“Everything you need, your courage, strength, compassion and love; everything you need is already within you.”
We’ve all seen it. Plastered on book covers, magazines and apps: Practice mindfulness. Make mindfulness a part of your day. Start your day with mindfulness.
But, what the heck is this ‘mindfulness’?
By definition, mindfulness is “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something”. Mindfulness has become so much more than that definition. It’s a way of life. It’s a lifestyle and you either get it or you don’t. And if you don’t, then that’s perfectly fine. It doesn’t make you any less of a person.
Practicing mindfulness gets you more in-tune with the world around you. And all it takes is five minutes. Are you willing to spend five minutes to allow yourself to achieve your goals?
When I first started out, I thought it was a lot of mumbo jumbo. How is sitting still and being utterly quiet for five minutes going to accomplish anything? There’s no way I can do that. What a waste of time!
In the society we live in today, we’re so plugged in and out of sync with the world around us. This new art of mindfulness isn’t exactly new, but in context it’s become this fascination. People make it seem like this riveting concept, but it’s really just about listening: to the world around you, to your thoughts and to your self.
I’ve hinted at my successes with mindfulness in my June Faves & Hidden Gems video, but it’s become such a part of my daily routine that if I don’t take five minutes out of my day to ground myself, I feel lost and unmotivated.
I’ve noticed that it has helped me tremendously with my fitness goals and all around making me more aware of the things and objectives in my life. I’m a Type A kind of person and like structure. I like crossing things off my to-do list and because of mindfulness, I’m finding more things to not only put on the list, but accomplishing them to grow as a person.
Mindfulness can be practiced wherever and whenever, which makes it such an easy habit to pick up. I’ve been using Simple Habit, an app available on the Apple Store and Android store, that offers a handful of free mediation sessions that allow you to accomplish several different things, like focusing and sleeping better. You can also unlock all their sessions for a monthly or annual fee, which I’m still considering of doing, but for the sake of right now, the free ones work just fine.
Simple Habit is a perfect app to start out with because the instructors on the app teach you the proper techniques and walk you through the meditation, step by step. The biggest hurdle is just downloading the app and trying it for yourself.
Personally, I like to meditate first thing in the morning, while I’m still laying in bed (Literally as soon as I open my eyes and grab my phone!). The mornings I meditate and set a positive intention are the days that I get more things done with efficiency and ease.
The mornings I don’t meditate, well, I still get the things on my to-do list done, but with more bellyaching and mumbles and grumbles. Mindfulness just gives me more of a sense of direction of the course I want to take the day on.
It doesn’t happen often, but there are some days that I just simply can’t get going or I feel like my motivation is stuck in the mud. That’s when mindfulness comes into play, I’ll walk away from whatever task I’m doing, pop on a Simple Habits mediation session and ground myself with a new vision. Usually, I’m more motivated and get the tasks on my to-do list done quickly.
As I’m unwinding and relaxing after my day, usually with a book in bed, I’ll mediate just as I’m falling asleep. Mediation has improved my sleep schedule and my quality of sleeping TREMENDOUSLY and if anyone suffers from restlessness or insomnia, I highly suggest taking the time to mediate.
I should note that I seldom suffer from sleep issues, but I have been entering more restful and deeper sleep cycles that leave me more refreshed the next morning. Because of this new found rejuvenation, I’ve been able to cut out coffee most mornings.
All mediation is, is adjusting your breathing. For someone who suffers from acute anxiety, there are some days that panic attacks are unavoidable. Life sneaks up on you, things pile up and sometimes it feels like you’re drowning. Take five minutes to zone out and refocus on what you need to accomplish. It’s not the absolute answer, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Do you practice mindfulness? Leave your tips and tricks in a comment below!
* This post was not sponsored by Simple Habit. I really just enjoy the app and the success I’ve had with it so much that I wanted to share my experiences of adopting mindfulness and the tools I’ve used to get there!