We all tend to be set on a daily routine. Wake up in the morning, make a cup of coffee, take a shower, brush our teeth, get changed and leave the house to get to our job. On the way there we are fighting traffic feeling frustrated, and anxious that we may not make it there on time. We are accustomed to live life in a rush and we never take the time to enjoy life moment by moment, and actually be present and aware in each of these moments. Life is passing us by at the speed of light when we live in a constant rush, which can cause us to feel overwhelmed and mentally drained.
So what can we do to slow down the pace? The practice of being more mindful is the answer. Being mindful means to be in a state of total awareness in all your thoughts, feelings and everything around you in each moment. Have you ever drove somewhere and got to your destination and thought “I don’t know how I got here, but I’m here”. This means you weren’t fully present in those moments of driving. Your mind may have been preoccupied on other things which caused you to not remember how you even got to your destination.
How can I be more mindful? You can start your day off by waking up a little earlier so that you have time to do the things you need to do at steady enjoyable pace. Start your day off by meditating, taking a cold shower, going to the gym, reading, or simply just enjoying a nice cup of coffee while you get ready for your day with some feel good music. We all have been guilty of hitting that snooze button til the very last second, but doing so will only make us have to rush out the door, cause us to stress, and we are only hurting ourselves in this process. So what other things can we do to be more present in each moment?
Slow down the pace and Breathe. Relax, and focus on your breaths. Are you short of breath, breathing too fast, or shallow breathing? If so focus on taking some deep breaths, by inhaling through your nose for 4 seconds and exhaling through your mouth 4-5 seconds and really focusing on slowing down your breath, and calming the mind and body and bringing it into balance.
Chew your food. Are you fully chewing your food? When was the last time you actually tasted and savored the food you are eating? Chewing food into liquid form is very beneficial for our digestive system because it allows the stomach to fully digest and absorb what you just ate. If you just swallowed a piece of hamburger without chewing it, your stomach will take a very long time and an enormous amount of energy to break down that piece of food and this will negatively affect your mood and energy levels.
Do you express feelings of gratitude? Practice gratitude by saying out loud how thankful you are for waking up and being alive and healthy, for having a roof over your head and family by your side. Always express gratitude, be thankful for any and everything in your life. We are given many lessons throughout our life because you or something in your life is changing for the better and these are the avenues to get you there. At the time it may not seem that way, but pay attention to why this may be happening and how its only going to be changing your life in a more positive way.
Be engaging with your peers. The world is being ruled by technology. Everywhere you go you see someone glued to their phone. When your at dinner or having lunch with a friend put down the phone and give that person your undivided attention. Be in that moment and listen attentively to that person, and give them honest and loving feedback. Truly engage with that person and make them feel like there the only thing that matters at that moment. They will recognize this and appreciate the connection. So try and be more engaging with everyone in your life.
So what are the benefits of practicing mindfulness? Reduced levels of stress, as you learn not to worry about tomorrow or next week, but instead enjoy and appreciate each and every moment you are experiencing now. Your patience will improve as you start to slow down your racing thoughts and your need for speed. Your Self awareness will arise as you start to take notice of the environment around you. Your sleep, and mood will also improve, but most importantly, you will learn to accept what’s happening in your life good and bad, and to trust that life is leading you in the direction of your desired goal.
Practice being mindful today by living in the Now because the Now is what only exists.
Until next time,
I’m wishing all of you good health, happiness, and love.