5 Easy Ways to Be More Mindful [Part I]
Being mindful is an important part of a happy, healthy existence; and it’s a pretty simple concept: being mindful is essentially paying attention. Without it, it’s easy to become someone that life is simply happening to, instead of a person who is living life to the fullest.
By becoming more mindful, you can learn to appreciate what you have and the world around you, take in the small moments, and have full, true, and meaningful experiences. Too often we are overwhelmed with thoughts or to-do lists and forget to be aware of what’s going on around us.
If you need more convincing, being mindful also has health benefits, like decreasing stress and anxiety. It can also help you relax and become that much closer to the relationships in your life.
Here are 5 ways to start being more mindful.
1. Be more aware.
The first step for being more mindful is just being more aware of your surroundings.
For example, the next time you take the dog for a walk, don’t bring your phone to make a call or text you’ve been meaning to make. Instead, look around and appreciate nature around. Take in the fresh air and the sunshine.
Another example is that when you’re out to eat – or just having dinner at home – put down the electronics and mindfully enjoy your meal. Allow your senses to take over as you see, smell, and truly taste what you are fueling your body with.
2. Put. Down. The. Phone.
As a society, I don’t have to tell you how obsessed we are with our electronics. It’s hard to even have a face-to-face conversation with anyone these days without someone having to check their phone for whatever reason.
On a recent vacation, I forgot my phone in the room where I was staying when we went out to explore the city. While at first it was a little stressful, it ended up being extremely liberating and I was able to take in the sights and stay off my phone. (Sidenote: everyone I was with had their phones, so that is important in case of an emergency!)
The point is: do what you can to unplug a little more. Don’t look at a screen an hour before you go to bed if you can avoid it and try to limit your overall screen time if you find yourself constantly in front of one. It’s easy to scroll through Facebook or Pinterest, but it’s also mind numbing.
Next time we’ll finish up with the last 3 ways to be more mindful.