Mindfulness. It's something that I've been practicing since I started the recovery process for my eating disorder. It was a new concept to me and to be completely honest, a huge struggle for me! It's still something that I have to work at on a daily basis (just like most things in life) but once I began to get the hang of it, it was powerful.
So, what exactly is mindfulness? It's living in the moment. It's being aware of your thoughts and feelings in the now. It's calmly acknowledging and accessing your current state of being and ultimately, just being. To me it means trusting in the universe, higher power, God or whatever it is that you believe in and enjoying the ride. Now, I know this is hard to do, we have goals to reach, we have five year plans to accomplish, we have businesses to grow for goodness sake! (That's typically my default thought process when I forget to be mindful). When we think about all the things we need to accomplish, all of the things that we need to do, it takes away from our current joy, am I right?
How often have we sat at the dinner table (or on our couch) worrying about work, family issues, chores or whatever other issues we have, only to realize we ate our entire meal without even tasting it. How often have we gone on a family vacation and we were so stressed about being on time, the kids and directions that we forgot all about actually enjoying our trip?
To be completely honest, the whole reason why I decided to blog about this today is because i'm guilty of doing this exact thing. A couple days ago I was in deep conversation about my business. How do I make it grow? How do I make morning classes fill up? When do you think we will need to move to a bigger location? I need to get an additional degree. What should we plan for in the next five years? I don't know about you guys but just typing all of that is exhausting. Somewhere in the hustle of trying to be better, I forgot to be happy. I forgot that at the age of 23 me and my husband opened up a successful business. I forgot that I was able to quit my other 3 jobs after 6 months and be at the studio full time. I forgot that I get to be surrounded by amazing, powerful women who have turned into friends. I forgot that me and my husband are kicking butt at this life thing and it's okay to enjoy where we are in this moment instead of always worrying about the future.
To me, mindfulness is much more than being present. It requires a lot of faith and a lot of trust. We can push and plan all we want but sometimes we just need to have a little faith, and be mindful about what happening.
So whether it's with your food, your work, your family or any other stresses you have, I urge you to work towards being mindful. Check in with your current feelings, thoughts and ideas. Embrace them, nourish them and enjoy them!
Why does Mindful Matter?
Mindfulness helps us in multiple ways. Not only does it help us enjoy life in the moment but it also help us get in tune with our thoughts and feelings. It helps us become aware of our intuition which helps us make decisions that line up with our values and core beliefs.
Where do I start?
1. Daily reflections. Grab a journal and begin to take some time throughout your day to write. Write about how you're feeling emotionally and physically. Write about your gratitude's and what things are currently happening.
2. Make meal time special. Sit down with your food and turn off the t.v and any other devices. Think about how the food tastes, your hunger levels and how you feel.
3. Full body check in. Get comfy for 5 minutes or so and just breathe. Check in with your feet all the way to the tip of your head. How does your body feel?
4. Get outdoors. There was this great quote I read the other day "nature does not hurry, yet everything is still accomplished". I thought that is absolutely beautiful. Get outside and enjoy nature. Watch the birds, sip on some tea and enjoy the beauty of it all.
5. Stay accountable. Tell a friend or spouse about your plan to be mindful. Check in with each other to see how you are doing and what you could do differently.
I'd love to hear any tips you have about being mindful in the comments below!
My name is Hanna Kuyper and my mission for iamwell comes directly from my past experiences. Read more