I thought I’d post about this particular topic because it’s something I’ve recently been thinking a lot about and it has affected my life in a good way, so I would love to share it with you guys and hopefully you too can benefit from living a mindful life!
I’ve noticed that many of us tend to feel the need to rush through life, fill up our schedules with activities and never-ending tasks, and we have an incessant need to keep busy… and this is exactly what causes us stress and anxiety. If you are like this and always worry about the future by continuously planning ahead, you are not living in the present. I used to be like that, and I think it’s also to do with trying to live up to other people’s expectations, or your own expectations may be too high – not saying don’t aim for the sky, but you need to set realistic goals or you’ll be stretching yourself too thin.
I used to get so stressed I’d get headaches and nosebleeds, then one day I realised what I was doing to myself; All this stress was unnecessary, why does it matter anyway? Sometimes you just have to try your best and have faith that things will work out, especially when there are things that are out of your control. Have you ever come out of a situation and wondered what all the fuss was about, and why you worried so much over it when it turned out okay? Yeah, that’s a sign you need to take a seat and chill out.
Another thing I needed to remind myself was to take care of myself more – ask yourself, how will you be able to perform to the best of your ability and do all the goals you set out to do if your body isn’t healthy and your mind is strained? You’ll eventually reach a point where you burn out, and it can even lead to problems like insomnia and high blood pressure.
Some people are more prone to lead this kind of busy lifestyle – if you have Personality Type A (you can read about it here), which means that you have personality traits such as competitiveness, strong achievement-orientation, time urgency and tendency towards workaholism – although they are beneficial for career success, it can be harder for you to slow down, but it is definitely achievable for anyone.
What does it mean to be “mindful”?
Being mindful means being more aware of your mind, body and surroundings, and living in the present moment with a sense of peace and balance in your life. It can help to improve your happiness level and feel more content, which goes without saying that it reduces your stress levels too. You can learn more about mindfulness here.
So how do I live with more mindfulness?
It can take some time to get used to living a mindful life if you have a very busy lifestyle and a packed schedule, but try incorporating these things below regularly in your life and it’ll soon become a habit!
Appreciate what you have and live in the moment:
Be grateful for your family and friends around you, your education, your holidays, your job etc. It will make you feel more in touch with the present moment and feel blessed, rather than dwell on things that didn’t go your way.
Slow down and pay more attention to things around you and how you are feeling.
Meditation & Yoga:
You can use methods like meditation or yoga to help you feel more calm and at peace.
Take time out for yourself:
Do something you enjoy that makes you feel relaxed e.g. read a book, go to a spa/get a massage/sauna, run a hot bath, watch your favourite Netflix series, listen to your favourite music.
Do some exercise:
Believe it or not, it does help you to feel more refreshed afterwards! It doesn’t just stretch your muscles, it releases the tension in your mind and allows you to focus on something else other than work. If going for a run is not your thing, I’d recommend doing pilates or yoga, which is less cardio-heavy and more focused on stretching and flexibility. I do pilates by following YouTube videos (shoutout to Blogilates) and I can do it in the comfort of my own home!
Try to have a healthy and balanced diet, as eating too much junk food like burgers and fries can actually make you more tired and moody! Try to have more fruit and veg in your diet and it can make your body feel less bloated and can also lighten your mood.
Reflect and congratulate yourself:
Sometimes you can be so busy that you get ahead of yourself and have no time to reflect or self-congratulate. I know that sounds silly, but if you stop and think about how far you’ve come and what you’ve achieved to date, you should feel proud and reward yourself. Stop trying to rush onto the next project on your list and find the time to give yourself a pat on the back and feel good about your achievements. This will also help your overall happiness and reduce your stress levels!
Hopefully these tips will help you to achieve more mindfulness, or encourage you to live more in the present moment. In other words, the more mindful you are, the happier you are! It can honestly change your life and make you see things from a different perspective when you slow down and take the time to appreciate everything in your life. There have been lots of research around this subject and it has been shown to reduce stress and emotional distress.
Thanks for reading this post and hope you enjoyed it! I’m trying to do more posts like this because it definitely makes you think and is a much more meaningful read. Please do let me know what you think, I’d love to hear from you 🙂