Mindfulness 101: How to Have a Mindful Day
Everywhere you look "they" are telling you to be more mindful. Even here on VibeWell, it's the whole premise of living an intentional life.
What does it really mean?
How do you create a practice?
Why isn't it as easy as "they" make it sound?
As a society, we live in a pretty high paced, high stressed environment. Leaving us to operate and live from a predominately low vibe state -- distracted, unhealthy and BLAH. We have pockets of high vibes, but our default state is low. The point of mindfulness is to flip that equation around; to operate from a high vibe state.
What does a high vibe state look like?
Easy, it's those people who always seem to see the bright side. They have their "moments" but they rarely fall down the rabbit hole of chasing negative emotions. The bright-siders” know there is a purpose, and good in everything—every person, every situation, every traffic jam, every argument, every unpleasant thing in the world.
The secret to their mindset is the key to living the ultimate healthy, mindful, and positive life. Although it seems easy, it's a conscious effort, and a series of consistent daily choices. It's easy to get accustomed to living without mindfulness because we are often surrounded by the representation of its lack.
You have the power to change that truth, especially in your own life.
it’s time to learn how to practice this secret to being self-aware, calm, happy and grateful in life.
Every morning you can set the tone for your day. First thing in the morning the optimal time to practice and create the intention for a mindful day. Here are three tips to start infusing mindfulness into your mornings.
1. Wake Up & Reflect
Rule #1: Don't press snooze. It's more of a hinderance than a help. When coupled with other mindfulness techniques, easing into your morning will help you get up. Sometimes it's hard just to jump right into the day, so give yourself a moment or two to lay (or write) and reflect.
Why am I grateful for this day?
How do I want to feel today?
What am I looking forward to today?
Choose one for a few days, and see if intentionally choosing positive thoughts improves your day.
2. Deep Stretch
Help to wake yourself up, by intentionally waking your body from head to toe. It doesn't have to be elaborate, but it should be intentional. It could be as simple as rotating your neck from side to side, rolling your shoulders and bending over to touch your toes -- or as elaborate as a yoga sequence, like sun salutations. Try one of these options below:
Meditation at any point of the day is perfect, but quieting your mind in the morning assures you start things off right and carry high vibes through the rest of the day. Time is generally of the essence in the morning, so 5-10min is enough. You can try multiple types of meditation until you find one that works best for your mornings.
Breathing - focusing on calculated breaths and sensations throughout your body
Visualization - focus on visualizing something, like a future event, or future version of yourself.
Chanting - repeatedly reciting an affirmation, phrase or verse silently or verbally for your set amount of time.
As the caffeine starts to wear off and the midday crash starts to creep in, here are some ways to add a little mindfulness into your midday that’ll keep sluggishness, negativity and bad vibes at bay.
1. Take Deep Breaths
As they do goes on, and we get busier and busier, and we forget about our breath. It's important to check in with yourself and take a few moments to breathe deeply. Try inhaling to fill your lungs completely, and then exhaling until there's nothing left. In the middle of the day find a quiet space to take 5 of these deep belly breaths -- when inhaling envision positivity flowing in, and when you exhale focus on pushing all negativity out.
“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” -Amit Ray
2. Take a Walking Break
Most working adults have a predominately sedentary lifestyle. Sitting for extended periods of time can put you at risk for future health complications. Active or not, it's good to break the habit of sitting for extended periods of time. Now, there are apps, watches and more to remind you to get up and move. At a minimum it's good to get in the habit of moving around every 30minutes. Double the mindfulness factor by adding in another activity:
Take a quick stretch break
Recite a quick gratitude list
Grab a glass of water
3. Make a List
This practice has a bonus benefit — it increases productivity. Whether you are a bullet journal person, or a to-do list person, it's beneficial to get into the habit of recapturing your day. A simple list of what was done, and what remains is the best way to make sure you are working every day with intention. Stress, deadlines, unexpected interruptions happen more often than not, and it's easy to lose our focus. We can forget details, repeat activities or miss major appointments all together.
After a long day of work, you likely enter your evening in some variation of autopilot. A little tv, a quick dinner, a few activities and then off to bed. Try reclaiming some time in your evening for intentional living.
1. Do Something You Enjoy
Start your evening, doing something that literally raises your vibes. It could be watching a tv show, taking a bubble bath, flipping through a magazine, going to yoga, reading a book -- the list could go on and on. It's literally anything that makes you feel good. It doesn't have to be the same thing everyday, the purpose here is to create space for yourself to experience joy every day.
"If you do what you love, it is the best way to relax." - Christian Louboutin
2. Make a Gratitude & Appreciation List
Some days can be trying, and some days can be amazing. Regardless of where you day falls on the spectrum, it's important to make time for gratitude and appreciation. There's a whole section on this site about gratitude and appreciation for more in depth understanding. The gist of it is, where we focus our attention, grows. If you focus on the things you don't want, the negative etc. you will experience more and see more instances that support your focus. Ease yourself into this practice and start with a list of 5-10 things, and gradually get into the process of just writing until you feel your list for the day is complete.
3. Disconnect before Bed
Create the intention practice of shutting down, before you literally shut down for the night. The lights, the phone, the tv, should all be off before the moment you are ready to go to sleep. The best way to do this, is to create a simple relaxation ritual that leads right up to your moments of sleep.Try something as simple as, one hour before turning off electronics and grabbing a book. If that's not your thing, try sipping tea and have a meditative moment of stillness quieting your mind, before relaxing into sleep. The options are endless.