Mindful Living

For most people,modern life has become more hectic and fast paced than ever before. Not having anytime, being constantly busy and controlled by massive debts is a normal state for many people, which is not only having a negative impact on physical health, but emotional health and relationships as well. If you want to start living more mindfully and filling your days with thing that light you up rather than things that drain you, then you need to start shifting your mindset. We need to change the prevalent attitude that being productive or successful means being super busy every waking hour, because it’s simply not true. How we spend our day should be measured in terms of of the quality of our productivity and interactions, as opposed to how many hours we have clocked up. When we are constantly rushing about time speeds up and flashes right by us, making it difficult to actually enjoy it. Making the conscious effort to slow down, means taking the time to enjoy your breakfast, rather than downing a coffee and rushing off to work in a spin, being present in your interactions with others and in your activities and focusing on one task at a time rather than multi tasking and getting stressed out. Slowing down and being more mindful has been shown to lead to more appreciation and enjoyment in life, quality time not only for yourself but with your friends and family, spending time enjoying things you love and having a peaceful mind for reflection rather than constantly being plugged in to phones, computers and scurrying around from one place to another in a whirl. Here are some tips on how you can start to slow down and be more mindful during your days.

  1. Do Less – Slowing down is hard if you have a million things that need to be done. Prioritise, do what is actually important and leave the rest. You will find that there are many things on your list that actually don’t really matter or can wait.
  2. Disconnect – Constantly being plugged in to email and social media notifications means that we are always on the go and getting distracted. Turning your phone onto aeroplane mode when you are having meals, busy doing an important task and at night are good ways to check out from calls, messages, emails and notifications.
  3. Practice Being Present – When you are talking to someone are you actually there in the moment, listening and responding consciously? Or are you too busy thinking about all the things you need to do and places you need to be? A good way to help encourage being more present is by having meals at the table with no phones or tv so that you are actually being present and engaging in conversation, not being distracted or zoning out.
  4. Quality over Quantity- Focusing on quality over quality relates to many different areas including relationships, time and belongings. One way to do this is by purchasing less goods but of a higher quality, things that you will keep for many years as opposed to accumulating stacks of clothes, shoes, books etc that don’t really hold any value or significance to you and just take up space and money. Using your time for quality relationships and time for exploring interests and hobbies as opposed to filling it with lots of people that you don’t really hold a deep connection with or spending your free time rushing about doing useless tasks is a great way to make the most of your time. Quality over Quantity, a big game changer when it comes to slowing down and living more mindfully.
  5. Get into Nature – Time often seems to stop when we are in nature and I think it’s because it allows us to become more present. Often we spend a lot of time in doors with work or study so making a conscious effort to get out side, even if only for a short time is a great way to become more mindful plus there is an every increasing list of benefits to getting out side in nature.
  6. Enjoy Meal Time – How many times have you had a meal where everyone is doing there own thing and distracted by their smart phones? Taking the time to turn your phone on aeroplane mode or leave it in another room and actually engage at the table with your friends or family at meal time is a great way to slow down, become more present and enjoy your meal and company of loved ones.
  7. Say No & Not Feel Guilty – Learning to say no without the guilt can be tricky for some people but if you are always saying yes to every invite or request even when your feeling tired or just want some down time then you are going to end up feeling exhausted and resentful. We don’t need to be constantly on the go and doing so is a sure way to burn out. Carve some time out for yourself and make sure you create space during your days by saying no to others if needed, and not feeling guilty about it.
  8. Breath – When we are so busy we often find that our breathing is very rapid and shallow. This is something I definitely experience. Trying to be aware of it, bring your focus back to your breath and consciously breath slowly and deeply into your belly. This will help to ground and calm your mind and body.
  9. Read a Novel – Reading is a great way to unwind, slow down and become more present. Not only that but it is also great for your imagination and knowledge. I like to keep a couple of books on my bedside table to read either during a break in the day or before bed at night. If you don’t have much time then carving out even 10 minutes just to read a few pages is still beneficial.
  10. Simplify – Often we become overwhelmed, stressed, anxious and depressed because we make our life so much more complicated than it needs to be. Exploring what really matters to you and what is an unnecessary burden can make a significant difference. Simplifying your life means focusing on what matters and enjoying the more meaningful things in life like relationships, time, nature, exploring hobbies and interests and going on adventures, even local ones.


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