Over the past year, I’ve really been trying to figure out and focus on how to be more mindful in my everyday life. With such busy days, so many distractions, the rise of social media and so on, it’s really easy to get lost in mindless, distracting thoughts.
Learning how to be more mindful has become so important to be. I’ve been trying my best not to dwell on the past, not to worry about the future, and stay focused on the present. It can do so much for your overall health and wellness and it’s something everyone could focus on a little more.
With that in mind, check out 10 creative ways to be mindful and live a more mindful life.
What is the definition of mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the state of mind where the mind is fully attentive to what is happening, where you are and what you’re doing. It’s all about being fully present without judgement and not being overwhelmed about what’s happening around you.
Stress and anxiety often creep up when we’re not practicing mindfulness. Our thoughts end up taking us to a place of fear, wondering what may happen in the future or obsessing over something that happened in the past. Mindfulness can snap us out of these thought, bringing us back to focusing on what’s going on right now.
It’s really easy to get distracted these days, and things like Instagram and can take us to another “world” where our focus isn’t on what’s happening to us in the moment, but rather focused on other people’s’ lives. This can lead to feelings of jealousy, FOMO, inadequacy and other negative feelings that aren’t good for our emotional well being.
It’s really important to focus on ourselves and what’s going on with us rather than putting attention on other people and situations!
Are mindfulness and meditation the same thing?
Although similar, mindfulness and meditation are not exactly the same thing. You can be mindful without practicing meditation, and on the flip side, meditation is one of the most powerful ways to practice mindfulness. But it’s not the only way.
As I mentioned above, mindfulness is being totally in the moment, and not getting distracted by what’s going on around you or things that have happened in your past. There are a number of ways to practice mindfulness aside from meditation and I’m so excited to share these with you in this post!
Want to start your day with mindfulness meditation? Here’s a meditation practice for inner peace by Yoga with Adriene!
10 Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness
Mindfulness is important for so many reasons, physically, mentally and emotionally. Here are 10 benefits of practicing mindfulness everyday.
- Minimizes overthinking
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Increases focus and productivity
- Creates better, happier relationships
- Improves sleep
- Promotes mental and emotional health
- Increases resilience
- Enhances creativity
- Increases self love
- Enhances your ability to deal with and bounce back from illness
5 Tips on becoming more mindful
If being in the moment is important to you, it’s key to know tips on becoming more mindful! Here are 5 things you need to know if you’re wondering how to be more mindful.
1. Slow down
Many of us lead really busy lifestyles. Some of us don’t even have time to make our own meals, let alone take time to practice self care. But slowing down is crucial to becoming more mindful.
If you’re constantly on the go, make a conscious effort to take mindful breaks throughout your day. Take ten minutes to do some meditation at lunch; listen to a feel-good podcast on transit instead of responding to work emails; take three deep breaths before and after any meetings to help you stay in the moment, and so on.
Making little changes like this that force you to slow down are really important to becoming more mindful.
2. Put your phone away
Our phones are our biggest distractions. They’ve basically become another limb for a lot of us, and it’s messing with our ability to be mindful.
Whether it’s a group text with your friends that’ keeps dinging, scrolling Instagram and playing the comparison game or having emails sent directly to your phone, it can be a major distraction.
Put your phone away while you’re working, when you’re out to a meal or having a conversation with your friends, and when you get home at night so you can be fully in the moment with your S.O. It’s life changing.
3. Actually listen to people when they’re speaking to you
It is one of the most awful things in the world when you’re talking to someone and they’re on their phone or paying attention to something else. When someone is speaking to you, give them your full attention.
Not only will this show them they’re important to you, it will also keep you from missing something important they want to share with you. Always listen and focus when people are talking to you.
4. Notice how you’re feeling
When we’re so go-go-go it’s easy to ignore how we’re feeling and just go through the motions everyday. Take time throughout the day to notice how you’re feeling.
Are you stressed at worked? Are you anxious on the subway in rush hour? Are you happy when you step into your favourite cafe? Do you light up when you’re on the way to the gym?
Notice how you’re feeling at different points of your way and ask yourself why you’re feeling this way. This is a great way to figure out what you need to do more of and what you need to change to start living a happier, more mindful life.
5. Pay attention to what you do when you’re Distracted
Do you get distracted or procrastinate a lot? I have to admit, there are some days where my procrastination game is SO strong. I read this quote the other day that said something along the lines of “when you’re doing two things at once, you’re doing neither.”
