9 ways to live mindfully
There is a mountain of information and research pointing to the value of mindfulness in supporting good health, and it has been quite the buzzword recently – What is mindfulness, exactly?
Well, while mindfulness activity can mean something different for each of us, being mindful actually refers to being aware of ourselves, in the particular moment that we are in. Sound straightforward? For many of us, the pressures of everyday life, the challenges of many different and often competing priorities and the energy required to absorb and process various sources of information, can leave us exhausted, physically and mentally.
I liken it to a messy home – we can manage with a few things dirty or out of place, knowing that they will be dealt with in due course. Trouble brews when we have everything out of place, for a long time, and we can get a little lost with how to sort it all out. As with anything, it is easier to ‘sort it all out’ before it gets too far-gone.
So, it’s up to us to take action and put in place mindfulness practice that will help us to sort, file and categorise all the information we have stored. It’s something we need to practice regularly for best results in all aspects of our lives – prioritise self care practices just as you prioritise other forms of nourishment – food, sleep.
There are countless ways to practice mindfulness – and using one or a number of techniques, or even making up your own can be instrumental to gaining clarity for yourself.
- Guided meditation
- Active mindfulness with yoga, tai chi, qi gong or similar
- Active exercise to refine focus.
- Creative, artistic pursuits – painting, sculpting, music, drama, cooking
- Immerse yourself in nature & enjoy the sunlight. Beaches, parks, bush, hiking trails, forest. Vitamin D from our sun is vital to so many physiological functions.
- Eat well, think well, be well; a calm digestive system can translate to a calmer, more clear mind
- Remember the gift of the servant heart. In giving to others, we give to ourselves. Giving occurs in a multitude of ways:
- your time; as in volunteering for a community organisation,
- listening to someone who needs a friendly ear,
- financially; the Christmas gift of two chickens for a village in Africa from my 11 year old son last year still gives me pleasure,
- love; showing your family and friends what they mean to you right through to the generous smile and assistance you offer the elderly lady at the supermarket who really needs a hand with reaching the highest shelf. – Just try it and see.
Don’t know where to start? Just start somewhere. Anywhere. Life is dynamic; you can do something for as long as it serves you and then change to try something different – the beauty of conscious choice.