Archive Monthly Archives: March 2020

Practice Patience

POST #10 of the Beginner’s Guide to Mindfulness Series.

Give yourself more time to be mindful.

Be patient with yourself. Mindfulness is not something you can pick up right away in most cases. If you have ever tried meditating, you know how easy it is for your mind to wander. This same difficulty comes with being more mindful. The most important thing to understand is that it takes practice, just like anything else.

Start slow with the lessons you learned in this series, from picking just one thing to focus on, to just trying to be mindful when you are writing in your journal or while eating a meal. As you do this, you begin being mindful more every day, until it gets to a point where you don’t even have to remind yourself to live in the present – it will just come naturally.

Thank you for joining me in this series!

In case you missed a post or would like to refer back.

POST #1: What is Mindfulness

POST # 2: Focus on One Thing at a Time

POST # 3: Bring Awareness to Certain Activities

POST #4: Eating Without Distractions

POST #5: Meditation and Mindfulness

POST # 6: Embrace Negative Emotions

POST # 7: Judge Less- Accept More

POST # 8: Forgive Yourself

POST #9: Journaling in the Moment

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Journaling in the Moment

POST #9 of the Beginner's Guide to Mindfulness Series.

Learn about using a journal as a tool to help you center your mind and focus more on the present.

If you want to journal for mindfulness, it does help to have one journal dedicated for this purpose, though of course it is not required. Don’t worry too much about what you journal with. This can be a journal or notebook, piece of paper you have on hand, or even typing on your computer. While sitting in a quiet place with pen and paper is ideal for being mindful, there are some moments where you can benefit even if you are sitting at your computer.

What you want to do is write what you are thinking or feeling right now, in this moment. Not what you went through last week or what you are thinking about tomorrow. Just live in this present moment, right now. Set a timer for a few minutes and write about anything from how you feel to what is going through your mind about this present moments.

Do this on a daily basis in a quiet spot in your home or office where you won’t have a lot of distractions. This is your time to remind yourself to be mindful every day.

Thank you for joining me in this series!

In case you missed a post or would like to refer back.

POST #1: What is Mindfulness

POST # 2: Focus on One Thing at a Time

POST # 3: Bring Awareness to Certain Activities

POST #4: Eating Without Distractions

POST #5: Meditation and Mindfulness

POST # 6: Embrace Negative Emotions

POST # 7: Judge Less- Accept More

POST # 8: Forgive Yourself

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Forgive Yourself

POST #8 of The Beginner's Guide to Mindfulness Series.
Forgive Yourself.

It is time to get into the more serious (and often difficult) parts of mindfulness. This includes learning how to forgive yourself.

It might not seem like a big deal, but forgiving yourself is one of the hardest things for people to do, and one of the most vital if you want to live a more mindful lifestyle. It is all tied into being more accepting of who you are and the actions you have taken. When you are more mindful, you don’t forget the past ever existed, but you learn to live with it. You think back on a moment, understand what your motivation was, then forgive yourself for any mistakes you made.

Make this a normal practice in your life, where you learn to be more compassionate with yourself. Understand that the moment you are in now is not what the moment was then. Actions you take have consequences, but that doesn’t mean you live the rest of your life filled with regret. When you become more mindful, in the future, your actions look much different. You have the thought process to focus more on actions before you take them, reducing how many regretful situations you get involved in.

Don’t just forgive yourself for the big mistakes, but small things like not eating a healthy meal one day, skipping your workout, or letting your mind wander when you shouldn’t have. You will discover how much happier you are.

Thank you for joining me in this series!

In case you missed a post or would like to refer back.

POST #1: What is Mindfulness

POST # 2: Focus on One Thing at a Time

POST # 3: Bring Awareness to Certain Activities

POST #4: Eating Without Distractions

POST #5: Meditation and Mindfulness

POST # 6: Embrace Negative Emotions

POST # 7: Judge Less- Accept More

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Judge Less- Accept More

POST #7 of the Beginner’s Guide to Mindfulness Series

Judge Less, accept more.

Today is about developing a non-judgmental attitude, not only toward yourself, but to others as well. Part of being more mindful in your life isn’t just about accepting things as they are in your own life, but accepting other people, including their traits and their flaws. You want to become an observer who accepts everything as it comes and does not make a habit of being judgmental.

