By Holly Lowe Jones (@hollylowejones)
As this challenging year comes to a close, incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine can help manage stress and anxiety. Since the pandemic, mindfulness is becoming an increasingly more popular way of helping people deal with difficult times, loss, and illness.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a method of being present and living in the now. It is a tool used to achieve and maintain inner peace.
Mindfulness provides many of the same benefits of meditation, without the commitment. The practice of meditation requires silence, stillness, and daily practice. Mindfulness can occur anywhere, at any time.
According to an article published by Yale Medicine (https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/mindfulness covid), there are many benefits to being more mindful in our daily lives. Whether you experience stress because of work, school, financial hardship, health, or familial responsibility, taking a moment to slow down and focus on taking deep breaths can be extremely beneficial. Studies have shown that mindfulness can improve overall well-being and reduce stress.
Aside from taking deep breaths, consider incorporating mindfulness into your daily life in the following ways:
- Making Healthy Food Choices and Mindful Eating: Eating slowly, sitting down to eat, and savoring the food is important for health and can help you make better choices. Having a nutritious snack like RXBAR’s delicious protein bars, which are free of added sugar and contain no gluten or fillers, can keep you from getting too hungry and overeating or choosing fast food. Just as mindfulness works to de clutter your mind, RXBAR protein bars are made from minimal ingredients and “no B.S.” Take time to appreciate what you are eating and thank yourselffor making a healthy choice.
- Self-Care: Whether it’s maintaining personal grooming, getting a massage, or taking a long, hot bath or shower, focus on the details of each moment. How does the water and soap feel on your skin? Take time to appreciate the before and after process of working to maintain or improve your appearance. Savor the smell and texture of your skin care products; light some candles and allow your body to fully relax in the bathtub. Try to focus all of your attention on what you are experiencing in the moment.
- Exercising: A wonderful way to practice mindfulness is when walking or jogging outdoors. Particularly in the spring, summer, and fall, pay attention to the colors and shapes of the leaves, the trees, and the way the light cascades around you. Watch sunsets and try to get outside at least once a day when weather permits. Click here to learn more about mindful running: https://positivepsychology.com/mindful-running-exercise/.
Tip: Try listening to mindfulness affirmations while walking or jogging outdoors. There are many to choose from on YouTube, just search “mindfulness affirmations.”
The key to being mindful is gratitude. When you are thankful for your health, opportunities, family, friends, experiences, material possessions, God-given gifts, and talents—it requires presence of mind. If you are too focused on the past, or too worried about the future, it’s not possible to be fully present. To be mindful is to be in a state of gratefulness.