It’s not a hoax! The American Psychological Association has cited several studies regarding the benefits of practicing mindfulness including easing stress, alleviating aches and pains, and increasing mood and productivity.
Think about how many times you have physically or mentally felt overwhelmed, stressed or anxious this past week. If that’s at least once a day, you may want to consider incorporating mindfulness techniques into your daily routine. Here are five ways that you can start practicing mindfulness in a simple and practical way.
- Practice deep breathing a few times a day. Pause, sit up straight, plant your feet on the floor, breathe in deep through your nose and exhale. Do this a few times to try and clear your mind from everything except your breath.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Start your day with a glass of water to begin the habit. For every pound of your bodyweight, you should be having that many ounces of water per day. Find how you best like drinking water throughout the day–whether this is through a bottle with a straw, water that stays cold in an insulated bottle, or even infused with lemon, cucumber or even fruits.
- Establish a simple, morning routine. Instead of thinking about “going through the motions” of the morning, what main parts of your morning will you commit to doing every single time? What will put you in a good mood to start your day and boost your productivity? Here’s an example of a simple morning routine: drink water, walk dog, eat breakfast, commute.
- Disconnect. Many of us may lose several hours a day to media outlets such as Facebook or Netflix. You may be zombie scrolling or feeling “Facebook Envy” about your friends’ lives and how they are doing all the “amazing” things it seems like they’re doing. Go out there and do them too! Or have an actual conversation with someone.
- Visualize what you’d like to accomplish. Whether you want to start your next day with your set morning routine, or are planning a project, visualize the end goal, and the major action steps to achieve it. Even if you want to relax, try and visualize a relaxing setting you’ve experienced before.
If you are brand new to mindfulness, try one or two of these mindfulness techniques this week!