“Live in the now!” At some point in your life, you have probably had someone utter these words to you, but what exactly does that mean? After all, we must be living in the now. We are breathing and physically living in the now, right?
Yes, we are all present in this hectic, crazy world, but not all of us are living in the present. Most of us actually spend a lot of time thinking about what has happened and what will happen. This is what causes stress and anxiety, so you can see why many people try to find ways to clear their minds.
One of the most popular ways to do this is to practice mindfulness, but how do you practice mindfulness in a world that steers you to overthinking about the future and dissecting the past? Thankfully, there are many great methods – from traditional meditation (or using a meditation app like 7 Minute Mindfulness) to yoga and so much more. There are a lot of different ways to practice mindfulness, so let’s take a look at some of those, but first, what is mindfulness?
- Mindfulness – What Exactly Is It?
- Why Practice Mindfulness?
- 10 Different Ways to Practice Mindfulness
- Final Thoughts
Mindfulness – What Exactly Is It?
Being present is the biggest key factor in mindfulness. What does that mean, though? Mindfulness is a state of being where the individual is aware of what is happening right now without attachment to how it was affected by the past or will affect the future. In other words…it is living in the now.
By being able to focus on this, you will be able to steer clear of judgment and being overwhelmed. This means that there will be less stress and anxiety because both of those are created by worrying about what has or will happen. Once you are able to live in mindfulness, you will see many improvements begin to blossom in your everyday life, which will then help you live a happier and healthier life.
Why Practice Mindfulness?
Reduction of stress and anxiety is the biggest advantage of all, but if you are able to perfect mindfulness, you will also be able to see the following benefits:
- Decreased tendency to overthink
- Improved focus
- Better sleep
- Elevated creativity and mental health
- Better relationships
- Increased self-love
- Enhanced ability to deal with adversity
10 Different Ways to Practice Mindfulness
Now, let’s get into the actual practice of mindfulness. Again, there are many ways to practice mindfulness. Some of them are easy, and others will take a lot of work to cultivate, but these practices will be well worth it when you are able to take advantage of the benefits that come from them.
1. Be Mindful of Your Food
The food that you put in your body has more to do with your health than physical results. In fact, the first step of being healthy is having a good diet, but being mindful of your food isn’t just about what it is but how you eat it.
To be mindful when eating, you should be present as you are eating. Often, we sit down at the table, shove food in our mouth, and go about our day instead of slowing down and enjoying the sustenance without anyone or anything distracting us.
Take in the smell, the texture, and the taste. Listen to your inner thoughts and stay away from focusing on conversations or your social media. Food is vitally important, as are the feelings it produces in your mind. This will help you stay in the moment, and the fact that it will take longer for you to finish eating will be better for you, as well.
2. Get Some Exercise
Exercise has been shown to release important hormones in the body and create feelings of happiness. This can help with your overall mental and emotional health, but getting into the gym or out on those hiking trails can do a lot more than that.
Like with eating, take time during the physical activity to listen to your thoughts, and you may find a lot of beneficial things can happen. Taking time to pay attention to what you think or don’t think about when doing those reps can help you dissect and move through unwanted and anxiety-inducing thoughts and emotions.
3. Listen to Others
How many times have you been in the middle of a conversation with a friend, family member, or colleague and answered a question without knowing what they actually said? Many times, when we are in a conversation, our mind wanders and starts trying to figure out what we want to say back. Worse yet, many times, our minds are not even engaged in the conversation at all.
This is both rude and disrespectful. Not focusing on what the other party or parties are saying is definitely not living in the moment, so the next time you are in a conversation, give it all your attention.
Don’t worry about what you are going to say back or what you are going to have for dinner. Trust that when that moment comes, you will know what to do and give the conversation the attention it deserves.
4. Be Aware of Your Feelings (Physical, Mental, & Emotional)
Your senses are your body’s cues to how you are feeling. Even though they are so important, many of us don’t take the time to be fully aware of them on a minute-to-minute basis. This may be why many of us wind up so stressed out and in relationships or jobs that we hate.
As you go through your day, pay attention to your breathing and your muscles moving, as well as any aches or pains you may feel. Being aware of the physical isn’t the only important thing, though. You need to have the same level of awareness when it comes to how things make you feel and think, too.
5. Find People With Good Vibes
It’s been said that you are the sum of the five people you hang out with the most. You have probably heard this, and it is very true. If you hang out with people that are negative and spiteful, their emotions and thought patterns could damage your mental and emotional wellbeing.
Instead, try to find people that have a good vibe or aura or whatever you want to call it. Their positivity and good energy will potentially help you find that mindfulness state that you are looking for. Plus, they can also help you fight through those down days when finding that state seems impossible.
6. Disconnect & Visit Nature
Because of our attachment to technology, we are inundated with news and all kinds of stuff that affects our moods everyday. Granted, there are a lot of great tools that can be found online, like the 7 Minute Mindfulness app, but sometimes, it does our minds good to shut down.
Coupling that with a nice walk through the park or around the block may be just what you need to find that calmness you are looking for. The fresh air and physical exertion will allow you to reconnect with how you are feeling in the moment, and that will get you back on track.
7. Find Your Flow State
“I can’t believe how quickly time flew!” Have you ever found yourself saying this after working on or doing something you enjoy? This is what many call the flow state, and it is a supercharged version of mindfulness.
The flow state happens when you do something you love with no distractions from the outside world. In other words, you are fully present in the activity, and time seems to melt away because of it. Finding something you love and that allows you to achieve this state is a great way to practice mindfulness.
8. Morning Stretches
That first big stretch of the morning feels fantastic, right? When coupled with several stretches and breathing exercises, you may find it easier to stay present throughout the day. That is because these activities get your brain and mind moving and energized. It’s a simple thing, but it is a great way to start your mindfulness practices every day.
9. Jot Your Feelings Down
We know that this seems cliché, but taking stock of your day and how you feel is a simple way to add a little more mindfulness to your life. You can do this in the morning or at night, but make it a consistent habit.
By being able to look at how you felt and what progress you have had on your goals, you will be able to adjust your routine and make sure that you stay in the moment as much as possible.
10. Purge Things You Don’t Need
This may not seem like something that screams mindfulness, but trust us, it can clear a lot of clutter from both your personal space and your brain. That is because purging things you don’t need isn’t only about the physical aspect.
Sure, having a clean and high-energy living or working space can help keep you productive and anxiety-free, but so can getting rid of emotional baggage and relationships that aren’t making you happy. By relieving yourselves of negative things, peoples, and emotions, you will find yourself better able to focus on the here and now, and that is the purpose of mindfulness.
Mindfulness brings with it clarity and freeness that will help build a productive and happy life. It doesn’t take a lot, and the method you choose to achieve it is a personal decision. We just hope we have helped you find it!