Mindfulness seems to be trending right now…which is great!
It’s about time something more meaningful than “the dab” stole the spotlight. My goal in sharing these 7 habits for mindful living is not only to (hopefully) extend the popularity and benefits of this golden topic, but also just to get people to practice being a little more self-aware.
You see, self-awareness and mindfulness go hand in hand. Both of them have the potential to solve so many of today’s issues. The more self-aware people are, the more intuitive they become. The more that people listen to their intuition, follow their dreams, choose love over fear and make it a point to BE HERE NOW… the more everything in the world works.
With that being said, here are 7 Habits that you can start incorporating into your day-to day life to increase your self-awareness and presence in every moment.
1. Eliminate Multitasking
The first habit for mindful living actually involves the breaking of a not-so-great (but widely accepted) habit. Multitasking is basically the antithesis of being mindful. Let’s face it; it’s impossible to focus your full attention on anything when you’re trying to do multiple things at once. Try going for an entire hour doing only one thing at a time. It’s trickier than you might think!
2. Use Meal Times for Eating
When is the last time you ate a meal or a snack and just… ate? If you’re anything like most people, then it’s been a while. Nowadays we eat while scrolling on our phones, playing video games, watching T.V., reading, working, driving… you name it, and we find a way to do it while eating. Unfortunately, this leads to a number of issues. Not only does it nurse our ever shortening attention spans, but it causes us to eat too much, too quickly and thus leads to poor digestion. I know there have definitely been times when I’ve been typing away or surfing the web while eating, only to finish my food and either wonder where it all went...or feel so full and bloated that all I want to do is sleep and ignore the fact that I feel like a total glutton. When we actually sit down to eat without distractions, chew each bite fully, savor the flavors and pay attention as the food disappears from our plate, our satisfaction and fullness queues get triggered much more effectively. At first this may seem very difficult, but even starting with one meal or one snack a day will put you on the path to making mindful eating a habit.
3. Be Grateful!
Whether you’re trying to live more mindfully or not, practicing gratitude is an excellent habit to adopt. When we take the time to sit and think about the things and people that make our lives great, we force ourselves to focus on the present moment. When we concentrate on the things that are going right in our lives and express gratitude for them, we can’t simultaneously feel negative emotions that stem from scarcity. Practicing gratitude is probably the easiest and most effective habit to develop if you want to start living a happier and more mindful life.
4. Set a Daily Intention
This mindfulness habit is all about keeping you aware of your thoughts and feelings. Having a simple but powerful affirmation or intention to return to when you’re feeling lost, overwhelmed or caught up in your Ego can help to keep you grounded, level-headed and acting in accordance with your big-picture goals. Our thoughts are our greatest points of power. They trigger our feelings, which then influence the actions we take that produce the results we get. That’s why being mindful of what we are thinking is so important in determining how we feel on a day to day basis and whether things happen “to” us or “for” us. We have the power to change our thoughts at any given moment, and if we can change our thoughts we can change our lives.
5. Start Journaling
Another way to practice mindfulness, tap into your intuition and become more self-aware is through journaling. Journaling doesn’t have to be done every day and it doesn’t have to be done in a fancy book, start with “dear diary” or only contain insightful pieces that sound as if they poured from the lips of some undiscovered poet. Journaling doesn’t even have to involve the compilation of complete sentences. In fact, sometimes my most insightful journal entries are the ones where I am literally just brain dumping fragments, lists and run-ons onto the page. Again, it all comes back to being mindful of our thoughts. Getting our thoughts onto paper not only helps to clear our minds, but it allows us to take a real good look at what is really going on up there. While it may be hard to believe, you already know all of the answers to all of your problems...they’re just tangled up in the mess of thoughts inside your head. Making it a habit to journal, even just a few times a week, will bring clarity and allow room for new insights.
The ultimate way to engage in mindfulness is through meditation. Meditation allows us to acknowledge the presence of our thoughts without creating any attachment to them. It's about existing in the present moment…because that's all there ever is. It’s amazing what happens when one stops wasting the only moment they have worrying about ones that don’t exist. Meditation can be tough; especially when you’re just beginning. You’ll have a hard time sitting still and not thinking…and then you’ll start over-thinking about the fact that you’re trying not to think. It’s OKAY. Meditation takes practice; there really is no right or wrong way to do it. You can choose to focus on your breath, or on each of your individual senses. You can listen to a guided meditation, sit in silence, or even meditate while going for a walk. Whatever allows you to be fully present in the current moment, free from attachment to any one thought, thing or feeling is perfectly fine.
7. Practice Self-Care
As I mentioned before, self-awareness and mindfulness go hand in hand. The more self-aware you are, the easier it is to be mindful, and increased self-awareness comes as a result of being mindful. One of the best ways to increase self-awareness is to practice self-care. Self-care is NOT selfish. In fact, caring for yourself is the most selfless thing you can do. When you love and care for yourself in such a way that nourishes your soul and allows you to really get to know yourself, your wants and your needs…you are allowing yourself to really show up in the world. Self-care increases self-awareness and self-awareness leads to more mindful living.
Well, there you have it! 7 habits for mindful living. Remember- every journey begins with a single step. Each day of successfully completing mindfulness practices is one step closer to establishing mindful habits and living a more mindful life. Each person living in the present, appreciating the world around them and actively tapping into their intuition is one more soul helping to tip the scales towards a more conscious world.