Very often, we start our day like machines - automated actions, a set of routine actions that we complete with our minds wandering far, far away. Then, someone or something triggers us and we react in a way we never intended to. But how would we really want our day to go?
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There is a solution to this - to pause and practice mindfulness even if for just a couple of minutes during the day.
Here are the five steps to bring more mindfulness into your life:
#1. Waking up with awareness. Set an intention. This will help you get through difficulties as you go. So, the first things you do when you wake up, are:
Sti straight but be comfortable. Close your eyes and tune in with your body: what are the sensations that you are feeling?
Breathe in your usual manner, notice how your chest rises and falls of your chest and belly. Settle your own breathing rhythm and simply follow it.
READ MORE: Mindfulness technique to boost immunity
Ask yourself: What can you do to make the best impact? What is it that needs strengthening in you? How can you take better care of yourself? In moments of difficulty and doubt, what can you do to be more compassionate towards others and yourself? What can you do to feel more fulfilled?
Set your intention for the day - anything that you find important, like being kinder to yourself and others.
Keep pausing to check in with yourself throughout the day. Soon, you’ll notice that the quality of your relationships and your mood changes, thanks to doing things consciously.
#2. Practice mindful eating. More often than not, we gorge the food down without noticing what we’re eating. Draw your own attention to your body, the sensations of eating, have a richer experience as you consume your meal.
Before you start your meal, pause to take a couple of breaths.
Ask yourself how hungry you are, say, on a scale from one to 10. How does your body feel ahead of the meal? Try to tune in with the sensations, not thoughts.
Decide mindfully how much, how fast, when and what to eat. Tune in with your actual needs.
Relax during your meal, keep breathing.
Eat only if you want to. Notice the texture, the flavour, the taste of your food. Enjoy it!
#3. Slow down, give your brain a break. We do over 90% of our actions on autopilot and it’s easy for us to fall back to older habits before we catch ourselves and realize things have changed. Mindfulness, on the other hand, is the deliberation and intention in your actions. The trick here is to put obstacles for the “fast” brain and to remove obstacles for your mindful brain.
Take just a few minutes out of each day to bring yourself to a state of calm and wellness and balance your life using a combination of guided meditations and mindfulness techniques. The techniques are a simple, practical relaxation method for anyone.
Make sure you get constant reminders. For instance, if you want to start Drawing 101 classes, keep the items you’ll need in places where you can’t miss them as you walk around the house.
If you use sticky notes as reminders, keep writing new ones regularly. In other worlds, keep refreshing your reminders.
Keep coming up with new patterns to help you shift into mindfulness. Say, the “If - then” logic chain. “If my phone rings, I take a deep breath before answering”.
#4. Work out - mindfully. Instead of working out to achieve a goal, synchronize your mind and body to feel more capable and strong. Don’t forget to warm up. As you’re exercising - swimming, or riding a bike, or dancing, etc. - bring your attention to your movements and your bodily sensations. Keep up a rhythm, keep challenging yourself. Then cool down by slowing down your pace gradually, and rest.
#5. Keep calm. You will encounter triggers throughout your day - road rage, someone snapping at you, things not going your way. As annoying as it may sound at first, these are great opportunities to practice mindfulness.
Take a deep breath to bring more oxygen into your body.
What do you need? To feel safe, relieved, etc.
Take some actions to give yourself what you need. Relieve the tension from your body by rolling your shoulders or relaxing your muscles. You may want to repeat a mantra of “May I be at ease, may I feel safe, may I be happy.”
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Look around you. The people surrounding you need the same things as you do - to feel safe, more relaxed, to be happy. Direct some well wishes toward them.
Take another deep breath.
The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!
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