Are you familiar with the term “mindfulness”? I was recently asked to explain what it is after sharing I was being more intentional with my daily mindfulness practices. Simply put it’s focusing in on what’s going on in a specific moment. Without judgement, you are focused on what you are currently feeling and experiencing. Many relate this to the practice of meditation.
So how do you get into a daily mindfulness routine? To get started, choose a time to practice each day. The goal is to get into the habit of taking a few moments each day to focus your awareness on what is happening at that present moment.
What are the benefits of mindfulness?
Some of the benefits of mindfulness include reduced stress and improved general well-being. You begin to feel more confident and productive. We are better able to take care of ourselves because we are more in tune with our bodies.
It is tough to focus on one thing for an extended time and make positive changes in your life. It takes time and effort. By reducing stress, you can achieve these results faster.
Besides being a stress reliever, mindfulness helps you to be more productive and achieve goals. You become more aware of decisions. It can help influence how you interact with others and take care of yourself.
The benefits of mindfulness are both physical and mental.
Physical improvements include:
- Strength and endurance
- Increased focus
- A stronger immune system
- Increased energy
- Reduced body fat
- Decreased blood pressure
- Reduced stress levels
- Enhanced focus
- And more efficient use of energy
The psychological benefits include:
- Having more effective social relationships
- Less anxiety
- Better sleep
- Improved memory
How do you get started with a mindfulness routine?
One of the best times to practice mindfulness is in the morning when you first wake up. But some of us are so used to our routines that it is hard to choose to do something different. To get out of habits, you need to set up a series of interventions.
An intervention could be as simple as a post-it note on your bathroom mirror. It reminds you to take time for mindfulness. It could be a note on your fridge. Or it could be a well-placed picture that is a symbol of mindfulness or reminds you to practice it.
But, if you’re rushing in the mornings it may not always be the best time to start a mindfulness routine. Try the afternoon if it works at a better time for you. After a few hours of focused work and lunch, our brains long for an escape from so much focus. The afternoon is a great time to set up a mindfulness routine. Take a few minutes after lunch to practice.
There’s always the time before you go to bed that you can also choose to practice mindfulness. It may put you into a restful state of being that you sleep better.
Don’t Let Tech Get In the Way
One of the issues with setting up a routine is the reliance on technology. Having your smartphone around during a meditation or mindfulness session is distracting.
Instead, try to practice clearing your mind without the use of technology a few times each week. You can alternate practicing with and without it. Listen to stillness and practice exercises without the use of tech. You grow your ability to listen to yourself. So the next time you reach for your phone, be mindful that you could also practice your session without using it.
Keep Your Practice Going
Creating goals and mini challenges can make practicing mindfulness more fun. It is an engaging way to continue in practice. Taking time to journal insights after a mindfulness session acts as positive reinforcement.
As you journal, you may notice changes in your thought process and feelings that emerge. Mindfulness journaling helps with the transition through these feelings. It provides insight into deep-rooted thoughts to change your perspective about your beliefs.
Learning about yourself is a motivation to practice mindfulness. As you practice more, you will grow more at peace with yourself in the process.
Michelle D. Garrett is the founder of Divas With A Purpose. She focuses on sharing resources for being purposely productive; setting personal and professional goals and achieving them through daily action; and successfully running a business while focusing on your mental health. Michelle is a full-time entrepreneur who specializes in teaching female entrepreneurs how to show up consistently in their business – online and off.
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