By Vanessa B
It can be quite easy to just rush through life without stopping or noticing too much of what is going on around you. Being present and paying attention to the moment, as well as being in-tune with your own thoughts and feelings, can help you to massively improve your mental well-being. This awareness is often referred to as mindfulness, which is what can help you to enjoy life more and to understand yourself better.
Mindfulness and mental well-being
When you become more aware of the moment you are in and are more present, you can enjoy the situation more, even if it is just routine. Mindfulness can also help you to get to know yourself better, and when put together, you can become much more aware of the present and can experience things that you might normally take for granted. As a result, it can go a long way to helping your overall well-being, both mentally and physically.
It can be tricky to remember to tell yourself to take more notice of the things around you, as well as your thoughts and feelings, but doing so is the path to mindfulness. If you want to be more mindful in your everyday life, then here are some things that you can try.
Notice the everyday moments
We have busy lives that involve things that we have to do, as well as things that we just want to do. But if you want to be more mindful, then you need to start noticing the everyday moments. For example, noticing how you feel when you hear certain sounds, noticing the tastes of the food that you eat, rather than just eating it as quickly as possible. Relax by listening to a great album intentionally as opposed to half-listening while trying multitask. These things might sound quite small and insignificant, but when you’re on ‘autopilot’ and the routine of life, you can easily forget to engage and be present with your everyday life.
Try something new
If you want to be more mindful, then trying something new is a really good way to go. It could be trying something new that is small, such as sitting somewhere new at work, rather than your usual spot. You could choose somewhere new to shop for groceries or take up something like singing lessons, a yoga practice or a new sport that you’ve always wanted to try. When you do something new that breaks your normal routine, you have to pay close attention. In our life we can get into a routine and take the thinking or mindfulness out of the situation.
Free yourself from the past and the future
“If you are depressed, you are living in the past, if you are anxious, you are living in the future, if you are at peace, you are living in the present.” Lao Tzu
We can spend so much of our time worrying that we can forget to be living in the present. We can spend time worrying about the past and things that we wish we could have changed but now can’t. We can spend time worrying about the future and how our decisions now can impact that. But in order to be mindful, as hard as it can be, we need to live in the present and free yourselves from these thoughts about the past or the future. You can keep a gratitude journal where you take five minutes at the end of each day to record a few things you were grateful to experience that say. Try turning off your phone for an hour each day and focusing on the world around you. Maybe even practice random acts of kindness that brighten someone’s day. Work through your emotions about past events in your life or anxieties about the future through journaling or therapy. Living mindfully is living purposefully, and it’s something only you can decide to work towards – right here and now.