You’re scrolling through Instagram, double tapping photos to show appreciation for your friends’ posts, commenting on your favorite influencer’s photo to enter a giveaway, and making boomerangs. You’re doing all of this while also listening to your latest Spotify playlist, eating your breakfast, talking to your partner, and texting your mom. Before you know it, you’re running behind and begin to rush around the house, you didn’t finish eating, spilt your coffee and now you start to complain how bad your day is going.
Sounds familiar, right? Don’t be afraid to say yes and admit to the above scenario. I’ve been there before, too! But what if I told you one simple, yet so powerful, word could change all of that? Would you believe me?
That word is mindfulness.
Mindfulness: How You Can Achieve This Blissful State of Being
Chances are if you are scrolling through Instagram you’ve seen this word everywhere, yet no one actually tells you how to become more mindful. So, what is it, what does it mean, and do I have to be a yoga practicing minimalist to achieve this?
Google tells us it is, “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.” …”a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
I think that’s a pretty solid definition if you ask me, but mindfulness, in my own words is, awareness of the present moment. Pretty straight and to the point, huh?
What it means to be mindful is to be aware of what is happening around you in that given moment. That means not only what you feel emotionally and physically but listening to the words of what the person next to you is saying, noticing the sound of the air conditioning running, the birds chirping outside, and the way your food taste.
And no, you do not have to be anyone but yourself to practice mindfulness, but I am going to share some tips on how to achieve this blissful state.
First, why is it important to be mindful? What benefits do us humans get out of practicing mindfulness?
Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness
Awareness. When we practice being mindful we are also becoming more aware. We become aware of the present moment and what is happening for us now, rather than worrying about “what ifs” in the future. We become aware of other people who may be in danger (or putting you in danger), aware of how our friends and partners are really feeling, how WE are truly feeling, and present in what we are doing, just to name a few.
Health benefits (such as less stress, better digestion, and improved sleep). Yes, mindfulness has many health benefits believe it or not. Here’s just a few… when you are focused on the present moment, you aren’t stressing over the future, what you’re doing next, or how many likes you are receiving on your Instagram photos. When you learn to appreciate the now, you’ll start to see stress melt away. Focusing on staying present, especially when you eat your meals, allows you to actually taste your food, mindfully take smaller bits and chew it rather than quickly scarfing it down. In turn, it improves digestion. One more example is improved sleep. When you have decreased stress levels, healthy digestion, and your mind isn’t racing a mile a minute when you’re lying in bed, your sleep will improve.
Gratitude. When you focus on what is happening in the present moment and what you have right here, right now, you will grow an appreciation to the things you have already (friends, family, material items, etc).
Kindness. You’ll grow more kindness for yourself and others by taking the time to notice what is happening at this very given moment.
Sympathy. You will also grow a better understanding for others. If you are practicing mindfulness you should be actively listening to what others have to say and in turn will be able to provide the proper support.
Happiness. This is a given. Because when you’re stress levels are lower, you’re digestion is great, and you’re sleeping has improved, chances are you are going to be happier with just those three changes. But, you’ll also become happier because you’re learning to appreciate things more, like yourself.
A better sense of self.I think this is probably the biggest benefit of practicing mindfulness. When you’re taking the time to bask in the joy of the present moment you start to notice habits you may have picked up prior to this practice. You will start to know more about what you like and dislike, how others are affecting you, your state of emotions, and your deepest desires.
Okay, now what you came to this post for…tips to become more mindful…
Tips on How to Achieve Mindfulness
- Turn off any and all distractions when you eat. Yes, this means no working through your lunch and turning off the tv at dinner time. If you’re in an office, freshen up your surroundings and eat lunch somewhere else. When it comes time to eat dinner, make it a rule that all electronics are to be put down and dinner is to be eaten at the table.
- Develop a routine and/or rituals. Wake up a little earlier and take 10-15 minutes for yourself; stretch, journal, meditate, read a book. But don’t pick up your phone!!! Who knows maybe you’ll be able to increase the time and take 30-60 minutes to yourself!
- Start a meditation practice. This is such a great way to become more mindful. If you’re new to meditation check out my two blog posts to learn how to start your own practice (Meditation – Connecting To Your True Self and My Top 5 Tips on Meditating)!
- Practice gratitude. Start by writing down 1-3 things you are grateful for in that given moment. Start to increase it to 3-5 things and maybe add in some journaling before or after to deepen your gratitude.
- Go for a mindful walk. Take 20 minutes and go for a walk around your block, or at the park. Don’t bring your headphones and instead, listen to the sounds around you. Use your five senses and really feel what is happening for you. What do you see, hear, feel, and taste?
- Your breath is the easiest way to access the present moment. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Simply take a deep breath in through your nose, and a long exhale back out through your nose. Repeat this 2 more times.
I hope that helped and inspired you to start your own mindfulness practice! Which was your favorite tip?! Or what do YOU do to practice staying in the present moment?!
Share your thoughts with me! Comment below or head to my Instagram page (@iamdevonjade)!