What does being mindful or practicing mindfulness even mean? To put it simply, it's a form of meditation. It means that you are purposefully present and in-the-moment with an overall goal "to achieve a state of alert, focused relaxation by deliberately paying attention to thoughts and sensations without judgment."
Some benefits of meditating or practicing mindfulness are:
Increased self-awareness and acceptance
Decreased anxiety and depression
Uhhh.. yes, please! Who wouldn't want all of that? Meditation and mindfulness are also said to improve pain tolerance, sleep and age-related memory loss.
So, to help you on your own mindfulness journey I've provided my current morning routine and the tools I use to help me de-stress, be present, mindful and extend grace and understanding to not only myself, but everyone I come into contact with on a daily basis.
MY MORNING ROUTINE:
- Wake up
- I immediately start my coffee maker - I mean, caffeine.
*TIP: Don't be afraid to change your routine up based on your stress and anxiety or how you feel in that the moment. If I wake up feeling super anxious or stressed I will immediately start a meditation through my Calm app (which you'll learn more about below) and then grab my shower, get ready for my day, etc.
- Shower/Get ready/Breakfast (wash my face, brush my teeth, throw on some yogas... that type of thing)
- I sip my coffee and immediately start a meditation session through the Calm app. SIDENOTE: I've tried many of these types of apps and Calm is by far my favorite. It's FREE. There are a variety of sessions you can complete based on your goals. The voice that guides you is soothing without being annoying or making you feel like it's a joke (very important in my book lol), the background sounds can be changed based on mood or personal preference and I find the messages of each session to be very insightful without sounding cookie-cutter or something I could just Google and find on my own.
- I complete an entry in my Mindfulness Journal. I love this journal because it's more than just writing whatever comes to mind or a "brain dump." This journal prompts you with a variety of questions, quotes and advice to dive in a little deeper and really take the time to be present and express what's truly there.
- Get to work!
more tips + tricks
- Additional Sessions - If I start to feel anxious again during the day I'm not afraid to start a second Calm app session. And, I'll let you in on a little secret - not only can you do guided sessions, but Calm also allows you to do a timed session, so if you really need to refocus and you only have 2 minutes to spare, you can set the session and get started.
- Daily Reminders - And on an EXTRA stressful day, I also set 'Mindfulness Reminders' (again, through the ah-mazing Calm app). These little alerts will pop up on your phone and remind you to take a moment, breathe, and just be.
- The 4-7-8 Method - 4-7-8 -- refer to the counts when breathing in, holding your breath and exhaling. This method brings attention to your breathing. It helps calm stress, reduce anxiety and even helps you sleep when you use the method before you go to sleep.
Start by sitting up straight in a comfortable position.
Next, place the tip of your tongue on the ridge of your gums, just behind your upper front teeth.
Expand your diaphragm and slowly inhale through your nose for a count of 4.
And hold your breath for a full count of 7.
Open your mouth slightly, keeping your tongue in place, and exhale for 8 counts.
Repeat this 4 times.
What daily practices do you use to help you be more present and mindful throughout your day? Have you used the Calm app? Tell me in the comments!
L. RAE EVERY DAY SERIES
These will be short entries that you can read and get a quick dose of positivity. If you feel more motivated, encouraged and can move forward in your day with a better sense of purpose and confidence - all the better!
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