My mind races way too much to be able to sit down and meditate. Believe me – I have tried, but I lack the focus required and from what I hear, so do many of you.
There is so much “outside noise” surrounding us these days thanks to social media and all around constant connectivity, that getting back in touch with yourself can be hard – case in point as demonstrated here. Meditation is so beneficial too. It allows you to slow down and find a little peace, quiet and calm in the midst of an otherwise busy day. How else does meditation help? It reduces stress and anxiety while promoting self-awareness, focus, emotional health, kindness and understanding.
Since my brain acts like a little hamster running its heart out on a wheel, I couldn’t sit still long enough to practice meditation, so I looked into some other ways to center my thoughts and live a little more in the present.
I have listed a few of my favourite ways to practice mindfulness, which is similar to meditation in that you don’t actually need to be seated while focusing on concentration, awareness and calm. Mindfulness can be anything that makes you pay attention to your thoughts, behaviours, feelings and effects on those around you.
5 Mindfulness Activities That Lead To A Better You
Ok – remember when colouring books for adults (not adult colouring books – ahem) were everywhere? I got about 15 of them one Christmas. During a particularly stressful time over the summer, I pulled one out that came with a set of pencil crayons and got to work. By the time I finished my first “piece” (I’m an artiste!), three hours had gone by and I definitely felt more relaxed.
Same goes for painting, photography….any artistic endeavour that forces you to be calm, focus and slow down a little.
Colouring became a regular thing for me and I turn to it when I feel like I need a little me-time/therapy.
Getting In Touch With Your Inner Cook
My sister is a fantastic vegan cook and it’s something she really enjoys. From researching new recipes to whipping up something stellar off the top of her head, cooking is something that truly makes her happy.
I get it. The act of chopping up your ingredients, testing out new spices and dancing to a little music playing in background definitely makes me happier and less stressed. And cooking is a double-whammy. Not only do you feel better afterwards, you have a great meal to enjoy.
Flowers and Floral Arranging
I thought I would include this one because I’m a gardener at heart. Before blogging (writing is a total stress-reliever for me), I would putter around my garden blissfully. One year, I planted a ton of flowers and flowering shrubs and trees. During the summer, I will snip a bunch of flowers and greens, and take my time making beautiful bouquets for our home.
Slowing down and enjoying the bright colours and wonderful scents of the blooms is one of the most relaxing and joyful experiences for me. This has to be why my favourite florist is always so happy!
A New Fitness Class
One of my favourite fitness classes were the barre classes I took at The Dailey Method (TDM). Ballet was something I really enjoyed as a kid and always left my classes feeling happy. The barre classes at TDM not only featured soothing music in a relaxing environment, they required focus in order to hold poses properly.
Think about it…you can’t really stress about anything while executing a beautifully perfect arabesque.
Nighttime Beauty Ritual
This is probably my favourite. Almost every Sunday night, I have a little spa night. The whole nine yards – a nice bubblebath with candles and soft music, I wash and deep condition my hair, and apply luxe face masks and creams. Sometimes, I’ll give myself a mani and pedi too.
The act of slowing down and focusing on all of that great beauty time completely relaxes me and puts me in a great frame of mind right before bed (if you have trouble sleeping, I have some helpful beddy bye tips here). Just don’t do what I did last week and watch Hereditary (the scariest of scary movies) after your spa night. WHOA.
As you can see from these examples, mindfulness can be anything that slows you down, makes you focus and calms you. These are some of my favourites that really help me.
What are some of your favourite mindfulness practices?