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How I Practise Mindfulness

Mindfulness is something I have been talking about on this blog for a long while and I figured it was finally time to tell you all how exactly I practise mindfulness! Since starting my blog, my definition of mindfulness has certainly evolved and changed. I started off not knowing a whole lot to having a much better understanding of what mindfulness actually is and how it helps not just day-to-day but long-term too!

So, what is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the act of paying attention to everything going on in the present moment. It's being aware of what is going through your mind, how your body is feeling, and how your mental wellbeing is in that moment. 

It's not focusing on what happened in the past, or what will be happening in the future; just being present, and appreciating and acknowledging what is happening right there and then.

Since learning more about mindfulness and adopting some mindful practises, I have certainly changed, and for the better! Things that would previously stress me out and make me anxious are now handled better and I owe it all to being mindful!

If I go a couple of days without one or two of these practises, then I certainly notice a difference in the way I am feeling and handling things, so it's safe to say that they really do help me out!

The thing that most people associate mindfulness with is meditation. 

When I first started meditating, I used a lot of different apps and I have now finally settled upon my absolute favourite! 

The app I use now is Insight Timer, and I talked about it in my blog post about wellness habits to adopt in spring, which you can read right here.

Meditation has so many benefits that have been scientifically proven to change your brain! This article outlines different studies that show how meditating can change your brain for the better. It's a very interesting read!

For me, mediation has made me less stressed, improved my quality of sleep, improved my concentration and it has become something that I look forward to doing.

The early stages of me mediating were quite difficult; I would get bored easily and have so many thoughts jumbled in my mind, but sticking through it made me see the benefits. Starting off with 1 minute, then 3 minutes, then 5, then 10, then 15 daily and building it up in small increments like that definitely helped me out. 

In the evenings, I go onto my app and choose a length of time I want to meditate for. The app also has guided meditations, talks, and background sounds for you to choose from. I would highly recommend it!

Another way I practise mindfulness is by reading.

Reading for 30 minutes to an hour in the morning is so relaxing for me and sets a good foundation for my day. Reading in the evenings until I fall asleep is my favourite way to go and if I'm especially tired from the day, this will knock me out straight away!

Reading more has been one of my goals for this year, and I challenged myself to read 12 books this year - one for each month. It's been going great so far and I love that I am getting back into reading. 

Having a good book with you makes you forget about whatever is going on in the outside world and all I think about is what's happening in my book. If I want to not be too overwhelmed with whatever is going on around me, then enjoying my book is what I love to do to just focus on myself and how I'm feeling.

By exercise, I don't mean anything straining! My favourite ways to exercise are by doing yoga and taking a walk.

Yoga is so amazing, and it's something I've spoken about on the blog before. Moving my body and stretching is so important for making my body feel great.

Yoga has remarkable benefits, both physical and mental. For me, I have significant improvements in my back pain, my sleep, and my concentration, and it's been amazing paired with mediation!

I use any yoga video I come across on YouTube and I follow that routine in the evenings. I just focus on my body and how I'm feeling and I can feel all the stresses going away.

Since the weather started improving in the UK, I started going on walks when it was cooler in the late afternoons. Walking and being in nature boosts my mood and makes me so appreciative of the world around me. I would walk for an hour or two and when I came back home I felt so much better! 

If you're at a desk for a long time, then taking a break by going for a walk is a great way to relax and let your mind chill out for a while.

In my bullet journal, I have a spread where I keep track of everything I'm grateful for that day. I write  this down in the morning as soon as I wake up to start my day off positively and full of gratitude.

I have spoken about gratitude before on my blog, and I won't spend too long talking about it in this post. You can read about gratitude and why it's important right here!

Mindfulness for me doesn't stop there though!

Mindful eating and mindful listening are also important to me. 

When I eat, I pay attention to what I am eating. I want to eat healthy food as much as possible and if I know something isn't good for me, then I have it in moderation. I also pay attention to how much I'm eating too. I try to aim for feeling full and content, but not overly full that I feel sick and sleepy. 

Mindful listening is not only going to benefit you, but the people you are speaking with too! Pay attention to what someone is saying and give then your full undivided attention. It really makes someone feel important and respected when you are listening to them completely and not distracted by something else. 

Mindfulness has really changed my life and how I think everyday!

I love being more in-tune with my mind and body and I love how much of a difference it has made for me.

Do you practise mindfulness? What are your favourite ways?