Do you often feel like you are operating on autopilot? I know that there are days when I do this. By the time I realize what’s been going on, it’s 5:00 PM and the day is nearly gone. A continued pattern like this can lead to increased stress, which in turn can lead to increased anxiety and all of the fun symptoms that come along with that.
So how do we slow down a little and try to ease a bit of the stress that we are feeling? By practicing mindfulness daily. Here are some easy ways to incorporate some of those practices into your day.
Meditation - It may not be for everyone, and that is okay, but I urge you to give it a try. There are many apps out there that offer free, short meditations to get you started. I really like Headspace because they make it simple. I used to think that there was no way that meditation would work for me - mainly because I can’t sit still - but I’ve discovered that I was wrong. I don’t meditate for long periods of time, but Ive learned that even a few minutes can be beneficial.
Slow down when you are eating. Notice the taste and textures of the foods you are eating. Chew thoroughly. Put your fork down between bites. This practice can also help ease digestive woes.
Stop and smell the roses. Literally! Notice the beauty and wonder that is right outside your door.
Practice gratitude. For your life, for your family, for everything.
You don’t need some elaborate plan to get started. Just begin noticing things as you go through your day. Some days will definitely be easier than others, but something is always better than nothing. When you get caught up in the craziness and you notice what’s going on…stop. Take a deep breath (or two) and know that it’s going to be okay.