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?

World Kindness Day 2018

treatments, kindness

With the festive season coming up and World Kindness Day being celebrated this week, it’s a great time to think about how we can be kinder to each other. I make the effort to spread extra kindness where I can and always “pay forward” kind gestures made to me.

Whilst it’s easy to get caught up in an endless to-do list and social engagements (especially around this time of year) it’s also a good idea to make sure you are taking good care of yourself and those around you. 

I came across some great tips on how to make kindness part of every day from Vanquis Bank.

Start Volunteering for a Cause Close to Your Heart

There are many ways that you can support causes or issues close to your heart, from financial donations to volunteering your time and efforts.

Check in with a Friend

We’ve recently had Mental Health Awareness Day, which is a great reminder to check in on those around you.  If you know someone is going through a challenging time, reach out to them and ask how you can support them as a friend.

Support a Charity When Possible

Sober October inspired many to ditch the booze for a month and give the money saved to charity. Why not choose something to abstain from and donate the money to a charity instead?

Buy Someone an Unexpected Gift

Next time you are buying yourself a coffee or snack, why not pay for the person behind you in the queue as well? This can be done anonymously, and it’ll really make a difference to someone’s day.

Give Someone an Appropriate Compliment

Even the smallest piece of praise can make someone’s day, so why not let someone know how much you appreciate them, what a great job they’ve done at work or perhaps even something you admire about them?

Give up Your Seat on Public Transport

When on your commute to work or simply travelling around, give up your seat to an elderly person, pregnant woman or someone who might have trouble standing during the journey. The small act of kindness will be greatly received.

Share Something Funny

You never know when someone could use a good laugh, share something funny via your social media, send it to friends or family members. Something as simple as a quick laugh can brighten their day.

Smile

We’re so used to being on our phones that we often forget to notice the people around us. A simple smile or greeting can lighten a person’s mood.

Say Thank You

It’s easy to forget to show appreciation, but so valuable when you do. Make a point of thanking bus drivers, waiters and anyone else that you interact with during the day. A small gesture of gratitude can go a long way.

Connect with Your Neighbours

Keep an eye out for your neighbours, say hello, ask if they need anything and pay particular attention to the elderly in your community – they might need help or company.

Even though World Kindness Day is only one day year, try and be kind and make someone’s day throughout the year. It doesn’t cost a thing. 

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