be present – be mindful – just be

benefits of regular meditation and mindfulness practice

Bringing mindfulness and meditation into daily life and routine can bring so much into our lives–the benefits are huge.

I’m halfway through an 8 week mindfulness course, which I am really enjoying, and from what I’m learning, I highly recommend exploring a meditation and mindfulness practice on a regular basis.

In the short time frame, I have been adding more mindfulness into my life, I have noticed so many things.

Here are a few things that you can do to bring mindfulness into your life:

Take pauses

In my daily life, I try to think of my surroundings and be grateful for them. Recently, on my walk to work, I actually made a conscious effort to go down to the beach. I stopped to admire the view of the sea, and the waves lapping on the shore.

I realized I could not remember the last time I stood on the beach, and it is right by my doorstep!

Breathe and accept

When things happen that are outside of my control, or perhaps a plan changes suddenly, sometimes I react with irritability or panic–especially if overcoming anxiety.

However when I pause to take a breath, I notice that I am anxious, and how anxiety feels. I can then give myself a little talking to!

I am learning to breathe and accept the situation for what it is and work with it, rather than letting my mind go into negativity. I can then move into more positive thoughts and go with the flow.

Take care of yourself

In order for us to be mindful and create happiness in our lives, we have to care about how we feel and how we are treating ourselves.

Care about the things you are doing, enjoy the choices and decisions you make, and consider whether these will have a negative impact on your mood, well-being, or stress level. If you’re being a yes-person, rather than choosing what you really want for yourself, than make a decision that really feels right for you.

Some people might say you need to learn to be a little bit more selfish, but sometimes we need to do this to take care of ourselves rather than others for a change…

Being mindful can be as simple as taking 5 minutes out of your day to sit, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. When you focus on your breath, you get out of your head.

The mind can go from one thing to the next, always on the go, planning, worrying, thinking…we need to get into our bodies so that we can connect with the world around us and be in the present moment. It slows down time and separates us from what we are worrying about.

Now, this doesn’t mean I am an expert and am totally mindful in everything I do!

Quite the opposite… I struggle with meditation and find it hard sometimes to control my wandering mind. I have to work hard to pull my attention back to focus on the here and now, but I find this helps me gain more control and learn how to keep my negative thoughts away.

Try this meditation and see how it benefits you:

• Find a comfortable seated position, either in a chair or on a cushion.
• Close your eyes, or lower and fix your gaze.
• Concentrate on your breath.
• Notice the inhale.
• Notice the exhale.
• With each inhale and exhale, count 1…2…3…continue counting.
• If it wanders (and it may) gently steer it back and restart your counting at 1.

Be present. Be mindful. Just be.

You also might like to learn these 3 creative journaling practices for more mindfulness