You’re already practising mindfulness

You’re already practising mindfulness

‘Mindfulness’ became a trend a few years ago. Therapists, but also lifestyle coaches and guru’s have taken it into their methods. The basic idea of mindfulness is that instead of living in the past or planning for the future, you should try to focus more on what is happening now.

Why?

With news coming to you from all around the world and communication possibilities every second of the day, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and stress. In addition, you’re supposed to plan your future and prepare for it, but also deal with things from your past. That all sounds like a bit much, doesn’t it? That’s where mindfulness comes in! Mindfulness teaches you that it is also important to be in the present. To enjoy the food you eat now, to enjoy the wind in your hair, to experience your emotions in all their power. Future worries are exactly where they should stay: in the future.

Does it work?

Up to a point, certainly! A lot of problems exist, because we tend to worry too much about the future. What if’s tend to withhold us from doing things we’d love to do or to take chances. Maybe’s are often a way to postpone making difficult decisions. By trying to do things now and think of what is good at the moment, a lot of worries will disappear and you’ll be able to get more enjoyment out of life.

However, I believe looking at the future is not necessarily at bad thing. The problem lies in worrying about things we can’t control. A little planning can’t hurt to avoid bad things from happening. However, if things don’t work out as you planned, let it go. For instance, imagine you have to be somewhere really early tomorrow. The best option is of course to make sure you’ve bought some breakfast today and you’ve set your alarm. However, it can happen your day was busier than you thought and you weren’t able to go to the store. Then, there is no reason to kick yourself when you realise it and think about how stressed you’ll be tomorrow. You’ll just have to wake up a little earlier to buy breakfast for the road and get to sleep now, instead of worrying.

What this crisis teaches us

The corona crisis is filled with uncertainty. Life is unpredictable. Will you keep your job, when will we be able to continue life as it was and will life ever truly be the same again? This doesn’t feel nice, since we all like to have control over our lives. This uncertainty also prevents us from planning. You don’t know when you’ll have to get back to the office, if you have money to spare and when you can start planning your next holiday again. Therefore, it is the perfect timing to try and practise mindfulness. To be able to get from day to day, we’ll have to focus on the little pleasures: the taste of delicious foods, the joy it brings to feel the sunlight on our faces. Life in this ‘simple’ form can teach us to enjoy these little things and we should try to take these lessons into the future with us. When you’ll have to worry about strict deadlines again when you’re back at your office, remember to enjoy the tastes and feelings you’re enjoying now. Remember to take time for the things you love and remember the value of being able to communicate with your loved ones frequently.

How to help yourself

But how can you remind yourself of this? A thing you can do now is to record the things that you are realising and to make a list. When you feel stressed later, you can take the list and intently increase your focus on those things. It also helps to records what it does to you. For instance, you can make a list like this:

  • Taking a walk for 10+ minutes: a more relaxed feeling
  • Eating whilst focusing on the taste: more excitement to cook, eating less and feeling more energised
  • Feeling the warmth of a mug of tea: increased feeling of safety
  • Crying when watching a sad movie: a lighter feeling afterwards

This way, if you feel stressed, you can see what helped you back then.

You can also invest in little things that helped you to motivate you to do so. For instance, I have bought a couple of bath bombs, since going into a warm bath is the ultimate way to relax after a busy day at work. However, I have a rule that I can only have a bath once a week (or less), so it keeps feeling ‘special’. This forces me to get the most out of it when I do take that bath: get a cup of tea, a face mask and a good book ready and carefully choose the right bath bomb to fit my mood.

What are your favourite ‘mindful’ finds? Let me know in the comments below! And if you liked this post, please follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. You can also subscribe on the right and get an email every time I upload!

Lots of love,

Lisa

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Hi there! My name is Lisa and I am the author of Mind and Body Intertwined. I have a bachelor's and a master's degree in psychology. During my study, I found out how much the mind and the body are connected and it fascinated me, which is why I started my blog. Would you like to join me on this little corner of the world?

25 Comments on “You’re already practising mindfulness

  1. I love having a bath in the evening to relax, but ive been trying to practise mindfulness more in the mornings. If i have a quiet morning I like to sit outside with a coffee (weather permitting) and its one of my favourite things to do, no phone, maybe a journal to write any feelings down, and it makes me so happy!

  2. Thanks for this! I have always been a worrier. But I’m working on that. I think the biggest thing for me, is like you said, try not to worry about what you can’t control. I think with that Covid-19 stuff, that’s finally starting to sink in for me. And as we are having to go without I am definitely learning to appreciate the little things more. I started a gratitude journal when all this started, and I think that’s definitely helping. Thank you for the pointers!

  3. These are all amazing tips! Ive been having one bath every 2 weeks (showers inbetween obviously haha) and it’s made it a lot more special and relaxing. And crying at sad things has just become the norm recently!

    Thank you for the tips

  4. I liked this, and absolutely agree about having baths! Ive been struggling with being mindful through lockdown, so recently started a gratitude journal. Every few days, i wake up, get a coffee and write 4 things i’m greatful for and why. It’s only a small thing, but always gets my day off to a good, positive start. Life is really busy for me when its normal, so these slower starts have been super helpful ๐Ÿ™ˆ

    • That sounds like a great morning! I’m also in love with somewhat slower starts of the day to keep it positive and easy to start up with. Good luck with journaling in the future! ๐Ÿ˜€

  5. This whole situation has really served as a reminder to me of the importance of slowing down and enjoying my time. I’m one of those people that is always go, go, go with very little time to just kick back and enjoy life. That’s served me well as far as getting ahead in my career, etc., however, it’s not doing me any favours when it comes to my own mental health. I didn’t realize how draining my lifestyle was until everything was cancelled and I was forced to stay home. I will definitely be thinking twice as I move forward.

    • How cool that you’ve noticed such a difference! I think it’s sometimes ‘easier’ to just keep going for a lot of us, because that way we don’t have to think about things like our flaws (which we all have and should have). I hope you can keep up the great work! ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. Yes these are all great tips!! It’s especially important to be mindful when we eat and I fall guilty to this, we should try not to watch TV while we eat because we’re not focusing on what goes into our mouth, we’re focusing on what’s on TV. This had also proven we eat more when we watch TV.

  7. Great post! I’ve been trying so hard to get into mindfulness. I own a pub and I’ve been trying to use this time to get into daily practise. It’s so hard not to beat yourself up for mind wandering, but as you say such simple activities as mindfully eating is still mindfulness practice. I definitely find that journaling helps me stay a little bit more appreciative and less stressed.

    Lots of love, Helen x
    http://www.whathelenloves.com

    • Hi Helen,

      That’s so great to hear! I totally see what you mean in terms of beating yourself up, but it’s so much more helpful to reward yourself for noticing that you are wandering off! Sounds like you are doing really great already!

  8. Great post I really enjoyed reading it. I sometimes struggle with creating that balance in my life your post got me to think about mindfulness in a new light. Thank you

  9. I really like your point about only having one bath a week so it continues to feel special. I’d never considered that before but you’re so right, if you have a nice bath with candles and bath bombs and tea and a face mask every night then it’s not going to be a special act of self care any more, it’s just going to be another part of your daily routine. I’ll definitely keep that in mind for the future! xxx

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