The idea of mindful living is prominent in the new millennium. It is based around mindfulness; which is energy that allows us to recognize that happiness is already present inside us. However it is usually covered up by stress, depression, worry, and unconscious awareness. Mindful living allows us to create a more peaceful and harmonious lifestyle in our fast-paced world. Mindfulness is learning to arrive in the here and now, by learning to remain non reactive to the emotions that are currently happening. Our culture spends an enormous amount of time maintaining the physical body by working out at the gym, heated yoga classes, running, and eating locally organic foods (being optimistic). Why not put more effort into nurturing our mental bodies/ our minds? Here are a few simple ways to guide you to daily peace, which is the pathway to a mindful life. By developing daily intentions, slowing down and doing what you absolutely love, we learn how to focus our inner happiness by listening to our deepest hearts desires; then we can cultivate healthy ways of a mindful life!
Sustaining mindfulness requires some discipline, self love and perseverance. The science of mindfulness tells us we are building neuroplasticity. In a nutshell, your brains functions change when exposed to new information in order to retain that information! Basically you’re making wiser conscious choices over a long period of time, neuroplasticity allows you to improve itself for efficiency. What a fantastic reminder that we have the necessary tools built inside ourselves to change our moods, thoughts, environment, over-reactions and emotions. We have the behaviors with skill building capacities to create whatever we envision. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural pathway connections throughout life. If you are mindful about your likes vs dislikes and learn to discriminate between them you are teaching yourself how to pay attention to what you love out of life, therefore creating wholehearted reality. Learning to be more mindful will also activate the parasympathetic nervous system, not the stress system of fight, flight or freeze. When we develop awareness through meditation, focused breathing, and doing more of what we absolutely love -daily – we teach our mental bodies to automatically respond with ease and awareness. Here are a few suggestions to get you on the right track to a harmonious life.
3 steps towards a mindful life
Make a daily intention
First start by making a daily intention – state to yourself that you are going to dedicate more quality time to your mental body by slowing down. Make a weekly vow that you are going to take one activity off your to do list, and just enjoy being with family, nature or a romantic novel. In Yoga we call this intention a sankulpa: it’s a inner promise that you are going to keep. A good example could be, “Today I will remain calm, and grateful for all that is”.
Dedicate five minutes to breathing
Second, dedicate five conscious minutes to a simple breathing meditation. This helps you activate your parasympathetic nervous system, and this allows true relaxation. Before you begin, find a comfortable place you can sit upright; maybe in a chair or on the couch with your ankles under your knees. Set a timer for five minutes; try the insight timer app. it’s a wonderful resource of meditations. Once you are comfortable and undisturbed, close your eyes. Take a few minutes to focus your attention on your breath, breathe in and count silently to five, breath out and count silently to five. Attempt this focused breath for a few minutes. Then ask yourself “What’s my intention today?” Honor what comes up in your heart and repeat it three times. To finish your breathing meditation, state two things to yourself that you are grateful for, and let one of those be your breath. The breath is your teacher; observe this automatic rhythmic breath daily and connect often.
Learn to do what you love
Lastly, learn to do what you love. Do you know what you love? What do you truly enjoy doing, repeatedly? Take out a fancy pen with paper and begin to make a list of what you love. If you have a family, and are working on mindful parenting do this together after diner and affirm you’ll do these things that everyone loves together. Start with something simple, then work your way up to the deepest daily task that you love, and do them wholeheartedly. When you carve out time to do these things daily, you build muscle memory in the brain to take note of your nostalgic feelings when they are at ease. Each time we create space to become more aware of the present moment, we are building new neurons in the brain that teach us how to re-train that old boring patterned mind out of conditioned habitual thoughts that no longer serve you. Paying attention to what we love is a fun way to bring new healthy habits into our daily choices.
Many Blessings to you, may your dreams be realized and your life more mindful. Now off you go with your list of the things you love to do then make them a new daily habit.
About the author:
Sandra Delgado is a mindfulness and yoga consultant and the founder of Savvy Soul – designing and offering trainings, courses, retreats, and enrichment programs to guide you towards a deeper understanding of essential nature. For more about Sandra and Savvy Soul see www.savvysoul.org