According to a recent article, "The key is to know when we're doing something not as mindfully as it could be and catch ourselves in the moment to change it." (Nadrich, 2014) This will allow for better self-awareness, which will lead to being more mindful of all types of social settings. We will discuss different types of techniques, and it's up to you to find the techniques that work for you. Everyone is different, so just be aware that what might work for one person might not work for another.
Different techniques to try
There are many different types of tips and tricks to practice in order to be more stress free and more in the moment. Don't give up. Try different things until you find something that works for you. Below are some techniques to start practicing how to be more mindful.
Diet. Believe it or not, your diet can have a lot to do with the way you feel about yourself and your surroundings. Be sure to eat healthy and drink plenty of water so you'll feel your best.
Exercise. Hitting the gym is one of the most important things you can do when it comes to dealing with stress. Even though you are busy, you should always take the time to fit in exercise because it will do wonders with letting go of the tension of the week. Exercise always bumps up the production of the endorphins in your brain. (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2012) You'll be amazed at the way you will feel.
Meditation. When it comes to meditation, it's a harder technique and will take a lot of practice; however, once it has been mastered, it will make a huge difference in your life. There are many different references online if you search for "how to mediate." Basically, you will want to find a quiet place where you can relax with no interruptions. It's important to set up a time to do this each and every day. If you are pressed with time like most people, break the time up, such as five to 10 minutes in the morning, and five to 10 minutes in the evening.
While meditating, you will want to clear your mind. If thoughts keep creeping in, and they will when you first begin this practice, just keep pushing them out. This will take a lot of dedication and practice. It's essential that you don't get frustrated, because it will eventually happen with the right amount of practice. Be sure that you are aware of all of your stresses and that you can feel the stress leaving your body. Focus on your breathing and you will feel the tension melt away.
Breathing exercises. As discussed above, breathing is a very important part of meditation; however, breathing exercises without the meditation will also make a big change in the way you feel. Just breathe when you feel yourself getting stressed, which you can do anywhere, such as at home or in the office. According to WebMD, deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress in the body. (WebMD)
Visualization exercises. What makes you happy and completely relaxed when you think about it? Perhaps the beach or the mountains? Think back to a time when you felt completely happy and relaxed. This could have been a trip that you took in the past, or a day spent somewhere like a lake or garden. The idea of a visualization exercise is to take that memory and visualize it. While bringing the images up in your mind, you will picture yourself in this special place. For example, if you are in the mountains, think about the sound of the nearby stream or the sounds of the wildlife. Think about the smell of the pines and clean, fresh air. Picture yourself ensconced in the area. This doesn't have to be a long exercise. Even a few minutes of visualization will immediately lower your stress level.
Take a break. One of the most important things you can do is take a break from your email, cell phone, and texts. There are many ways in which it is important to have social media at our fingertips; however, too much of a good thing can be bad, believe it or not. Unplug from the world at least once or twice during the day, even if it's for only five minutes. You will be surprised at how rejuvenating it is, and it will be easier for you to work on being mindful.
Improve your mental health. A recent study found moderate evidence to support the use of mindfulness meditation to treat conditions such as mood and sleep issues. (Seaman, 2014) It was found that being mindful "produces measurable improvements of up to 20 percent in symptoms of anxiety and depression compared to people who practice another activity ... It can also help alleviate feelings of stress and enhance quality of life." (Henley, 2014) So even if you don't suffer from depression or anxiety, there's proof that your mental health can always improve and reduce stress just by taking the time to be mindful.
Improve your physical health. Being mindful will do wonders for your physical health. Studies have shown that it can actually improve physical ailments, such as lowering blood pressure, reducing chronic pain, improving sleep and offering relief for stomach aches and headaches. It is amazing what your mind can do for your entire body.
How to be more mindful when you're not
It's important to realize when you aren't being mindful, because the more you practice, the better you will be. For example, if someone's talking directly to you and you find yourself not fully listening, make an effort to give that person your undivided attention. (Nadrich, 2014)
Try to be on time all the time. When you are rushing around, you won't be your best and more than likely you won't be aware of the moment. Another tip is to do something kind for one person every day. Even if it's letting someone go in front of you while in line at the grocery store, or just smiling at someone, it will make a world of difference. It will put you in the awareness of the moment every time.
It may sound cliché, but the road to success is paved by living in the present. Learning to not worry about every little thing will bring so much peace in your life. Whether it is family issues, finance worries or workplace stresses, learning how to live in the present will make all the difference in the world. It's important to stay positive and learn to not focus on all the small issues.
