Another popular term floating around these days that advertises incredible life change. But what is mindfulness and how can it really change your life? Let’s start with the basics.
Mindfulness is a state of being present and aware in the moment. With all of the chaos that life tends to bring, this idea of being still enough to even notice what’s around you may seem out of reach. Maybe you have kids running around or you’re running a business or you’re trying to survive finals week. If so, you’re probably thinking, “Lady, I don’t know about you but I don’t have the time to sit and be still for 20 minutes. And even if I did have that time, why would I spend it just being mindful when I could be productive?”
I hear you. It seems that everywhere you look, mindfulness is being shown as individuals meditating and focusing on their breath, which is a typical formal practice of mindfulness. What often isn’t shown are all the ways to be present without dedicating 20 minutes to sitting cross-legged on the floor with your essential oil diffuser going in the background (which is totally A-Okay and has a beautiful effect if you have the time and are not being interrupted every 5 seconds).
My hope is for this skill to be accessible to everyone though and so I’d like to introduce some less formal but fully effective practices of mindfulness that will give you the mental clarity and balance you crave. Before I give you some ideas, its important to note what is so great about mindfulness.
Research has shown that a regular mindfulness practice lowers psychological distress, including anxiety, depression, anger and worry. Not only is the negative stuff decreased over time, the good stuff (like greater emotional awareness, joy, gratitude, acceptance and improved emotion regulation skills) increases too! Anyone else want to have less anxiety, more joy and an improved ability to get yourself out of bad moods? Here are some simple practices to get you started.
Giving credit where credit is due: