Bringing Mindfulness Into Your Everyday Life
How often do you feel joy? Genuine, inhibited joy? What if one simple activity could help you notice and create joy more often?
Mindfulness is a way to notice our thoughts, be patient with ourselves, and intentionally chose how we want to move forward. When we bring awareness into our daily activities we are able to actively seek the joy of being alive. Living mindfully also helps us to more easily take in the goodness that surrounds us each day. You learn to savor. You learn to be forgiving — especially to yourself.
It's often thought that mediation means that you must quiet the mind completely, which can feel incredibly difficult — we are human after all. However, mindfulness and meditation are really about teaching us how to quiet distractions and just pay attention to the present moment. To forget about our to-do lists, a work conflict, or what you're making for dinner that evening.
In meditation, I encourage you to choose to focus on one thing at a time. Notice your mind wandering away from the chosen anchor, and with kindness and compassion bring your awareness back. As we become better at focusing on the present moment, we gain a new awareness of the beautiful things that happen around us all the time. Plus, we spend less time ruminating about the past and fretting about the future.
3 tips to intentionally be mindful and begin a meditation practice
It is important to start your meditation practice in a way that feels realistic and accessible to you. So, feel empowered that micro-meditions are a thing. A micro-meditation is as little as one intentional breath or one full minute of thoughtful breathing. That's it!
Take one thoughtful deep breath before or after a tough conversation. I promise it will make a difference.
When you wake up, do something that brings you joy
It has been shown that the way we start our day affects the way we end it. Instead of going straight to your phone answering emails or text messages, try to take a few deep belly breaths. Inhale through your nose until your belly is full with air and then loudly exhale out your mouth.
I encourage all people to take 30 minutes to an hour between the time they wake up and when they start their work for the day to do something mindful. And, by mindful, I mean just being totally present doing something you love. Something that brings you joy.
Spoken words can be a great way to focus attention. One mantra we love is, "Peace begins *deep inhale, with me deep exhale* ."
Leave a post-it on your mirror to remind you of this mantra. Recite these simple words every morning and night, and throughout the day as needed.
Peace, joy, and lightness live within all of us. Meditation and mindfulness allow us to tap into a deeper sense of peace and joy. If you’re looking for guidance on these practices, our Realistic Self Care course aims to change the way your mind processes adversity. We will help you manage the everyday stressors of life with simple, actionable tools - to learn more visit our website.
This piece was written and contributed by:
President of Woodull Wellness
Molly Woodhull is the founder of Woodhull Wellness. Molly helps her clients achieve peace of mind while increasing productivity, accountability, and clarity in decision-making. Her method inspires positive communication through the development of a common language. As a yoga teacher, meditation guide, and wilderness immersion expert, Molly boasts a dynamic understanding of wellness. Molly has received teacher certification from Duke University The Center from Koru Mindfulness, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Training, Compassion and Cultivation training from Stanford University, and a YNG + iLAB: Innovation and Disruption from Harvard University.