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Ten ways to be more mindful

Aug-02-2019

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Mindfulness is about being more aware of what is happening—both within us and around us. Being more mindful can be good for your health! Did you know it can help reduce your anxiety, stress and depression? Mindfulness also allows you to focus, be more aware of the present moment and better understand yourself, such as your feelings, triggers, motivations, etc.


To become more mindful, just try some (or all!) of these ten tips:


1.)  Give meditation a try. Connecting to yourself through meditation can be amazing for you psychologically. To get started, go to a quiet and comfortable area and allow yourself to breathe, relax and let your mind wander. Meditating can be hard if you’ve never done it before, but there are many resources to teach you how to begin! You can try books, videos, and apps such as Insight Timer or YogaGlo to start your meditation journey.


2.)  Take some time to clear your mind. Whether it’s on a walk or even at your desk, it helps to make time for breaks during the day to breathe deeply and clear your mind. Simply close your eyes, take a deep breath and allow the silence to settle in and relax you.


3.)  Get up early and go for a walk outside. The outdoors provides plenty to take in! Try to wake up earlier than you usually do and breathe in the morning air. Then, really pay attention to your surroundings. Pause to hear the birds singing and leaves crunching, plus take notice of all the shapes and colors you see. Allowing yourself this time to pay attention can help you observe things you’ve never seen before.


4.)  Do one thing at a time. It’s easy to get caught up multi-tasking— trying to do the most things in the least amount of time. Trying to do too much at once can cause your mind to race and lose focus. Instead, try creating a list to do one thing at a time, allowing yourself to give yourself entirely to each task.


5.)  Think before you speak or act. A lot of times we can spontaneously react to a situation without thinking about the consequences. To help prevent this, just take some time to think about how you’d like to respond to a situation before you do. Try writing out a draft of an email or text message and reading it over a few times before hitting send. You can also go for a walk, take some deep breaths or even talk it out with a friend or co-worker to help add clarity to the situation.


6.)  Listen to others when they talk to you. It’s easy to tune others out or think about multiple things at once, especially when you’re busy. When someone is talking to you, simply pause what you’re doing and give them your full attention. Let them know you’re really listening and care about what they’re telling or asking you.


7.) Keep a journal. If you’ve never kept a journal before, you might find it helpful to start one. When journaling, it’s important to be honest with yourself and really open up to self-reflection. Journaling gives you the opportunity to record your thoughts, feelings and activities of the day allowing you to look back and view your progress. Journaling can help you see your growth, give you perspective and allow you to set and follow your goals. 


8.)  Practice yoga. Yoga can help you feel more energized, focused and productive by clearing your mind and helping you focus on your body and breath. This ancient practice brings together your physical and mental health to help you achieve peace by relaxing, strengthening your body and managing stress and anxiety. There are several different types of yoga you can try at different levels. To begin,  try watching videos online, check your local gym for classes or join a yoga group in your community!


9.)  Make a gratitude list. Writing a gratitude list everyday allows you to form a habit of being happy and grateful. Making this a routine can help you put the things you’re grateful for into perspective and maybe help you to look forward to something every day. It might be hard to start, but even adding just one thing on your list can challenge you in a good way to be happier every day.


10.) Surround yourself with positive people. Happiness is contagious! Studies have shown that those who associate themselves with cheerful people have an overall happier demeanor. People’s attitudes and moods can influence your own. If there’s somebody around you who is unpleasant, try to avoid them or change the conversation to something motivating and optimistic. Being around people you actually want to be around can leave you feeling happier and less stressed, allowing you to focus on other things in your day.


Give it a try!


Being more mindful can be physically, mentally and emotionally beneficial. Mindfulness can increase your productivity, enhance your creativity and help you build happier relationships. Try some of the tips above to add some mindfulness into your life!


Want more health information? Visit www.meritain.com


*This article is for informational purposes only, and is not meant as medical advice.