A lot of stress in your life can come from negative emotions about other people and their actions. Get in the habit of watching other people and listening to what they say, and just living a state of acceptance. Do not judge them based on what you would do or you think they should act like. This creates a negative environment that is not productive or pleasant for anyone.

It is not easy to stop being judgmental, as everyone has their opinions. Practice this each day with every person you come in contact with. When you learn to push the judgment aside, you will discover that it helps to strengthen the bond between you and others in your life.

Thank you for joining me in this series!

In case you missed a post or would like to refer back.

POST #1: What is Mindfulness

POST # 2: Focus on One Thing at a Time

POST # 3: Bring Awareness to Certain Activities

POST #4: Eating Without Distractions

POST #5: Meditation and Mindfulness

POST # 6: Embrace Negative Emotions

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Embrace Negative Emotions

POST #6 of the Beginner’s Guide to Mindfulness series!

Acceptance, a big part of mindfulness.
Embrace Negative Emotions and Move on From Them.

When you accept things during mindfulness, you are allowing the negative thoughts and feelings to come in, and instead of dwelling on them, just embracing them. By doing so, you are able to accept what they are and how they impact you, but you then move on from them. This is the most important part. You are not hiding from these feelings or thoughts, but you are allowing them a moment in your mind, then releasing them to focus more on the present.

Here are some examples:

You are feeling sad that a friend is moving away – It is okay to feel sad during these types of moments, but after you have felt sad, accept that it doesn’t mean you will never talk and will never see them again. 

You had a hard day at work – A lot of stress comes from work and finances, which is also something you can accept. Feel the stress and anxiety, but don’t let it consume you. Once the work day is over, stop thinking about it and instead accept that it was a bad day and move on from it.

Thank you for joining me in this series!

In case you missed a post or would like to refer back.

POST #1: What is Mindfulness

POST # 2: Focus on One Thing at a Time

POST # 3: Bring Awareness to Certain Activities

POST #4: Eating Without Distractions

POST #5: Meditation and Mindfulness

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Meditation and Mindfulness

POST # 5 of the Beginner’s Guide to Mindfulness Series.
Meditation  and Mindfulness.

Meditation and mindfulness truly go hand in hand. When you learn how to do one, the other becomes much easier to master. Here are some steps required for a good mindfulness meditation session:

Find a comfortable spot to sit – Just like any other mindful or meditation practice, you want to find a quiet and comfortable place to sit. This can be on the floor sitting with your legs crossed, sitting at a table or desk, or even on your bed. The most important thing is that you don’t have other distractions – so wait until your family is out of the house, or choose a room where you can close the door.

Relax one muscle at a time – As you begin relaxing your body, feel each part of your body and let it release the tension. Think about where your arms are, how your legs feel, and let the tension in your neck and back release. This is the beginning of being more mindful.

Look ahead of you or close your eyes – In meditation, you often close your eyes, but with mindfulness meditation that might not be the best option. Just try to relax your gaze and focus on one thing in front of you that brings a sense of calm.

Focus on your breathing – Pay close attention to the air you take in and out, how your body moves, and what your lungs feel like.

Pay attention to your wandering mind – Your mind will likely wander out of this moment, which is okay. Let this happen naturally instead of trying to force your mind blank. Mindfulness meditation isn’t about clearing your mind, but focusing on the present moment. Observe those thoughts gently, trying to accept them, then re-center yourself.

Thank you for joining me in this series!

In case you missed a post or would like to refer back.

POST #1: What is Mindfulness

POST # 2: Focus on One Thing at a Time

POST # 3: Bring Awareness to Certain Activities

POST #4: Eating Without Distractions

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Eating Without Distractions

Post #4 of the Beginner's Guide to Mindfulness.
 Focusing on Eating Without Distractions.
 

Eating a meal is one of the most common ways you might zone out and focus on other things during the activity. This can cause you to overeat and really distracts you from being fully mindful of what you are doing. 

This is also an easy way to start practicing mindfulness and understand how it all works. Here are some tips for focusing on what you are eating without distractions.

Eat anything you want – To start with, don’t worry too much about what you are eating, but how. Choose your favorite meal or snack so you aren’t stressing with it being ‘healthy enough’. You just want to focus on eating and get used to eating without having outside distractions.