It’s so true. When you’re distracted, you’re still kind of focused on the task at hand, but you’re also focusing on whatever you’re procrastinating with, which means you’re not being mindful at all.
Take note of what you’re working on when you tend to procrastinate, and what you do when you procrastinate. This will tell you a lot about what you actually enjoy doing.
How to be more in the moment
If you really want to know how to be more in the moment on a daily basis, try these 5 things to go from living mindlessly to living mindfully.
- Purge things you don’t need anymore
- Forgive pains and hurts from the past
- Love what you do everyday
- Breathe deeply
- Stop worrying
How to be More Mindful: 10 Creative ways to be mindful
1. Stretch right when you wake up
Have you ever noticed how good it feels to stretch? Not only does it feel good, doing stretching and breathing exercises in the morning will wake up your body and mind and energize you for the day ahead!
2. Go take photos
Taking photos forces you to be more mindful because you have to really focus on whatever it is you’re taking a photo of in that moment. Create content, go for a walk, find new perspectives. You don’t have to be a professional photographer by any means! Just let your creative side shine!
Journaling is so important to mindfulness. When you’re journaling you’re completely in the moment, focused on whatever you’re writing about. There are plenty of different ways to journal from gratitude journaling to writing a daily diary.
Journaling helps you create a record of your life that you can look back on and use to gain perspective. It will also help you realize how you’re feeling and what you truly want in your life right now and in the future.
If you want to start a journal, check out my post on how to start journaling!
4. Get outside
Getting outside to enjoy the seasons and scenery is one of the best ways to practice mindfulness. Step outside and take it all in, noticing the sights, sounds and smells of the outdoors.
Don’t reach for your phone and try your best not to let your mind wander. Take a walk, go for a run or pick up a cup of tea at your local cafe. However you can get outside, make sure you do it everyday!
5. Draw or paint (even if you’re not good at it)
Draw, paint, doodle, do whatever feels good to you. Sometimes I like to draw out floor plans for my dream home and I’ve bought adult colouring books to help me relax. Doing these things helps you stay focused on the task at hand and keeps you creatively in the moment.
6. Cook healthy meals
The whole experience of cooking can be incredibly calming and therapeutic. It reminds you to slow down and focus on what’s at hand – the delicious meal you’re going to cook! It also helps boost your creativity, allowing you to experiment with different flavours, spices and ingredients.
Grab your favourite cookbook or head to Pinterest to find meals you can’t wait to whip up, head to the grocery store to grab the ingredients and start cooking!
7. Practice yoga
I’m obsessed with practicing yoga. I used to go to a studio (and still will from time to time), but I’ve also started doing at-home yoga sessions and am loving them!!! I always feel so much more energized, focused and productive, even after practicing yoga for just ten minutes.
Yoga brings you right to the present. It helps you clear your mind and focus on your body and breath. It helps you grow stronger physically and mentally and clears your mind of unnecessary banter.
Want to check out a great yoga practice for stress and anxiety? Here’s one of my favourites by Yoga with Adriene:
8. Make a vision board
Although mindfulness is about being in the moment, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a vision for your future life. Round up a bunch of photos that inspire what you want your life to look like in five to ten years and stick them on a bristol board.
Making a vision board keeps you in the moment and also makes you excited to get to work and create your ideal future!
9. Dream about the future, but practice gratitude for today
Like I mentioned above, you can still dream about the future, but make sure you practice gratitude for what you have right now every single day. It’s important to have goals and dreams, but it’s also important not to get too wrapped up in what you’re working for and look how far you’ve come and what you have right now!
10. Hang out with high vibe people
When you hang out with high vibe people, you’ll love every second of it and stay in the moment. You’ll want to learn from them, chat with them, share your stories with them. It’s all about finding your tribe and hanging out with them as much as possible.
How to Have a mindful day: 10 Everyday mindfulness exercises
- Practice meditation for 10-20 minutes every morning
- Drink water throughout the day
- Chew your food slowly and actually taste what you’re eating
- Write down your “top 3” priorities for the day each morning
- Put your phone on airplane mode while you’re working and when you’re with others
- Take a real lunch break every day
- Get social in real life
- Get moving every single day (do yoga, take a walk, play a sport, go for a run, anything!!!)
- Write down a gratitude list each night
- Get a good night’s sleep (at least 8 hours each night)
Everyone can benefit from being more mindful. If you’re wondering how to be more mindful, follow these tips and implement these creative ways to be more mindful on a daily basis!
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