When life throws you a curveball, achieving mindfulness may seem impossible. But mindfulness is a skill that we can learn to integrate into our lives. It all starts with being mindful of your thought process and who you are. And it’s these fun (no stress) habits that you can build to cultivate mindfulness and positive change into your life.
1. START WITH MORNING PAGES
Here’s a great exercise to do as soon as you wake up (or anytime of the day). Morning pages are three full pages of conscious writing about anything that’s on your mind, without judgment. There’s no wrong way to do this and it’s for your eyes only. By doing this, you’re able to clear your mind, solve problems, find comfort and set intentions for the day.
2. WRITE LETTERS TO YOUR FUTURE SELF
Writing letters to your future self is a meaningful way to reflect on where you are now and what you want to achieve in the near future. Once or twice a year I write letters to myself for different ‘milestone’ ages such as ages 25 and 30. It’s exciting to read these letters years down the road and realize how much has changed and how far you’ve come. Alternatively, you can write letters to your younger self, explaining the lessons you’ve learned and what you wish you knew.
3. PRACTICE YOGA AND MEDITATION
Yoga is a relaxation exercise that has an enormous impact on your physical and mental health. Meditation is a part of yoga where you learn to focus on your mind and listen to your body. Any time you feel yourself slip away into negativity, slow down and just breathe. Even if you’re meditating for just a few minutes a day (try Headspace) , it helps tremendously to take you back to the present moment.
4. CREATE YOUR OWN HAPPINESS JAR
The Happiness Project is an incredible tool to find the happiest moments in each day. Every night I write 1-3 specific things that I’m grateful for on coloured slips of paper to throw into a jar. It’s quick, simple, fun and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. To my surprise, because I spend a lot of time at work, 80% of it is about work, which allowed me to perceive it in a more positive light than I did previously. I found this habit to be extremely effective for my mental wellbeing, so it’s definitely worth a try.
5. END THE DAY WITH A GOOD READ
Reading before bed is the best way to wind down (rather than to scroll through your phone and be exposed to blue light). The Sleep Council say ‘39% of people who are in the habit of reading before they go to sleep, sleep very well’ as reading has proven to reduce stress levels. And you know what they say—the person you’ll be in 5 years largely depends on the information you feed your mind today.
Some days are better than others, so don’t be so hard on yourself when you fall behind in your routine. Be mindful of what works for you and your ability to start again. Create fun habits that stick!
Originally published at Live Your Potential (LYP). The LYP Women’s Leadership and Career Development Program empowers, educates and enables professional women to live their fullest potential through high-impact programs and events, and a community of like-minded women.