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?

Doing More for Yourself

Doing More for Yourself

Doing more for yourself should be something that is taught in school because as adults so many of us are rubbish at it. Move over Pythagoras Theorem and hello self-care 101. Doing more for yourself and making sure that you have time for yourself is really important these days. Life is busy and stressful, so many people find it very difficult to find the time and energy to dedicate their own needs. However, you definitely should try to find that time and do more for yourself because if you don’t, only you will suffer in the end. So why is doing more for yourself such an important matter? Why should you care? 

You’re in Control of Your Own Destiny

When you’re an adult your life often feels in some way constricted by the million and one responsibilities we have. That said you’re the one in control of your life, so if you don’t give yourself time to focus on yourself, no one else is going to do that for you. Only you can decide how you spend your time and what your priorities in life are. Make yourself a priority if you want to live a balanced life and avoid stress later on. It’s the only way to live.

Doing More for Yourself Reduces Your Stress Levels

When you find time for yourself, you will realise that you don’t need to feel stressed out all the time. It’s usually when you’re focusing on things that are external that you feel stressed and pressured. When you take time to reevaluate and focus on your own needs, you can really reduce those stress levels and make everything easier and calmer for yourself. Stress levels have a physical as well as a mental impact so shouldn’t be ignored or simply be “put up” with.

Time to Yourself Helps You Process Things

Simply having time alone in which you can think things through can be a big help to you in life generally. It’s so often the case that people are so busy rushing through life that they barely ever have a moment to themselves. When you have a little time to yourself, you will start to process things much better and find clarity. I finished a mindfulness diploma in January 2018 and it has really changed the way that I choose to process things. Look up mindful living!

Everyone Deserves a Treat or Indulgence From Time to Time

Doing more for yourself sometimes means treating yourself, and that’s not something you need to feel guilty about. Unfortunately, some people do feel guilty when buying jewellery for themselves or treats like that. There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to things that you like and want as long as you can afford it and are in control of it. Indulge yourself from time to time. A new book, some perfume; whatever tickles your fancy.

You’ll Burn Yourself Out if You’re Too Focused on Everyone Else’s Needs

Burning the candle at both ends means one thing… you are going to end up burning your bum! When you’re always rushing around doing your best for other people, whether that’s your partner at home or your boss at work, you inevitably get tired. If you keep that kind of lifestyle up for too long, you will end up getting burnt out to the point at which you just snap and can’t take it anymore. There’s nothing to be gained by pushing yourself that far. 

Don’t think that being kind to others is a no go, far from it, however, there’s too much at stake for you not to pay attention to yourself. You will only suffer long-term if you don’t prioritise doing more for yourself over doing everything for everyone else.

I’ve fallen foul of pretty much every pitfall life can throw at you when it comes to not prioritising yourself and have learned many lessons. Don’t travel the same hard route if you don’t need to; prioritise yourself!

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