10 ways to live Mindfully
Living Mindfully can promote wellbeing, reduce stress and promote happiness. Here are some ideas to help you make long term changes to your life.
Mindfulness is more than just the term present moment awareness, it's about taking responsibility for our thoughts and actions and the impact we have on those around us.
We are human beings not human doings and by paying attention to our behaviours and actions by improving our lives we can make a positive contribution to the community around us.
Here are ten ways in which you can easily incorporate Mindfulness into your life in 2020 and really make a difference to the life that you choose to live.
Each morning when you wake up, say "Thank You" and mean it, thank you for waking up in a warm bed, thank you for having somewhere safe to live, food to eat, people with you, electricity....the list goes on.
It's so easy to become distracted with the pursuit of the things that we don't have that we forget how blessed we are. Stopping regularly during the day and finding something to be thankful for can really help change your perception of what's important to you right now. It brings our awareness to the present moment and being grateful is the jackpot of feel good vibes and raising energy. Not only that, it's free.
Most of us love to buy something new, but take a moment before you splash the cash and ask yourself do I really need this? Will it have a long term impact on my life? Is it well made? Has it been made from sustainable resources?
Asking yourself these questions and reflecting on their answers can have a far reaching impact on your finances, the environment and product design of the future, can reduce the clutter your living space and not end up in landfill.
We love to eat and we need to eat but STOP!!!
What are you putting into your body? Consider whether you are genuinely hungry or bored, thirsty or just fancy it. A little of what you fancy does you good and life is all about balance but we know that eating too much isn't good for us, we know that eating food that has incurred many food miles is bad for the environment, we know that food covered with pesticides is slowly poisoning us and we know that some of the stuff that we consume can barely be called food no matter how fabulous it tastes.
Every time you eat something, you have the opportunity to mindfully choose whether you nourish your body or poison it. Take a moment and make the right choice for you and when you do eat something, make a celebration of it. Eat mindfully and savour the sight, smell and taste of it. Concentrate on your food, the textures and tastes and chew slowly and thoroughly. Apparently it takes 20 minutes for our bodies to work out that we're full, most of us have polished off our food long before then. Imagine how much less we might eat if we just slowed it all down a little.
A lot of us start the year with good intentions, buy a gym pass and then hope that just by owning it while sitting in the chair we will miraculously loose that weight and end up looking like...insert hot bod here. Unfortunately, it doesn't work like that.
We know that regular exercise helps lower cholesterol and improves our heart health but it does so much more than that. Exercise improves our wellbeing, resilience and mental health by reducing the production of the stress hormone cortisol and activating the production of endorphins or happy hormones. It doesn't have to be stressful or time consuming. Just taking a 10 minute gentle stroll and mindfully paying attention to the things that you can see, the smells around you, how your body feels as you walk and whether you can feel the wind on your face can all contribute to slowing down our heart rate, reducing our blood pressure and invoking the parasympathetic nervous system which helps us to heal and promote mental and physical wellbeing. It's most beneficial done outside and in nature but walking of any kind can be a fantastic stress buster.
Get out there!
Spending time in nature has so many benefits.
A walk in nature can be wonderfully restorative as can relaxing while lying on a beach listening to the sound of the sea, swimming in the sea supported by the water or even flying a kite in the wind. Getting out in the elements helps us to reconnect with our environment in a way that calls to our very core.
Being among tress enables us to breath in the healing phytoncides and reduces the production of the stress hormones. It makes us feel happy and can clear creative blocks. It has also been proven to lower the heart rate and reduce blood pressure, boost the immune system and promote healing.
Our bodies need to be in nature regularly and being mindfully aware of how much time we have spent inside or in front of a screen can ensure that we reconnect regularly with nature.
My favourite. ❤️
It's free, can be done anywhere and completely changes your life.
It's well documented that Meditation can improve your health by lowering blood pressure, improving sleep patterns, reducing stress, improving fertility and reducing the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Advanced meditators can even use it for pain relief, grief support and substance abuse.
But the benefits don't stop there, oh no..meditation provides an opportunity for much needed "me time". It facilitates the process of helping us to understand our innermost desires and habits, enables us to examine them and free ourselves from the limiting beliefs and behaviours that we have accrued through the years. This in turn allows us to chose to respond rather than to react to events and consequently make better choices and improve life outcomes.
7)Family and friends
Cherish those that make a positive contribution to your life and ditch those that don't.
If you can't ditch them then minimise the time that you spend with them or find a way to reduce their impact on your wellbeing.
If it's a particularly toxic close relationship, then you may need to seek advice on strategies that can help you to diffuse their toxicity and/ or the way in which you view your relationship and the power that you are giving them over your life. Being mindfully aware of those relationships that you feel are an equal investment and those that drain you can greatly improve your ability to remain focused and positive about yourself.
8) Recycle, upcycle, or give away.
Be mindful of your impact on the planet.
Are you wasteful? Do you find yourself buying things on the spur of the moment only for them to sit in a cupboard until you get fed up of looking at them and throw them away? Are you guilty of replacing things before they break because you "need" to have the latest version? STOP! Before you throw something away be mindfully aware of the motivation behind your actions so that you have a better understanding of your habits and then look at ways that you can minimise the waste that you are causing.
Could you upcycle it into something else? Could it be recycled? Could you sell it on a selling site such as ebay? or or give it away via a scheme like freecycle or a charity shop.
When you need something new, why not buy second hand? charity shops and jumble sales are great ways to find cool clothes at bargain prices. Oxfam even have a second hand website for party frocks and wedding dresses. That way, you're not only saving the planet but helping charities to help others with your cash too.You could even set up a swapshop and help other people to clear the clutter responsibly.
Be mindfully aware of the rubbish that you put out each week and look at ways in which you can reduce it.
It's getting easier to ditch the plastic. Shampoo and soap bars help as does refilling cleaning product bottles and using weigh and save type shops. Keep a reusable water container on you. There are filling stations springing up all over the place and lots of places are happy to provide free tap water.
But you could do more. Look at where your food is coming from, do you really need strawberries from Spain in January or could you buy a locally grown seasonal fruit instead?
When buying meat, why not go to your butcher and support local farmers raising ethically kept animals instead of cheap, factory farmed meat from abroad?
Need to buy household items and white goods? Go for the ones with the best energy ratings. They may cost a little more to purchase but will save you money over the life of the item and help to reduce your carbon footprint.
Get involved! There are so many charities and campaigns to help you to reduce your environmental footprint, you might even make a whole new set of friends. It's impossible to ignore our planet crying for help now so whatever you can do will help.
Last but not least, speak mindfully.
Be aware of the impact that