How to be more mindful? The power of the mind and mindfulness is overwhelming and in my latest blog, I provide 8 key tips on how to be more present and grounded.
Mindfulness was the new buzzword that we were starting to hear about when I took my first course on the subject some years ago. I was curious and wanted to keep up with the current trends and thinking on Wellbeing. I signed up to an eight-week course with an excellent local practitioner plus the book, the app, the lot. Loved it.
If you feel you’d like to shut down the ‘chatter’ in your head, understand that your thoughts aren’t you and learn to appreciate the magic of the present moment, read on:
The Power of Mindfulness – 8 Tips on How to Practice Mindfulness in Your Daily Life:
1. Visual reminders
Being mindful is not difficult to do – the key thing is remembering to do it! You might place some visual reminders around the home – say, some pictures or notes reminding you to ‘Pause’ or ‘Breathe’ or ‘Be mindful’. They will act as triggers to bring you gently back to the present moment.
The more we can invite gratefulness into our life as a daily ritual the more things will show up in our life to be grateful for.
So set aside just 5 minutes a day, sit down somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed, close your eyes and think about those things you’re grateful for……..your family, your friends, a warm fire, the sunny day, a great book, an ability to serve, a gorgeous sunset or to be alive another day.
Start with 3 long, slow, deep breaths releasing any tension and then think about 3 things you’re grateful for right now. Then for the last minute of this mindful meditation be grateful for things in the future that you wish to happen. Be grateful for them now, be grateful for them in the present, almost as if they’ve already happened. Visualise all these things right now and bring that gratitude into the present moment.
3. Slow down
This can be a hard one for some! However one of the first steps towards mindfulness is to slow down and take a step back from our busy and sometimes overwhelmingly fast-paced life. Slowing down will make what you do, your actions and thoughts, more purposeful.
They say a still body quietens the mind.
By slowing down and becoming more conscious we start to see the world in a new way – a fresh perspective both on yourself and other people.
4. An every day task
Most of us have a daily routine with lots of simple tasks that we have to perform to get ready for the day and also help family to prepare for their day. We mostly do these on automatic pilot as our thoughts are elsewhere rushing ahead to what the day might have in store.
To achieve every day Mindfulness try taking one simple task and focusing on it 100%, giving it your full attention. For example, making your bed, cleaning your teeth, brushing your hair, eating breakfast. Choose one and notice every sensory detail. It will calm you down so you can contemplate the day ahead and ease yourself into the swing of it instead of rushing headlong into the day’s events.
5. Listen to the sound of water
Science has proven that seas, rivers and lakes affect our well-being positively. The sight, sound, smell and feel of water calms our frazzled minds and bodies. For this reason, water is a great aid to practising mindfulness. So the next time you find yourself near water focus on all your senses…
Hear the crashing waves or the tumbling water in the brook.
Smell the different quality of the air, the salt, the ozone
Feel the water on your skin
Watch the moving water, isn’t it mesmerising?
Taste something different in the air around you
This relaxing exercise will help you to be mindful of the magic of the moment and achieve a sense of inner peace and calm.
6. Practice Mindful listening
Very often when we are listening to a friend we are concentrating on what to say next – thinking about our own opinions on the matter. Try listening with Mindfulness.
Did you know that the word ‘listen’ also spells ‘silent’?
7. Try not to Worry
Focus on what is, rather than what ifs.
If worrying is controlling your life, it’s time to take control. Next time you realise a worst case scenario is chattering away in your head, bring yourself back to the present. Worrying serves no purpose other than to make you feel anxious (and others around you).
Focus on the facts of the situation and on what is rather what ifs
Worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles – It takes away today’s peace
The word Mantra comes from the Sanskrit ‘man’ meaning MIND and ‘tra’ meaning VEHICLE/INSTRUMENT so a mantra is a word or phrase that helps the mind travel to a place of peace and stillness.
To reinforce positive messages to your brain choose / write your own mantra and keep repeating to yourself (in your head if you’re in company!) Ideas:
I am strong, able and calm
I matter and I can do this
Everything I need is within me
The love in my family runs strong and deep
I am enough
Positivity is key to a mindful of existence. Therefore try to stop spreading bad news and only share good!
Stick with it. Developing a daily mindfulness practice takes patience and determination. It can be hard work to keep pulling your mind back to the now but persevere and you will start to feel more present, peaceful and alive.
Remember that mindfulness works like a muscle – the more you exercise it the stronger it gets. Don’t underestimate the positive benefits to your physical and mental health, when you incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine.