3 Tips for Taking a More Mindful Approach to Life

mindful

One of the weirdest paradoxes of our times is that we are more materially comfortable than ever before, with technology allowing us to lounge around on the sofa for endless hours, in perfectly temperature-controlled environments, and with an endless array of interesting TV programs to watch on demand — but that, at the same time, we are apparently more stressed and anxious than ever before. With this in mind, we may all benefit from a more mindful approach to life.

For all the benefits that may come with a highly technologically-developed way of living, we also have to shoulder constant “static”, distraction, comparison to others, and so on. Finding the time and space to just relax with our thoughts and enjoy our immediate environments, has become increasingly difficult.

24/7 we’re comparing ourselves to our friends on Facebook, we’re gossipping on Twitter, we’re worrying about the latest news headlines, and we’re trying to absorb endless small information bites in the form of online articles and more.  The worrying thing is, this only describes the modern pressures that come with being digitally connected!

Finding ways to regain a more mindful approach to life can be very important in terms of our ability to unwind appreciate the moment. I completed a mindfulness diploma back at the beginning of the year and I have to say that I am glad I did. I was a very in-depth course and opened my eyes to mindful living.

Here are some suggestions for doing just that yourselves….

Dress More Mindfully

Take a more deliberate “quality over quantity” approach to your wardrobe. Many people deal with clothes in a pretty mindless way. They’ll grab whatever’s cheap and on sale, they’ll fill their wardrobe with all kinds of things they don’t really like, and they’ll feel vaguely discontented with their personal fashion. By “they”, I used to mean “me”. Taking a more deliberate, “quality over quantity” approach to your wardrobe can be a great way of reconnecting with the clothes you wear, in a mindful manner. Taking to time to inspect a stylish new ladies shirt collection and pick out a garment that really works for you, is better than buying 4 shirts cheaper shirts that don’t suit you. Consider how an item feels when you put it on, and how it makes you feel.

Consider Using a Fountain Pen to Write With

Most things that need to be written are typed, these days, and for those things that still get written out by hand, we’re more generally inclined to use cheap disposable ballpoint pens than to go to all the trouble of using a fountain pen. There are some good reasons to consider using a fountain pen to write with, however.For one thing, a fountain pen is almost a work of art. It’s an elegant device that can last you for years. It requires more attention when writing, and can produce much more attractive handwriting.There’s a whole ritual to using a fountain pen, from choosing the type of ink, to writing with intent. Writing with a fountain pen just makes the act of writing more meaningful. If this appeals to you, you might be interested in my book review of The Joy of Mindful Writing.

Reduce Your Screen Time

Use tools and services to help prevent you spending too much time online. The internet is a valuable resource, but it can absolutely be over-used, and when it is overused, you can find yourself falling through an endless abyss of clickbait headlines, videos, and memes. Use tools and services such as Cold Turkey Blocker to limit the time you spend online. With your new-found offline time, read more books instead. With a book, you get a much deeper, slower-paced, more engaging look into a subject than you do by skimming the web. Find great titles and reviews on GoodReads (web and app).

What do you consider a mindful activity? What would you like to do less of or more, to reduce the noise all around us and focus more on what is important, and what is going on around you?

Self Confidence Boosting Tips

Kindness

Confidence can significantly affect your overall quality of life. Confident individuals tend to be happier and more content. Now, some of us just aren’t naturally confident. We worry, doubt ourselves, and are often overly critical of ourselves. I’m not talking about being an introvert, that is something entirely different. I’m talking about a lack of self-confidence which can have a knock-on effect in many areas of your life.

The good news is that you can take steps in your life to boost your confidence levels. Here are just a couple to try out yourself although they are the tip of the iceberg. I’d love to hear some of your self-confidence pick me ups.

Be Aware of the Artifice of Social Media

Social media can be extremely detrimental when it comes to your levels of self-confidence. Why? Well, we tend to only portray our lives in the best light possible on social media. The majority of people will only post the positive aspects of our lives, the most fun things that we are doing, and attractive photographs of ourselves. We leave out the negative details and occurrences. A surprising number of people also highly edit their photos to look more stereotypically attractive than they may look in real life, and stage photos that make it look like they’re doing things that they might not necessarily be doing. So, you can’t compare your life as you know it to the lives that others are consciously curating and coating in artifice. If you feel that your life isn’t levelling up to those of others you follow on social media, remember that everyone has arguments, everyone has difficulties, and nobody looks perfectly photoshopped in person. Don’t put these expectations on yourself.

Wear Nice Underwear

The majority of us wear whichever underwear happens to be the comfiest. However, this often results in us wearing the same few pairs time and time again. This results in them looking a little worse for wear as time passes by, and more often that not, they probably weren’t the most flattering items to start with. Believe it or not, many women claim that the underwear that they choose to put on in the morning can significantly affect their self-confidence throughout the day. There’s just something empowering that lies in wearing appealing undergarments, even if nobody else ever sees them! So, sift through your underwear drawer, donate old and battered pairs to recycling clothes banks (that can put the materials to better use), and invest in some new panache lingerie. As someone who practically lives in M&S belly grabbers, this point is a significant one for me. I need to invest in some nice, comfortable and *gasp* matching undies that make me feel good.

Implement a Thorough Skincare Routine

This is a self-care tip as well as a self-confidence one. For years I neglected my night-time routine however just feel so much better for prioritising this. The glowing skin you will have as a result of a decent skin care routine will be more than worth the effort. Invest in a high-quality face wash, toner, and moisturiser composed of natural, organic, cruelty-free ingredients and don’t forget to take your makeup off before going to bed, no matter how tired you may be!

Practice Self Confidence

This might sound odd but the more you put yourself out there, the easier for most people it gets. Join in with a conversation, share your views in a meeting, join a group. Work hard on identifying the areas you struggle with and hit them hard.

These are just a few different steps that you can try out when it comes to boosting your confidence levels. They are relatively easy to implement into your attitude and routine. So give them a try! You have nothing to lose!

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