Life is like a roller coaster; you race up feeling like you’re soaring, then so quickly can come crashing back down. The ebbs and flows are natural, and all part of the journey. We grow and learn from both the highs and lows, and accepting life’s fluid nature is essential for wellbeing and happiness.
Mindfulness gives us many great tools to stay afloat in life’s stormy seas. It helps build our strength during the good times by creating easy consistent habits. In the tougher times mindfulness provides a tool of support and guidance. When you’re able to navigate through the highs and lows of life you can cultivate more resilience and happiness. Here’s eight easy ways to add mindfulness to your daily life…
1. Overcome unwanted emotions
When you’re feeling overwhelmed or facing difficult emotions such as frustration or anger try this powerful exercise. Get your phone, and record yourself talking freely. Rant about what you’re thinking, feeling and any sensations you’re noticing in your body. This will help re-ground you into the present moment. By identifying and acknowledging the emotion you can actually come to peace with it, minimising the power it has.
2. Be Kind to yourself
Kindness starts with you. To be able to be kind to others, you need to first be kind to yourself. If you’ve been feeling stressed lately it’s time for some self-kindness. aside a few hours in your agenda. Treat yourself to a long bath, a massage or simply take a walk in the park or disappear into an engaging novel. By practising self love you can boost your mood and find balance again.
3. Practice acceptance
Let go of things out of your control. Make a list of everything in your life you can’t change, save yourself the stress and stop worrying about these things. Today. Take a moment meditate, and visualise letting go of these worries. Imagine them as helium balloons you’re releasing into the sky, you see them float further and further away until their out of sight. Focus your attention on things in your power to change. What you can control like your self-care, your words, your actions and your decisions.
Our minds can be our greatest ally or our worst enemy. Through meditation we can train ourselves to develop a friendship with our thoughts, so that they don't have as much control over our emotional state. You are the master of your mind! Daily meditation helps you learn not to be a slave to your thoughts or overthinking. Try our mediation app if you haven’t yet, or take it for another whirl. You’ll be surprised how much you can get from it the second or third time.
5. Be grateful
Practise gratitude. Write a list of what you’re grateful for in your life. Think of experiences, memories and lessons you’ve learnt and how they’re helped you grow. Another powerful exercise is to think of one person you’re currently really grateful for. Write a note explaining all the reasons why, and then surprise them with this affirmation. It’ll not only make their day, you’ll reap the positive benefits too.
6. Limit time with toxic people
Spend less time (or no time) with toxic people. Think of the people in your life who don’t have your best interests at heart. Friends who are not supportive or reliable, or those who are overly critical, negative, judgemental or demanding. After being around such people you feel drained and depleted. Give yourself permission to walk away from these people. We start to emulate those we spend our time with, so surround yourself with people you admire and who bring out the best in you. When we have a strong support network we’re better equipped to do with life when it throws us a curve ball.
7. Observe as an outsider
When in a tough situation take a crisis break and observe the situation as if you were an outsider. Take several deep breaths and listen to your intuition. Imagine what you’d say to family or close friends if they were in your shoes. You’ll be surprised by the profound thoughts that can arise amidst an anxious state if you step out of it. Write them down so you can reflect on them again later.
8. You are not your difficult time
You are not your problems or your crisis. You are not your divorce, your illness, your trauma or your bank account. Your true self lives deep inside you and is far more resilient than you may think. Difficult times may come, but they’ll always pass. By developing ways to boost yourself in such times you can enable yourself to move through life with more strength, confidence and ease.