There’s no doubt about it: Mindfulness can be a powerful health and wellness tool. After all, most people want to feel happier, healthier and less stressed. And mindfulness is more accessible than ever before. There are a ton of apps, like Calm and Headspace, that can help you bring mindfulness into your daily practice. More and more workplaces are also focusing on mindfulness and wellness practices, as well. It’s easier now than ever to hone this skill, and all it takes is a few minutes a day to get results.
But if you’re new to mindfulness and meditation or if you don’t love traditional therapy practices, it can be a little overwhelming to dive into an app or program. That’s ok! There are lots of other ways to re-center and refocus that don’t require a lot of time or effort. Here are a few you might try:
Be more present: Do you find yourself zoning out and looking at your phone during in-person conversations with a friend? Or maybe you feel so anxious and overwhelmed, it can be difficult to focus on the tasks at hand.
We’ve all been there. That’s called phubbing and it can harm relationships. Challenge yourself to keep your device in your pocket and maintain eye contact during the exchange. Your friend will appreciate your undivided attention and return the favor. Besides, it’s just the right thing to do. Trying limiting the number of times you multitask in your daily life, especially when you’re communicating with friends and loved ones, who deserve your undivided attention.
Create: Science tells us that engaging in activities that require the use of the right side of the brain can help us tap into creativity and innovation we didn’t know we had. For example, the mere act of coloring in a coloring book designed for adults can be a way to detach healthily and unplug from life’s stressors. The same goes for other arts and crafts pursuits, like sewing, knitting, jewelry making, etc. Find what speaks to you and carve out space for it when you can.
Sleep: There’s no substitute for a good night’s sleep — and the research backs it. It’s well known that the most successful people make a point to get more shuteye. They also tend to be more patient and understanding with their friends and family. If you struggle with falling asleep right away, you might consider creating a calming bedtime ritual that includes guided meditation or listening to some calming music before bedtime. Talk to your physician about getting a better night’s sleep. Sleep tracking devices and apps can help you make see patterns and tweak them as necessary for optimal sleep.
Try meditation. It may seem mysterious, but it’s quite simple. And research suggests that there’s a whole bunch of benefits to meditating regularly. You can start meditation by just sitting in silence for 5 minutes a day. During this time, try to focus on your breathing. It can be tough to tune out all the thoughts swirling around our heads, but by focusing on inhaling and exhaling, you can start to clear your mind. Meditation takes practice, however, so don’t worry if thoughts if you can’t quiet all the thoughts in your mind. Check out this guide to getting started, too.
Mindfulness may seem trendy, but the truth is, it’s been around for thousands of years. And people need it more than ever with the pandemic weighing heavily on a lot of us.