What exactly is success and how does one obtain it?
People look at success in many different ways. Unfortunately, in this day and age, many people equate it to how much money you have, what you drive, or even what you wear. This is the wrong way to look at success, because one who thinks in these terms will never truly be happy. When you come to the end of your life journey, it won't be the money or material things you have that will define your life. Instead, it will be the quality of your relationships, memories, and things that you have done in life to improve the world.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines success as: "favorable or desired outcome." (Merriam) Success is the accomplishment of goals. It can bring such contentment into your life. However, you want to focus on the right type of success – the type of success that's not evidenced by your bank account, but the kind that stays with you forever. In order to achieve the right kind of success – the kind of success that will bring you great happiness in life – there are a few things that you might have to change about yourself. Human beings are always evolving and we should always be open to change and growth. Sometimes this isn't easy, because it makes us feel vulnerable, but it's necessary for personal growth.
The right type of success can easily be gained by doing the right things, and always being open to learning about new things, people, and situations.
Tips to living in the present
Live simply. Keep your life simple and don't get too bogged down with everyday life. One thing that will help is to evaluate the time you are spend doing things -- from getting up in the morning, going to bed at night, and everything in between. Simplify your tasks and minimize your commitments. Learn how to say no. After all, it's your life and it's your prerogative to do only what you want to do, when you want to. Of course, we all have places we have to be and there are things we have to do, but prioritize your time. If you spend your time doing something worthwhile, instead of spending time doing something you really don't want to, that in itself will make you enjoy each moment more and to be in the present.
Work/life balance. Balancing your personal life and work life is one of the hardest things to conquer. Think about the things that are most important to you. After all, it's your life and it's up to you as to how you live it. Always be present in the moment depending on where you are at that moment. For example, once you arrive home from work, get rid of your mobile phone, tablet, and/or laptop, and spend some time with your family. Be present when you are with them and give them your 100 percent attention. Work will be waiting for you in the morning, but for the time being, you need to focus on where you are at the time. In simple terms, when you are away from work, be away.
Define small goals. Take the time to think about the small goals you have. It's helpful to look at goals in terms of smaller versus larger. When goals are broken up, they are easier to keep track of. It is also much easier to reach that goal. Well-defined goals will help you stay organized and stay ahead of the game. When setting up a goal, always make sure you set deadline for yourself. Many people will only focus on the big goals, but by doing this, they lose sight of the big picture. By setting small goals, you are able to focus on them, one at a time, and successfully achieve each goal. Don't lose sight of any big goals you have, just know that you need to focus on the small goals first so you don't feel discouraged.
Be thankful. Never let a day go by that you don't think of something you are thankful for. There are so many things in your life that you should be thankful for. If you take the time to be mindful of the things and people that make you happy, then that, in itself, is going to make you happier. Fully appreciate each and every moment you have. And don't forget to smile as you move throughout your day. Each day is new and you never know what wonderful things are in store every morning.
Declutter your life and your mind. In order to be more mindful and to start living in the present, it's essential that you declutter everything around you, even your mind. The human race is so plagued with worry and stress that it has become a problem of epidemic proportions. First things first: Organize both your home and office. This will do wonders for you, and make you feel more relaxed. Go through your spaces and eliminate anything that's not essential. The combination of a clean and organized space will allow you to clear your mind.
Don't think about the past or the future. Don't allow yourself to live in the past or the future. Neither one has any bearing on your life. It doesn't matter if you have made a hundred mistakes in the past, as everyone has, because there is nothing that you can do about that now. If you constantly think about the things that you would change from the past, then you are not living in the present. Thinking about past mistakes is an unnecessary waste of time that will just bring negativity into your life. This is extremely counterproductive when it comes to attempting to make positive changes in your life. It not only affects your mental well-being, but it will affect your physical health, as well. Now is the time to forgive yourself of any past mistakes -- and to never look back. This is the only way you will find the peace in your life that you deserve.
Seek balance in order to achieve mindfulness and success
There are some things you should avoid in order to achieve both mindfulness and success. The first thing you need to do is stop playing the victim. This is one of the worse things you can do when it comes to your well-being. You have a choice in absolutely everything that you do. This is your life and it is time to take control. Complaining and wallowing in misery will do nothing good for you, or anyone around you. Everything you do is a decision. Do you think you don't have what it takes to look for a new job, because you are miserable at your present one? Can you never find any time in your busy schedule to make it to the gym? These are all excuses that you are making and it's up to you to make positive changes. No one can do this for you, but you, yourself.
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