In our fast-paced world today, it’s easy to get swept up in the everyday chaos. We get lost in the demands placed on our time, and we’re juggling 10 different things at once.
It’s exhausting, isn’t it?
Well, today I’m thrilled to introduce Stella Van Lane. Stella is here to talk with us about how to slow things down, start paying attention to our thoughts, and embrace a mindful lifestyle.
Take it away, Stella!
5 Best Mindfulness Tips For Unlocking Your Happiness Now
Being mindful is not something you’re born with. After all, we are profoundly influenced by everything around us, which often makes embracing our own lives, emotions, and thoughts, a bit of a challenge.
I know I’ve felt that way.
But once I realized what was missing in my life – being present with myself – the fog lifted and the road to mindfulness became clear.
I hope that my post helps you find this path, too.
Watch Your Thoughts
First of all, for me to understand myself better, I had to start listening to my inner monologue. After all, I listen to what my friends go through. I focus on their thoughts and feelings. And I offer them impartial advice when they need it.
So why don’t I do the same for myself?
If you can relate, and if you want to start this practice too, begin by listening to the thoughts that go through your head. And while you listen, pay particular attention to any negative or repetitive patterns.
Admittedly, this was hard for me at first. If you also find it challenging, I recommend writing in a journal. I found that putting my thoughts on paper helped me focus on them more clearly.
This self-observing practice has been key for me to increase my self-awareness and silence any unnecessary thoughts that have been pulling me down.
Switch into “sensing mode”
It seems that many adults struggle to sense the present. We generally focus on “getting through” things without giving much thought to how they impact us and those around us.
To counter this passive lifestyle and achieve a more mindful version of myself, I actively try to sense the present around me.
Do I do this all the time? No. But with regular practice, I started noticing a positive change in the way I feel.
It’s true that this can be scary at times. It can feel overwhelming to let those feelings sink in and move you.
With that being said, fully engaging in this practice for the first time was one of the most significant moments in my life – feeling the wind, the cold, the heat, the itchiness, even the pain as a part of something great. It wasn’t a mere acknowledgment of the things around me, it was sensing with all that I have and all that I am.
How do you “sense the stillness” and let it fulfill you? This question bugged me for the longest time.
How did I finally achieve it?
I shut down my “autopilot” for a while, which helped me feel more connected with both my surroundings and myself. After all, we are what we feel, not what we see. So start paying attention to those feelings.
Notice the environment
Occasionally, I found it challenging to notice the environment around me. It was as if I lived in a bubble that kept everything out.
Once I realized this, however, I knew I had to listen more carefully to the things around me. No zoning out. No ignoring my true feelings with my mind’s endless chatter. Just listening.
When I took the time to embrace my surroundings, I finally moved toward a feeling of harmony with both myself and my loved ones.
One of the ways I did this was by creating reminders of all the incredible things that surround me. For example, I got a personalized coffee mug that reads, “everything will be OK in the end – if it’s not OK, it’s not the end.”
I love this quote. And by putting it on my coffee mug, it gives me something to look forward to when I wake up and head to make my first cup of coffee.
I also started participating in fun activities and writing myself heartfelt letters. Both of these things helped me see myself as a part of my environment and as a worthy and loving part of our world.
I kept hearing that meditation was a great way to practice mindfulness, so I decided to give it a go.
As I quickly discovered, meditation requires practice and consistency. So don’t make the same mistake I did and get frustrated when things don’t go perfectly the first few times.
Remeber, it takes practice.
The best tip I can give anyone interested in meditation is to focus on your breathing as much as possible.
You see, in order to engage fully in meditation, it is essential to tune out everything else around you. By concentrating on your breath and the way your body moves while breathing, you can help shut out other distractions.
This may feel uncomfortable at first. It did for me. But after a while, practicing mindfulness meditation made me feel like an adventurer, exploring my own body and mind; let me tell you, there’s a whole world waiting for you there.
In life, everything begins and ends with us. Being mindful is not something extraordinary or unnatural. It’s simply using our power and awareness to engage our mind, feelings, thoughts, and senses. Doing so helps us move closer to who we truly are.
And the best part of it all? It’s a journey that never ends!
Do you practice mindfulness? Is meditation a regular part of your day? How do you slow down and embrace your surroundings? Let me know below!
Stella van Lane is a passionate writer in love with coffee, chocolate, music, books, and good vibes. Her top interests are health, yoga, meditation, and interior design. You can connect with her on twitter @stellavanlane.