4 Steps to improve your level of mindfulness
Mindfulness is being aware of the present moment with non-judgement. It means we accept what’s in front of us just as it is. In a previous post, I listed these 8 benefits of practicing mindfulness.
· Effective tool in emotional healing
· Improves relationships
· Eases anxiety
· Shifts unhelpful thought patterns
· Reduces stress
· Helps depression
· Aids in dealing with infertility
· Assists with eating disorders
With these proven benefits, who wouldn’t want to improve their level of mindfulness? Since you’re reading this, I’m guessing you want to start adopting more mindfulness habits. Here are a few simple tips to do so:
1) Free yourself of judgement
A big component of mindfulness is limiting the judgement you place on yourself, others, or whatever is before you. I know this is really hard to do, but it’s so freeing if you continue to practice it! From first-hand experience, I’ve noticed that when I reduce the judgement I have on myself and speak more kindly to myself, that then translates to my relationships. Be a bit more gentle and it can go a LONG way!
2) Accept, Accept, Accept
The more we resist, the more what we don’t want seems to fester and grow. This is especially true with thoughts and emotions. If we are terrified to have a certain thought and try to push it away, the more it tries to wiggle it’s way back into the forefront of our awareness. Have you ever had that happen? The same is true with emotions. If we resist, they will come back stronger. Emotions want to be known! It doesn’t mean they take over, it just means you acknowledge them WITHOUT JUDGEMENT. This is where the previous step continues to be important. We judge certain emotions as either good or bad. But once we do so, this fuels our resistance. Rather than fear the experience of emotions such as sadness, pain, anger (all the “bad” emotions), invite them in. They won’t stay forever. When they are acknowledged the power they hold often subsides. Acknowledging them is like opening the lid to the jar for a firefly to fly away when it’s ready.
3) Get out in nature
Here’s the thing, you can get out in nature and it won’t help at all. What you really need to do is get out in nature and practice noticing the little things around you. It’s easy to be out in nature and be distracted by our thoughts. A way to move into a more mindful way of being is to practice really seeing what’s around you while your outside. Check in with your senses. What do you hear? What do you see? Do you feel the sun on your face? Can you taste the air when it’s more humid, noticing a storm might be on it’s way? Getting outside is a fun way to practice mindfulness.
4) Try yoga
Yoga is known as “moving meditation.” I wrote a post on this previously. Why I suggest yoga is because I find it to be an easier form of meditation. Meditation is not the same as mindfulness (it’s a specific practice most often practiced while sitting or lying down), but it can help lead to a more mindful way of living. So if you practice yoga, or “moving meditation,” you will be on your way to feeling more centered and able to see things just as they are.
I hope these tips help you! I’ve found them to be crucial for my self-care and overall well-being. If you want to continue your journey of living mindfully, check out my course!