5 Ways to Increase Your Mindfulness
Mindfulness is one of the most important skills we as people can learn. It can mean a lot of different things to different people, but to us, at its core, it means the ability to be present. There are so many things you can do throughout your day that will strengthen your ability to be mindful, but here are our five favorites.
Progression vs. Perfect
Perfectionism is something a lot of us struggle with. And, unfortunately, it can stop a lot of progress from being made. When we feel the need to be perfect, it can stop us from starting because of fear of failure. Or say you do start, but the second you make a mistake, you throw it all out the window because "if it isn't perfect, it isn't worth it." It's important to remember that we're in this for the long haul, and mistakes will be made. It's not about being perfect for a short amount of time. It's about being pretty darn good for an extended amount of time.
This is why we focus on lifestyle over diet. A diet has a set standard of what's allowed and what isn't. It's always striving for instant perfection. A lifestyle is about gradual progression and making permanent long-term change. Focus on progress instead of perfection. We all make mistakes, and that's okay. Just don't let that one mistake become two or more.
Maybe it's a cultural thing, maybe it's an ego thing, but it's hard for people to put down their busy badges and allow for stillness in their lives. For some reason, we've created this mindset that the busier we are, the more productive we are, but that's not the case. It's important to be mindful of the good, better, best in our lives.
One of the best ways to do that is on Sundays, pick a goal or objective for the week, and when you start to create your to-do list, ask yourself if those tasks are going to help you accomplish that goal. Don't be afraid to say no to things or remove things from your list. Having a clear direction and prioritizing stillness in your life is a powerful thing.
Simplify your life and focus on what really matters. Allow yourself to take time 1-2 minutes a few times a day and just be still. Do your breathing exercise, and realize you don't always have to go from one thing to another. You can take the time to be still and breathe.
There are so many benefits to breathing. It's one of the quickest ways to be present, it calms your mind, and heals your body. Life can get crazy, but if you take a few minutes throughout your day to focus on your breath and be still, you'll be amazed at how much better you can handle the task at hand.
- Breathe in through your nose for 4 seconds
- Hold your breath for 2 seconds
- Breathe out your mouth for 6 seconds
- Repeat this five times.
Try to pause and do this 2-3 times every day.
Additional breathing exercises:
Cold showers are super beneficial for both your mind and your body. One of the benefits they offer is a higher level of control over your mind. The cold will put you into a fight or flight mood. With time and practice, you'll begin to see how you can calm yourself even in those kinds of situations. This builds a better self-mastery, which in turn improves your mindfulness.
Other known benefits of cold showers:
- Reduced stress levels
- Higher levels of alertness
- Stronger immune system
- Weight loss
Life is full of choices, and one of the most important decisions you can make every day is to have an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude keeps your focus on the things you do have. It helps you be aware of all your blessings, no matter how big or small. It fills your heart with hope and joy.
One of the most powerful things that gratitude does is it gives you the perspective that everything is an opportunity. Every workout is an opportunity to get stronger. Every meal is an opportunity to get healthier. Every challenge is an opportunity to get better. When you have that kind of outlook on life, you will progress and grow to a point you never thought possible.
Ways to practice gratitude:
- Write down 3-5 things you're grateful for every morning.
- Send out a gratitude text. If you're grateful for someone, let them know.
- Appreciate the small things in life, like sunsets.
- Actively look for all the blessings in your life.