Long and pointless meetings, frustrating customer service calls, hyper kids’ parties, moaning family members, loud neighbours and annoying social media posts from younger, slimmer friends. It’s as if 2018 was doing everything it could to try and stress us out. It’s likely that the same annoyances will pop up at some point during 2019, however, this year you could be armed with a few new ways to deal with things.
Mindfulness, as the word suggests, is the act of being aware and fully attending to what’s happening around you at a given time. This might seem obvious, except for the annoying fact that we so often completely ignore the actual matter in hand and tend to veer off into some far-out state of anxiousness or panic, often irrationally.
Here we suggest a couple of simple ways you can try to be more mindful in your day-to-day life, which should ultimately help you deal with painful situations a little more logically.
Start your day with purpose
If you start the day well prepared, it’s likely to carry on that way. When you wake up, try to write down your top 3 priorities for the day. It could be anything from work to family to fitness. Simply writing it down will give you a sense of purpose for the day and help you to focus on what’s really important.
Enjoy your food
No more scoffing soggy pre-packed sandwiches at your desk in record time. Eating mindfully will help you to re-discover the amazingness of food as well as aid a healthy digestive system. Take time to notice the smells, the colours and the textures of your food as you eat. Slow everything down by at least 50% and savour every individual mouthful. You will soon learn to love the experience of eating once again.
When listening to other people talk, we are often there in body, but not fully present in mind. We rarely focus on listening to them fully and are often caught up in our own thoughts or are pondering about what we want to say in return. Next time you’re with a friend or colleague, don’t just hear their words but really focus on what they’re saying to you. You will be amazed by how good it feels to simply listen and also how the person will appreciate your full attention.
When things happen that we don’t like, it’s very easy for us to be swept away by our emotions, which can lead to a negative, spiralling effect. If we can try to stop ourselves from being drawn in before these emotions kick in, then we have a better chance of handling things in a more positive way. In the first instance just stop what you are doing, take three deep inhales and exhales and then begin to think about things rationally by answering three questions. What has just happened? How does this relate to me? How can I help the situation? By the time you have prepared yourself and rationalised the situation, you will be in a much better frame of mind to create a solution to the problem.
End your day on a high
No matter what challenged you during the day, it’s important to get closure on all situations before you end your day. This will help you to get a better night’s sleep as well as prepare you for the next day in a more positive way. Take the time each evening to reflect on the day you had and celebrate one thing you did that served a good purpose. It doesn’t have to be anything major; a simple “I told a funny story to my colleague and made her laugh” will do. Also, really try and keep some bedroom etiquette in 2019. Keep your smart phone and tablet out of your bedroom. Not only does the light from them mess up your sleep pattern, but it’s also just not healthy to be Google-ing about Kim Kardashian’s new flat-tummy-shake-diet or enviously looking at pictures of your friend’s new Gucci handbag on Instagram before bedtime. Read a few pages of your favourite book instead.
Yoga classes and group meditation can also greatly assist in leading a more mindful daily lifestyle, therefore check out our Go Yoga Harrogate timetable to find a class that fits in with your life.