You may have heard about the practice of mindfulness. Research-based evidence shows that adopting a lifelong mindfulness practice can decrease stress, improve your immune system and overall well-being. Over time, this practice also has beneficial psychological effects, as patients describe feeling an improved sense of connection to themselves and the world around them.
When it comes to mindfulness (a practice that can bring so many great benefits), it is important to remember that it is not a quick fix!
So, if you ask yourself, “How can I be more mindful?” here are 5 easy tips that you can use starting today to help you incorporate mindfulness into your life.
1. Practice mindfulness when you are feeling good
Don’t wait until you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed. Often, people wait until a moment of crisis to meditate, reflect, or “be in the moment,” but these can be the most challenging times to find the focus you need!
2. Start with Baby Steps
Pick one or 2 activities to begin your mindfulness journey. For example, you can start your day with a five-minute breathing exercise or perhaps give your full attention to 1 action a day. This activity might be a meal or taking your child to school. The important thing is to give yourself a chance to be in the moment.
3. Remember that mindfulness is not easy
Treat mindfulness like learning a new skill. Give yourself the time to practice and the patience to learn how mindfulness fits into your life. With constant access to information via our smartphones, it is easy to be distracted! So, if you find yourself becoming distracted easily, be patient with yourself and practice refocusing your energy.
4. Mindfulness is a long-term strategy
One of the goals of practicing mindfulness is to learn how to listen to your thoughts. And sometimes you won’t love what you hear! As you start or continue your journey of becoming more mindful, remember that it is a long-term goal. As you become more in tune with your thoughts, you can practice new ways to deal with them before letting them build up and come out at less-than-ideal-moments.
5. Work with a licensed psychologist
Becoming your best self and working through your issues is hard work. Do not be afraid to ask for help. A licensed psychologist can help you understand different ways to incorporate mindfulness into your life in a healthy manner. A psychologist can also recommend specific activities for you to help you on your path to mindfulness.