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  • Writer's pictureDr. Lauren O'Byrne

Practicing Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a state of purposeful attention in the present. When you are mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings without judging them as good or bad. Mindfulness is something we can all benefit from, something that with daily practice can lead us toward sustainable inner peace, greater self-awareness and greater self-understanding.

Here are some mindful habits that you can start today:

  1. Develop one habit at a time Choose one positive habit and keep at it until it becomes so natural that not a day goes past without it naturally arising.

  2. Practice gratitude It is important to take joy in the smallest of things. As we practice gratitude, we become increasingly aware that there’s always something to be thankful for, even in the bleakest situation.

  3. Breathe deeply Yoga teachings say that the longer the breath the longer you live. Try inhaling deeply and slowly count to three, then exhale and repeat the same again. Be aware of the rush of fresh, oxygenated blood as it fills lungs and refreshes your thoughts. Try this a few times per day as a breathing exercise or to relieve stress during the day.

  4. Prioritize Mindfulness is a practice that needs prioritizing. The more you are aware of this the easier it will be to fit into your daily tasks.

  5. Turn down the noise Turn off your gadgets for a couple of hours: your TV, your smartphone, your tablet. Once you get used to being without these things, you’ll find that you don’t miss the noise.

  6. Listen, don’t just hear Be mindful that offering your undivided attention for the duration of your conversations and being mentally present can enhance interactions with others.

  7. Watch what you eat Dietary guidelines teach us to watch what we eat, but mindful eating makes things much simpler than counting calories. The mindfulness approach triggers a natural ability to identify which foods the body thrives on and those that are just convenient, quick fixes. While eating, consider where your food came from, how it grew and its journey from the land to your plate.

  8. Listen to your intuition People who practice mindfulness can better connect and learn to trust their intuition. Start listening and trusting your intuition. The results will speak for themselves.

  9. Choose your words Begin taking note of how you speak with others. Often, preconceptions and misguided beliefs lead us to come across in a way that doesn’t truly reflect our inner person or intentions. Sometimes our personal frustration, insecurities, fears, and anger shape the words we use. Think about if you speak kindly to others, or have you fallen into an autopilot pattern of speaking? Do you come across as critical or judgmental?

  10. Speak kindly to yourself We can only be as kind to others as we are to ourselves. Take a few moments to notice how you speak to yourself. Be patient with yourself, praise yourself in your efforts and forgive yourself in your shortcomings.

Reference: 21 Mindful Habits You Can Adopt Today – Pocket Mindfulness

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