I’m willing to bet that some of you who are reading this totally aren’t into the mindfulness thing- and HEY, I get it. I wasn’t either. Even though I am a trained mental health professional, I thought mindfulness was just kind of….well, weird. Like, you’re telling me that you want me to sit with my legs crossed, close my eyes, and be all “zen”?? Um, not gonna happen.
But guys, mindfulness is SO much more than sitting pretzel legged on the floor. It’s about taking a moment to slow down life, practice your breathing, and being mindful of your current state. And the best part? You don’t have to do this in your bedroom on a yoga mat. There are several ways to be mindful.
#1.) Go for a mindful walk
This is my favorite way to practice mindfulness. I find that walking outdoors is so calming and beneficial for me. We used to practice mindful walks in grad school in which we would shut out the world and just walk by ourselves as a calming exercise. I don’t have to tell you that nature has so many amazing health benefits. Just being outside releases endorphins and gives us a sense of calm. I encourage you to take a 15 minute walk outside next time you are feeling stressed. Don’t do it for the purpose of exercise- do it to calm your mind. I promise that you will reap the benefits.
#2.) Practice Yoga
Although I’m not a HUGE yoga person, I do know that yoga can do wonders for our mental state. The exercise helps you to be in that calming state where you are focusing your attention on your breathing and your body.
#3.) Use an app
There are lots of apps out there that help us get in the right state of mindfulness. The next time that you are feeling anxious, I encourage you to try out out! My therapist brought the app Headspace to my attention. I’m not HUGe into apps, but some people are, which is why I have included this tip within this post.
#4.) Press pause, stretch, and breathe
How many times have we been at work, and we find ourselves stressed to the max where we almost break down in tears? Guilty as charged. Sometimes, all we need to do is give ourselves permission to press pause, stretch, and take a couple of slow, deep breaths. Deep breathing releases oxygen in our brain that allows us to feel more calm and in control. And again, those mindful walks are a great way to release some of that stress and tension.
#5.) Read a book
Some people wouldn’t consider reading mindfulness, but I’ve found that reading a positive self- help book helps me get in the right headspace to calm my mind. I loved Girl Wash Your Face, and there are plenty of other books that I mention earlier.
I’m all about journaling because I think that the long-term effects are amazing. If you are interested in learning more about journaling,
#7.) Practice gratitude
Practicing gratitude rewires our brain to find the beauty in the every day, instead of focusing on the negatives. When we find the time to be intentional about appreciating the small joys in our lives, we feel more at peace. As Rachel Hollis states in her book, Girl Wash Your Face, “It is impossible to be grateful and anxious at the same time.” You can practice gratitude by keeping a gratitude bullet journal, praying, or simply reminding yourself of what you are grateful for daily.
#8.) Be spiritual
Many people find that practicing their faith or being spiritual with ones’ surroundings helps them to find that inner peace and sense of control. Keep in mind that being spiritual does not necessarily mean believing in religion. Again, you have to find what works for you.
#9.) Practice daily affirmations
Affirmations give me lifeeee, guys. Every Monday at the start of the week, I like to choose a weekly affirmation. Write down a list of loving affirmations to yourself, hang it on your bathroom mirror, and repeat these to yourself. Pure amazingness.