Sit in a quiet place without distractions – This might be hard for you as many people eat in the front of the TV or while using their cell phone. But this is the biggest problem – to eat mindfully, you need to focus only on the food and nothing else. Sit in your office with the door closed, at a dining table, or anywhere else you will get a few minutes of peace and quiet. Turn off the TV and your cell phone.

Embrace every sensation – Begin by using all your senses during your meal. Look at the colors of your food, taste each flavor on your tongue, and smell the food. Feel the sensations of the food in your mouth, such as temperature and texture. By doing this, you are enjoying your food to the fullest and are not rushing through yet another activity in your life.

Benefits of Mindful Eating

  • Food tastes better
  • Inspires healthier choices
  • Offers better digestion and absorption of nutrients
  • Helps you learn how food affects your mood and energy
  • Reduces over eating and binge eating 


Thank you for joining me in this series!

In case you missed a post or would like to refer back.

POST #1: What is Mindfulness

POST # 2: Focus on One Thing at a Time

POST # 3: Bring Awareness to Certain Activities

If you don't want to miss out on my posts please subscribe to my list!

Bring Awareness to Certain Activities

Post # 3 of The Beginner's Guide to Mindfulness
Bringing Awareness to Certain Activities.

Yesterday, you learned how to pick one thing and focus on it. Today, we want to explore this further by thinking about activities where you tend to zone out. This is how you know where you need to be more mindful.

Find the Activities You Do Without Thinking

Try to think of activities you participate in on a regular basis where you aren’t really concentrating much on it. You often zone out and think of other things, such as brushing your teeth and thinking about a big work meeting, or focusing on what you need to do after work when you are walking down the hallway to your office. 

When your mind wanders like this, it keeps you from being fully mindful, and can create a lot of stress and this overwhelming feeling that you are never able to focus fully on any one thing. This really affects your productivity and makes it hard for you fully relax. 

Pick an activity, and the next time you participate in it, pay more attention to your sensations. 

For example, if you zone out during your morning commute, try to concentrate more on it. You might roll down the windows and smell the morning air, listen to the cars next to you while on the highway, or even smell your coffee that you bring with you. Pay more attention to the sights and sounds every time you are driving, and you will be living more mindfully.

Thank you for joining me in this series!

In case you missed a post or would like to refer back.

POST #1: What is Mindfulness

POST # 2: Focus on One Thing at a Time

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Focus on one thing at a time

Post #2 of the Beginner's Guide to Mindfulness.
Focus on one thing at a time.

Today, you are going to learn an important technique used in mindfulness: trying to focus on just one thing at a time.

Why is this helpful?

Mindfulness is similar to meditation, in that you are really trying to re-focus your mind to find peace and accept things as they are. You are letting all your stresses and worries float away as you try to embrace a sense of calm. This isn’t as easy as it seems in the beginning, so one way to help you be more mindful of the present is to pick just one thing to focus on.

Being mindful is all about accepting your emotions, feelings, and circumstances in this moment only. Don’t worry about the future or stress about the past. Just live in the moment.

Here is a quick exercise for you:

Choose one thing that you can feel right now. It can be a muscle in your body, a sensation you feel in the room, or even a strong emotion you have. Choose one thing and focus on it.

Here are some examples:

  • Listen to the fan in the room and focus on that sound.
  • Take a bite of your meal, but really focus on each individual flavor and the feeling on your tongue.
  • Pick a body part and feel the warmness and other sensations.

Try to do this every day for a few days, focusing on one thing and seeing how many more details you can come up with. This is the beginning stage of being more mindful.

Thank you for joining me in this series!

In case you missed a post or would like to refer back.

POST #1: What is Mindfulness

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Beginners Guide to Mindfulness

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a state of being more aware and living in the moment. It allows you to live more fully and peacefully by always trying to be present, instead of regretting the past or stressing about the future. Being in a mindful state does take practice, but once you get used to this new mindset, you discover all the wonderful benefits.

How Mindfulness Benefits You

If you can’t tell already, one of the top benefits of living more mindfully is that it brings you a lot of peace and calm when you learn to accept how things are and only focus on the present.

Here are some other benefits:

  • It can help to improve sleep.
  • You become more productive.
  • You have more creativity.
  • You get help with emotional resilience.
  • It reduces stress.
  • You have better communication.

Now that you understand what mindfulness is and why you should try it out, please follow along each day as I continue with my beginner's guide to mindfulness.

Follow along for a total of 10 posts in this series.

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