Written by our guest author and fellow blogger, Ava Burford. One of the most genuine, caring, and downright hilarious people I’ve ever met, Ava recently started a blog that aims to bring a dose of positivity to its readers and inspire them during these troubling and uncertain times.
Please check out her blog entitled Guide to Illumination and follow her Instagram account @guidetoillumination to keep updated with new articles that she posts! We also wrote an article for her blog called 5 Things That Make Us Feel Like Boss Ass Bitches, so if you feel like you need a little pick-me-up in your life, head on over to her website to see what we do on the daily to feel like boss ass bitches.
I think we can all agree that each of our lives is not going in the direction that we had planned for it eight months ago. With the instability and uncertainty that lies ahead of us, it is incredibly important to practice mindfulness whenever we can.
What is mindfulness, you may ask? It’s a type of meditation where you solely focus on your present feelings and emotions without judgement. According to Mayo Clinic, practicing mindfulness has been proven to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and blood pressure. All are vital components of our health that we need to look after. Now you may be asking how you can practice mindfulness– and don’t you worry. Below I have included ten different ways:
Walking- Sometimes, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to walk out our stresses. Having the ability to be physically active and in a different environment gives us a chance to reset and come back in tune with our feelings.
Self Acceptance- I get it; this is a hard one. It is so easy to pick on ourselves and tear ourselves down. We need to learn to accept that as humans, we are not perfect and give ourselves a break now and then. Every day won’t be our best day creatively, strength-wise, or in any other facet, but we must learn to accept who we are and be damn proud of it.
Internal Conversations– This follows along the lines of self-acceptance with not tearing ourselves down. The sooner we learn how to talk to ourselves like we talk to our loved ones, the sooner we establish and strengthen our internal support system. At the end of the day, you are talking to yourself more than anyone else so why produce negative energy when you can build yourself up? You are your biggest motivator.
Journaling- Physically writing out your stresses gives your body the ability to release a portion of it into a tangible form. If you can do this for even five or fifteen minutes a day, it will greatly help you manage your stress and give you further practice in assessing your present emotions.
Coloring- When I am extremely anxious, coloring books have immensely helped me. Being able to see yourself complete a project is so rewarding and it’s a healthy way to release built-up tension. Even if you just have five minutes, I find that this activity helps mentally give me a break for the allotted time I am doing it.
Baking- For me, baking goes in tandem with coloring with the fact that they both are projects that you can complete within an hour and see the final product. Both leave you feeling accomplished. However, if I am having a particularly bad day and need a little pick-me-up, I gravitate towards baking because you get a tasty treat once you’re done.
Focusing on breathing- If you find yourself swamped with work, sometimes altering your breathing is the only action you can take that aligns within your schedule. Spending just a few moments to take deep breaths will rejuvenate your body and leave you feeling more relaxed and prepared to take on the task at hand. It is critical to have steady breathing and one of the quickest, easiest ways to practice this meditation method.
Talk it out- Having a conversation with your loved ones is another great way to release the tension you may be holding. If you have someone in your life that you know will support you unconditionally and without judgement, this is a wonderful way to assess your emotions.
High-intensity training– I absolutely love doing high-intensity training when I am in a hard period of my life. Before working out, you may not feel like doing an intense training circuit, but I promise it will help alleviate what you’re holding onto internally. Being able to excessively sweat while having 100% of my attention on the workout before me, really helps put my mind at ease. In addition, with high-intensity workouts, you are constantly doing something different for short bursts of time. If you have trouble staying focused for long periods, this type of workout may really help you.
Goal Setting for the day, week, or month- I truly do this activity every day. I can not compute how good it feels to cross off something from my list and see what else I have left. For me, I find this activity to be an incredible way to stay organized and centered. Goal setting keeps me on track and in line with what I want to accomplish within a set time frame, and I find by making lists, I always (or most of the time) complete everything on them within the time frame I gave myself.
All of these methods to be more mindful are just suggestions! Try some out and find what works best for you. At the end of the day, this is your life. It is time to take the control back from outside worries and start living your life to the fullest potential.
We all have stressful durations that may seem like they will never end. Being mindful is an incredible way to rise within those periods and not let the world attempt to overwhelm you.