Incorporating mindfulness into your everyday life

Part Eastern philosophy, part guide to relaxation, mindfulness can improve your mental and physical health.


Artwork by Melina Illinger

Mindfulness, a state of constant awareness originally derived from Buddhist roots, has become a modern movement that anyone can practice.

Mindfulness encourages a strong connection between mind and body and is a great way to be aware of your senses to help decide where you want to focus your attention.

It may seem like a simple thing to practice, but it does require discipline and dedication.  However, with time and patience, it is something you can start to incorporate in your everyday life and soon begin to enjoy all of the health benefits that come with it. Here are a few ways you can begin to incorporate a mindful living into your daily routine.


Start your day without your phone

Instead of waking up and immediately checking your messages and social media, wake up and prepare your mind and body for the day ahead of you. Meditation doesn’t have to be a long and silent project; you can do it in your bed for a few minutes each morning and still achieve awareness. Initiate a productive mindset by meditating or doing something else that relaxes your body and stimulates your brain before you even get out of bed.

Observe your breathing

Pay attention to where your breathing is originating from. Your breathing patterns are indicative of your mindset, so observe whether your breath is coming from your throat or your stomach.  Also pay attention to how long your inhale is versus how long your exhale is.

If you have shallow breaths coming from your throat, then you might be stressed and your body might be full of tension.  To have a healthier mindset, that tension needs to be released by calming your body and focusing on breathing from your stomach.  Try to inhale for five seconds through your nose and exhale for five seconds from either your nose or mouth.  Being conscious of your breathing will help you to calm your mind and body which is essential to better physical and mental health.

Eat sensibly

When you eat, don’t just scarf down your food. Eat it piece by piece and enjoy the texture and tastes of each bite. Not only does it make eating more enjoyable, it is also a simple way to avoid overeating. Eating in this manner helps you to only eat as much food as your body actually needs. Eating too much or not enough will make you feel sluggish and fatigued whereas mindful eating will help you establish healthy eating habits.

Accept things as they are and live in the moment

Don’t wish away your life by always wanting things to be different. Instead, accept how things are right at this moment.  That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive for better things, but rather know that it’s up to you to achieve anything you desire. Don’t compare yourself to others; be happy in your own skin. Set attainable goals, achieve them, and this will help build up your self-confidence. Mindfulness is all about being in the moment. So enjoy each day without regretting the past or worrying about the future. Less worrying results in more time for the things that make you happy.

Make a list

When you feel like you have too many responsibilities and not enough time, make a list of all your tasks and prioritize what is and isn’t important. Set a timer for fifty minutes and during those fifty minutes only do your list of tasks. After that fifty minute period is over, take a break for ten minutes then continue the pattern until all your tasks are complete.

Put your phone away before bed and end your day on a positive note

Using your phone before bed stimulates your brain and makes it harder to fall asleep. If you put your phone away before getting ready for bed you’re guaranteed to get a better night of sleep. Before you go to sleep, think about all the good things that happened throughout your day and decide how you can make tomorrow even better to end your day on a positive note.

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