10 Tips for Being More Mindful (another smart girl's guide)

Mindfulness is very useful for reducing levels of stress and anxiety. It can help you create a more fulfilling life. While sitting meditation does form a significant part of it, there are many other things you can do to develop the skill of mindfulness and harness its power in your everyday life.

1. Concentrate:

Concentration is a key skill required for mindfulness. Start by focusing on your breath and quieten your mind. Should stray thoughts pop into your consciousness then refocus on your breathing. Practice every day and you'll soon find your concentration levels increase.

2. Sit:

Start your day by sitting quietly. Sitting meditation plays a significant part in mindfulness and, by practicing every day, you'll develop your concentration and your ability to focus on your breathing and clear your mind.

3. Don’t Multi-task:

Instead of trying to do more than one thing at a time in order to feel productive, focus on one task. This not only helps increase productivity but it also ensures that you're focused on what you're doing at that moment. You’ll be able to apply all your senses to what you're doing, heightening the experience and putting yourself in the moment.

4. Take a Break:

Spend at least 5 minutes every day doing absolutely nothing. This will help clear your mind and relax you. You can do this anywhere. Simply stop doing whatever you're involved in and do nothing. Clear your mind and focus on what's happening at that moment. Use all of your senses to experience it.

5. Eat Slowly:

By taking your time and chewing slowly while you eat, you'll enjoy your food more. You’ll experience the full taste of what you're eating. This also helps you eat less as you'll find it easier to know when you're full and won't keep eating just because there's food left on your plate.

6. Know Yourself:

Take time to write down what you think about that takes you away from the moment (the now). It may be a worry, stress, fear or situation. Whatever is disrupting your thoughts or actions should be written down. You can then try and work out how to deal with them so that they no longer affect you.

7. Be Positive:

Being positive is very powerful. Make sure that your thoughts and self-talk are positive. Surround yourself with people who are also positive and don’t allow other people’s negative energy or outlook to affect you. If you struggle with this you could try coaching, hypnotherapy or Neuro Linguistic Programing.

8. Determination:

Mindfulness is a skill that takes time to develop. If you're determined to be mindful then you'll need to practice regularly. Determination and persistence are two skills that will help you create a regular routine which includes mindfulness.

9. Gratitude:

Keep a gratitude journal. Write down at least three things you're grateful for every day. This encourages you to think about the present and how it's impacting your life and well-being.

10. Take Up Yoga or Tai Chi:

Not only will you get regular exercise but you’ll discover breathing and relaxation techniques that will allow you to experience the present moment. Both of these forms of exercise are great stress relievers but will enhance your mindfulness as they develop your awareness of your mind and body.

Mindfulness is a skill anyone can develop but it'll take regular practice. Below are three activities you can do right now to help you become more mindful.

ACTIONABLE STEPS

1. Do nothing! Spend 5 or 10 minutes simply sitting quietly, focusing on nothing but your breathing.

2. Watch Andy Puddicombe’s TED Talk, All It Takes is 10 Mindful Minutes.

3. Write down three things you are grateful for today.

FURTHER READING

1. Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World:

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2. Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life:

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3. Sitting Still Like a Frog: Mindfulness Exercises for Kids (and Their Parents):

(This is an affiliate link)

4. Mindfulness in Plain English:

(This is an affiliate link)

5. A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook:

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Created By
Annie Harrison
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Credits:

Created with images by Devanath - "harmony relax rock" • Mirrcos - "water forest green" • mindfulness - "dark storm" • pedja - "wave sea shore" • Growinnc - "Mindfulness"

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