Life can be hectic, fast paced and stressful. It is so easy to get hung up on the negatives of yesterday, on ‘why did I say that?’ a week ago and the ifs of the last few months. On the flip side, it is easy to anticipate what is going to happen a few months from now, worry about the deadline a week away or the busy schedule of tomorrow. This state of mind distracts us from our lives in that moment. After reading these first few lines maybe you are now thinking about yesterday or your tomorrow, stop, take a breath and bring your mind back to now while you are sat reading this blog post.
This is mindfulness. Mindfulness teaches you to move your mind away from past experiences and the anticipation of the future, and instead develop an awareness of the present. In other words, focus on living this moment to the full.
These reflections, anticipations and pressures are a huge contributor to stress and anxiety. I hold my hands up and say I am the queen of stressing about things which I really don’t need to stress about. By doing this I disable my ability to enjoy the present moment and that is why I am starting this series of blog posts – Be Mindful Project.
Every few weeks you can expect a blog post discussing certain techniques of mindfulness. From day to day activities to yoga and meditation. This is a personal journey for me and I also hope you benefit from it too. Let’s do this together!
After this introduction to the ‘Be Mindful Project’ I thought I would briefly talk about some quick-fix tips to daily stresses I am trying to use more and more!
STAY ORGANISED: I sway in and out of phases of being organised. The last year at university I’ve tried to reel this in and that meant buying a diary and becoming one of those to-do list lovers. Keeping everything structured stops you from having to remember your tasks and worrying about not getting them done, ultimately allowing you to focus on the task at hand.
MEDITATION: I have been doing yoga for 7 years however it is only recently that I’ve realised the true restoring and nourishing powers of meditation. Meditation is perfect for you busy schedulers as you can dedicate as much or as little time you want, day or night, to a session. I often guide my own meditation however sometimes I will use an app on my phone called ‘Calm’ – check it out! I will be writing a whole blog post on this app. I absolutely love it and it does just the trick; I feel so relaxed and as though I can conquer anything.
STAY OFF SOCIAL MEDIA: I feel though this is a tricky one because scrolling through Twitter, Instagram and Facebook can often be a sub-conscious action. For me and I bet for a lot of you, it has became that habit which you can’t shake. When I wake up, before I fall asleep and countless times in-between I look through social media. However when you are feeling stressed or anxious social media can be the worse company. Instead, close down your apps, cut your wifi and have some ‘me’ time.
CANDLES: Lighting your favourite scented candle instantly creates a relaxing atmosphere to rid you of your daily worries. Take a few deep breaths, sit back and relax. Two of my favourites: Cinnamon Stick Yankee Candle for Winter, and Lemon Lavender Yankee Candle for the Spring.
Thank you for sticking with me through this mammoth post. I hope you like the idea of this new series of posts and I hope you benefit from it too! Let me know your thoughts and your quick-fix tips to de-stress!