7 Simple Habits to Practice Mindfulness That Help Me Deal With Stress Better
Updated: Jul 7, 2020
by Faryna Nadia. |
Mindfulness is a psychological process and a type of meditation. It’s about bringing one’s attention to experience the occurrence in the present moment so that we don’t miss out on our own lives by dwelling too much on the past or worrying too much about the future.
Practising mindfulness has also helped with my mental state, I’d always practice mindfulness when I couldn’t control negative thoughts or deal with emotional distress. If you wish to do the same, here’s the list of how I practice mindfulness to help me deal with stress better.
1. Savour your food
Next time when you’re eating your meal. Make sure that you pay full attention to what it tastes like and how it looks like. Appreciate what is in front of you. Sometimes you feel less likely to be satisfied with your meal because you’re busy doing something else while eating. Take your time to enjoy your food and drink. I’m not asking you to chew 40 times per mouthful, you just have to stop doing things that are distracting you from your meals like scrolling through work emails or even reading the news. If anything, eating while you’re doing these things can also distract you from absorbing information well, so why not have a designated time for each activity, right?
2. Empty your mind
Sometimes you have to empty your mind when your mind is wandering and filled with negativity. When your mind is full of negative thoughts you are most likely to experience anxiety and stress, but the good news is that you can take control of your mind and your thoughts. Be aware of how you think and react, take a break whenever you feel overwhelmed or overthinking about every little thing. Give yourself some time to clear your mind. Tell yourself that it’s okay to experience these things but never let your mind take control over your body.
Every day when you wake up before you start your daily routine, take deep breaths. Every day I will make sure to take a deep breath and pause every second before I continue with my usual routine or my tasks for the day. Doing this doesn’t take much of your time, and it helps you stay grounded when you intentionally stay present in the moment. It might sound all touchy-feely, but we all breathe anyway, so what’s there to lose if you just put in a little more attention to that? Nothing, and you get the chance to remind yourself that even as things seem overwhelming, you’re not going to let them suffocate you, all you have to do is take them one step at a time.
4. Practice acceptance and forgiveness
It’s important to accept how things are going and accept you feel about them. It's really crucial to understand that acceptance is the main part of mindfulness because being in denial does you nothing good. Instead of constantly questioning “Why is this happening to me?” or “How could I make that mistake?”, remind yourself that you still have time to fix it and turn things around for the better; clinging on to past mistakes and grudges will only hold you back from moving forward.
5. Pay attention to your five senses
You have to pay attention to all your senses: sight, taste, sound, smell, and touch. If you concentrate on those, you’ll understand better about living in the present. Take some time to appreciate your sensory organs. For example, go for a walk and look at the scenery around you or go to the art museum and appreciate those paintings that are hanging on the wall. Appreciate the sound of birds singing in the morning signalling another day to live, and your warm bed for keeping you comfortable as you rest. You don’t have to explicitly acknowledge these things, but knowing them and using them to help with your sense of gratitude is one way to practice mindfulness.
6. Don’t be judgmental
It's human nature to judge other people. Sometimes our mind will constantly judge other people by their attitude or their appearance. We should keep in mind to be non-judgemental to have a better life. Start avoiding judgemental thoughts by accepting how others live their lives. Try to understand yourself and other people. Instead of judging people, try to put yourself in their shoes and understand that perhaps you would do the same.
You should stop being judgmental about yourself too, this ties back to accepting how things are and how you’re feeling. Sometimes I even judge myself about how vulnerable I am and find myself suffering about it. But I later learned that it's common to feel that way and instead of judging myself I try to find my solutions to the problems I’m facing.
7. Be grateful
If you wish to practice mindfulness, you should begin it with being thankful for everything you have - big or small. Stop comparing yourself to others and appreciate your own potential and your own skills. Start thanking others and express your gratitude more often too to help you be reminded of the blessings you have.
These are some of the ways I practice mindfulness to help me cope with stress better. It’s easier for me when I started to know why I want to practice mindfulness. So if you’re looking to do so, I encourage you to first ask yourself why you’d want to be more mindful of how you’re living life and then proceed from there.
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