Practicing mindfulness is beneficial for anyone. However, it is particularly crucial for those who want to improve their mood, sleep better, and ward off stress and anxiety. What is mindfulness, and what are some of the ways that you can be mindful in your daily life? Here are a few things that you need to know in order to energize your brain and improve your mental state.
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness involves being aware of the feelings and thoughts that you are having at this moment. Such awareness allows you to process what you are experiencing as opposed to reacting to situations without even understanding why you are doing what you are doing.
A mindful person accepts their own thoughts and feelings, explores them, and strives to make improvements. This can prevent you from being trapped in a cycle of responding to things that happen to you rather than controlling your mental and emotional responses. You can, therefore, change the way that you interact with the world to bring it in harmony with your ideal self.
How can you practice mindfulness so as to analyze and control your thoughts and feelings? Here are some tips to help you boost your internal self-control.
Wake up the Right Way
If you very often awake to the blare of an alarm and the need to rush off to work or whatever else your day holds, you need to try a simple tip to get your day started off in a more mindful way. When you wake up and shut your alarm, take a few moments to focus on your breathing. Focus on nothing but your breathing as you take five deep breaths in through your nostrils, filling the lower part of your lungs first. Hold each breath for a few seconds and then slowly release it using your diaphragm to control the airflow.
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Focus on Posture Changes
Another excellent opportunity to focus on the present occurs right when you wake up in the morning. From laying down to sitting up and then sitting to standing, focus on your posture. Carry this practice with you through the day. Not only is posture important for overall health, but it also gives you the opportunity to practice mindfulness every time you sit up, sit down, stand up, or lay down.
Change How You Listen
When someone else is speaking, try to focus on the words they are saying, as well as the meaning behind them. Look for visual cues in facial expressions and gestures. Fight the urge to prepare your response mentally while the other person is talking. You will find that this allows you to hear and remember what others say to you, and that can be a significant boon for your relationships.
Think About What You Eat and Drink
So often we eat for one of two reasons. Either we are just trying to provide sustenance for ourselves, or we are self-soothing with food. After all, eating and drink are enjoyable experiences, especially if something tastes good. However, being mindful while eating and drinking will help you to focus on other things.
For example, while drinking a glass of water, think about how it is hydrating your body, how vital water is for life, and the importance of keeping our drinking supply safe. As you eat, think about the growing process of the food you are consuming. Remind yourself of how your body will absorb the nutrients in the food to fuel bodily processes that you usually don’t even think about, such as your heartbeat or breathing.
Thinking about your food may help you to fight cravings, reduce stress-eating, improve your nutrition, and control body weight.
Think Before You Speak
When speaking, focus on saying what you mean in a manner that will be clear and understandable to the other person, while also striving to avoid causing needless offense. Try not to overstate or exaggerate what you have to say. At the same time, do not understate the importance of things that really matter to you. This process will allow you to express yourself clearly and tactfully to others.
Contemplate Your Emotions
We experience many emotions throughout the day – happiness, fear, excitement, anxiety, and so on. When an emotion suddenly arises, take a moment to reflect on the reason the feeling has occurred. Reflect on how you usually react to such a sensation. Then reflect on how you would like to respond when an emotion like that wells up within you. Over time, you will find that, rather than merely reacting when a feeling occurs, you can acknowledge the reason for an emotion and control your response.
Go to Sleep the Right Way
The same way you begin your day with mindfulness, you should conclude your day with it. Once the lights are out, your phone is put away for the evening, and your head is on the pillow, take a few moments and perform some focused breathing. These breaths help to bookend your day in mindfulness and may even lead to a better night of sleep.
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