Ever feel angry or frustrated and not know why? Ever get down on yourself when you know you shouldn’t? Our thoughts create our emotions, and our emotions drive our actions. When you are more self-aware, you can ensure the actions you take are leading you to a life you love and not harming you. We can become more self-aware through mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the idea that we are not our thoughts – we are separate entities observing our thoughts. With mindfulness, we recognize that we observe our thoughts and have control over our thoughts. When we are mindful, we can drive positive emotions and actions and move closer to a life we love so that you can have more great days. Here are a few benefits of mindfulness, followed by tips on how to practice mindfulness.
Benefits of Mindfulness
Mindfulness helps us to be more self-accepting. With self-acceptance comes more peace and more joy.
Mindfulness also leads to better self-control. When you’re mindful, you better understand your thoughts; this helps you better control yourself and your actions. This can manifest in a wide range of ways. Often when we think of self-control, we think of controlling our emotions, such as lashing out less and controlling anger. This is true and a benefit to mindfulness; however, it can also help you restrain yourself from saying YES to too many things because with mindfulness, you become conscious of why you’re saying yes to something you don’t want to say yes to.
Mindfulness can also help you to become better at decision making. When you have clear thoughts and a clear understanding of why you’re having those thoughts, you make better decisions. When you make better decisions, you have a better impact on your kids, spouse, colleagues and, most importantly, yourself.
Being mindful helps to increase your ability to communicate well. When you understand your thoughts and are conscious of the reasoning surrounding your thoughts, you’re better able to articulate your thoughts. You’re also better able to understand others and show empathy towards others. This level of understanding of others will help you address others in the best way possible.
Tips On How To Become Mindful
Create Space And Time
I know this is hard when working from home with children running about, but mama, trust me, you will be better for your children when you do this. One way is to find time to do some deep breathing or meditation each day. It does not have to be a long time – even a minute of deep breathing or meditation is beneficial. Set your timer and give yourself a few moments to connect with yourself through deep breathing or meditation. Tip – if you’re unable to calm your thoughts, focus on your breath(take note of how it feels as you breathe in and out – notice the temperature, notice how it makes you feel), or do a body scan(take note of the sensations that you’re feeling in each body part – scanning from the top of your head down to your toes.)
Put Away Your Devices
Put away the phone and turn off the tv – get rid of the devices for a little bit. Devices are distracting – they don’t give you the space you need to connect with your thoughts. This is excellent advice for when you’re alone but also when you’re out in public. When you’re standing in line at the store, when you’re on the subway or driving, put away your phone and turn off the radio. Give yourself a moment to be alone with your thoughts. Pay attention to your thoughts.
Carve out some time for solitude. Even if you have to hide in the bathroom for 5-7 minutes every day – go ahead and hide, mama. It’s essential to find time every day to be alone(without a phone).
How To Practice Mindfulness?
How can you practice mindfulness? By consciously thinking about your thoughts. Take time each day to observe your thoughts and to analyze why are you thinking these thoughts? Where do they come from? What do they mean? Are they true? Challenge your thoughts.
Journal Your Awareness
Take some time every day to write down what you are thinking – through the process of writing and journaling; you will become more mindful. Prompts – What went well today, and why? What did not go well today, and why? Journal while remembering that our thoughts aren’t necessarily true – remember to challenge them.
Practice Mindful Listening
Tune out everything else when someone is talking to you and listen to only what they are saying. Listen beyond their words – hear the emotion behind their voice, pay attention to their body language. Don’t allow yourself to go to a place of judging what they’re saying or trying to predict what they are going to say – be present in the moment listening and truly hearing. This will help you learn to slow your thoughts, be a better listener, and a better communicator.
Take a moment to get started on your mindfulness journey. All you need is 1-5 minutes to meditate or focus on your breath right now. If you only have a minute to spare at this moment, that is OKAY. Give yourself this next minute to be present with yourself. Focus on your breath and meditate to help you begin your mindfulness journey. Remember, when you are mindful, you can drive positive emotions and actions and move closer to living a life you love so that you can have more great days.
For more tips on mindfulness check out, How To Reduce Stress Through Mindful Practice.
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