Mindfulness is defined as: the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. Today, we see it everywhere along with constant reminders on social media to “be mindful” or “practice mindfulness.” But what does it really mean? I want to break it down for you in five tips, which you can use every single day and I promise you’ll see a difference in your own happiness before you know it.
- Mindful Being. Being mindful for me is putting your phone down. It’s taking the time to leave it in the car at dinner or back home when you’re going for a bike ride or walking your doggie. It’s taking time not to be distracted by social media, texts, calls, or whatever else pulls your attention from reality on a daily basis. It’s saying, “I want to be here, now, with no distractions or limitations.” The single best way to do this is to put your phone down.
- Mindful Eating. Notice how your body reacts to what you put into it. If you eat fried food, chips, pizza, cookies, etc. how does your body react? Do you feel sick? Or perhaps stuffed or tired? Then notice how your body reacts to whole grains, roasted vegetables, fresh fish, refreshing smoothies… Does it feel better? Lighter? Happier? Notice what your body needs and give it that because you deserve it. Same goes for fitness / meditation / how active you are. Notice how your body feels and looks when you exercise vs. when you don’t. Find out what makes you feel like your best self and stick to a routine.
- Mindful walking. If you have to walk somewhere, even to your car from a store; notice the air, your breathing, the people near you, the tree that’s budding fresh flowers. Don’t rush to the car, thinking about your to-do list or who you have to call. Enjoy every mundane detail and you will fall in love with your surroundings more and more each day.
- Mindful Listening. Notice what your friends, family, or colleagues are saying. Is your roommate mumbling about the dishes? Remember and do them for her next time. Is your dad complaining about his back? Grab him a few advil. Is your boyfriend exhausted? Pick up a coffee on the way to his house. These actions barely effect your own life but can significantly increase the life of those around you and you will always be remembered for your thoughtfulness.
- Mindful thoughts. Pay attention to your emotions and how you feel on a daily basis. This is something I do almost constantly. Do I feel sad today? Why? Do I need to do something to cheer myself up or go somewhere on my lunch break for fresh air? Everyday, there are constant changes that can effect our everyday happiness. Pay attention to what you love and try to incorporate it into your life as much as possible. Get your nails done if you like looking down to see a fun color, shower early so you can climb into bed with your book, create a playlist if your car ride is long and boring. You can impact your life greatly with small changes if you pay attention to yourself enough and discover what it is that you need in that moment.