Improve Your Life and Beat Stress With Mindfulness
In this busy rat race lifestyle, our minds can become so overworked that we find it nearly impossible to fully relax and be in the moment. This sends our inner dialogue into overdrive, causing stress and anxiety levels to rise, which changes our perceptions of the world around us. There is a cure for all of this- practicing mindfulness.
“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).” ~James Baraz
Mindfulness will help you become aware of yourself and your inner dialogue. You will become more aware of how you are thinking and feeling, as well as where your thoughts come from. You will also become more aware of your body, how it reacts to stress, and where it stores the tension from it.
Your thoughts are NOT facts, they are ideas based on your altered perceptions from previous life experiences. We tend to live on auto-pilot mode, imprisoned to those toxic thoughts that rule our lives and limit our life experiences. When we start to recognize this, we become aware of our thoughts, feelings and emotions, harnessing the ability to become fully aware of the present moment. This can create endless possibilities in all aspects of our lives!
There are many ways to become mindful in everyday life:
- Mindful Breathing
- Mindful eating
- Mindful walking
- Mindful listening
- Mindful appreciation
- Mindful Observation
I will teach you how to do mindful breathing for now, and we can touch on the other practices in a future article.
This uses the breath as an object of concentration. By focusing on the breath, you become more aware of how your thoughts jump around, ruling your everyday living. This will bring you back to the present moment, enabling you to see the beautiful world around you with a clearer lens.
- Get into a comfortable position. Preferably sitting cross legged on a cushion or on a chair, try not to lay down if possible. Close your eyes.
- Slowly breathe in a nice, deep, belly breath. Your chest should not be rising very much in a proper breath. Each cycle should last 6-8 seconds.
- Observe everything about that breath; how did it feel entering your nostrils? What was the sensations, the textures, the temperature, the scents?
- If a thought arises, let it go. Picture a blue sky above you, and every thought is just a cloud passing through the sky. If you catch yourself thinking about your to-do list, emotions, past or future anxieties- gently forgive yourself and let them go. This is a practice, it takes time to achieve mindfulness.
- Visualize every breath filling you with life, with positive energy and love. Every exhale is pain and stresses leaving your body.
- Repeat for at least 5 minutes.
This can also be done throughout the day, at work, the gym, wherever. Little mindfulness breathing boosts will help you become more conscious in every day living, even if it is just for two breaths-whenever you think about it, do it!
With love and mindfulness,
The Fit Gypsy