Life is full of wonders and excitement if you choose to see them, but no one is gleeful all the time. Stress has a way of beating you down, even when it’s just from typical, everyday problems. Practicing mindfulness is a way to prepare yourself for what the day holds and give you a bit of breathing room when things get tough.
Mindfulness is a natural state, yet people don’t often put it to use. We’re instead lost in pretend conversations, nonexistent situations, and thoughts of the future or past. A mindful state, especially when incorporated into your daily routine, minimizes stress, boosts cognitive abilities, raises self-esteem, and increases gray matter.
Learning to stay mindful throughout the day is a stringent process, but it can significantly improve your quality of life. This guide will help you understand mindfulness and how to use it for self-betterment.
The State of Mindfulness
Mindfulness is being aware, put in the simplest terms, but it’s much more than that. It means you have a second-by-second awareness of everything you’re experiencing, such as:
- Touches and sensations
- What’s happening around you
Being mindful means you’re acutely aware of what’s happening at the moment without passing judgment on anything you experience. You accept everything as it is without labeling it as right or wrong.
Mindfulness is an intentional lack of attention to those thoughts about what happened last week and what will happen today, tomorrow, or further down the road. You push those aside so you can experience what’s happening now. Living in a state of mindfulness takes practice, and that starts with simple daily exercises.
3 Powerful Mindfulness Exercises You Can Do Every Day
American culture teaches that people should be as productive as possible every moment of the day. Make more money, buy more things.
Living like that can cause pressure, stress, and anxiety, though, leading to significant health issues such as heart problems and ulcers. Practicing simple mindfulness exercises throughout the day helps keep stress levels down and many health issues at bay.
Mindfulness is a powerful tool. It can have the effect of improving every part of life – such as diet, personal relationships, and work-life – when you’re aware of each moment. Use these simple but powerful exercises to sharpen your mindfulness skills.
Wake Up With Purpose
Set the intention for your day as soon as you wake up in the morning, before coffee or emails. Intention is the fundamental motivation you put behind everything you do, say, and think.
Decisions are made by a combination of unconscious instincts from the lower brain centers and thoughts from the analytical and wiser prefrontal cortex. There’s a disconnect between those two brain centers when people act without intention and say and do things they typically wouldn’t.
Decide that today will be productive, happy, and easy before you ever get out of bed, and it has a better chance of happening. Setting an intention for the day every morning helps strengthen the connection between brain centers to align your actions and words properly.
Sit in a quiet place before your day starts. Take a few deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth, to strengthen focus. Tell yourself to show up for the day to make yourself happy, and speak it aloud. You might say, “I will be patient with others and stay grounded today.”
Check in with yourself a few times a day to remain mindful of your intention and revel in some self-love. Doing this exercise every day can improve your communication skills, relationships, and overall mood.
Eating With Awareness
Vegging out in front of the TV mindlessly shoveling down snacks is a state everyone finds themselves in occasionally, but it’s the exact opposite of how people should eat. Food is necessary to keep beings alive, but eating can also be a great pleasure.
Mindful eating can happen any time of day with any meal. Begin by taking deep breaths and preparing yourself to eat instead of rushing from one task to another. Take a few seconds to smell the food and appreciate its colors, shapes, and plating.
Engage with your body before you take the first bite. Explore how hungry you are and eat accordingly. It isn’t mandatory to eat everything on your plate.
Be present as you chew and swallow. Relishing the taste, texture, colors, and smell of every bite of food keeps you aware of what and how much you’re putting into your body, and it also feeds the senses and emotions.
Mindfulness while working out can be an incredible feeling. Paying attention to your body as it does all the amazing things bodies can do makes you feel powerful and capable of anything, and you can carry that feeling with you for the rest of the day.
Start by setting a firm goal and realizing all the good things that come from the activities you’re about to begin. Set a goal that pushes you a little further than you’ve ever been, and keep it in your mind throughout the workout.
Remember to stay aware of your breathing as you go to keep you rooted in the present moment. Focus on which muscles are working and how it feels when they stretch and release. You’re more likely to enjoy exercising and do it more often when you work out mindfully.
Mindfulness exercises are easy to do; the hard part is remembering to do them. It’s a skill worth mastering, though, because truly paying attention to every moment can reveal things about your life you never fully realized.
Live Your Best Life Mindfully in Washington, D.C.
Savoring every moment of life isn’t hard in D.C., but it helps when you have a community aligned with that approach. DARO Apartments offers a collection of boutique and vintage apartment buildings in Maryland and Washington, D.C., with modern finishes. Our health and wellness service for residents, Motion Mindset, is an effective way to keep track of all your fitness goals as well as virtual workouts and cooking classes.
Our renovated communities exude charming and historical character while providing residents with the modern amenities that allow for convenience and luxurious living. Contact our team to speak with a leasing expert and find your new D.C.-area apartment home.