful,
|Bless A Friend|