It’s World Mental Health Day today folks, and we want to talk about mindfulness and meditation.
Truth is, life is tough… Cue the daily meltdown. Either we missed the bus and as a result we’ll be five minutes late, or the lady in front of us bought the last caramel muffin. Or you won’t be able to make it for dinner plans with friends because of, bleh work. Ugh.
Yeah, it can be pretty lame and unfair, we know. In moments like this we end up spiralling down and using this as a basis for the rest of the day. Telling yourself “I’ve had the worst day!” only accustoms us to frustration, impatience, and intolerance. The worst part is when in midst of all this negativity we often start direct our feelings inwards, towards ourselves. Often you don’t even realise you’re doing it.
But don’t sweat it, we’ve got a trick under our sleeve that’s got you covered: mindfulness. Here are five steps to help inject a quick dosage of mindfulness to any busy schedule – we swear, it only takes 5 minutes! The benefits? Improves memory, shifts focus, boost self-esteem, and reduce anxieties.
#1 Put Your Phone Down
Our smartphones have become the bridge to our professional, educational, and personal world. We obsessively check our DMs during our free time. Or we pretend to “look at the time” when we actually think we got a notification.
The thing is, you can actually end up adding three hours of phone time without even realising it! It’s got to stop. Especially if we want to make a change and disconnect for a moment, we will have to put our phones down. Yup, the group chat can wait.
#2 Take A Moment To Be Present
Babe, it’s time to release that obsession with the future and past that has clogged your mind with anxieties. Why has this meditation technique become so relevant in the past few years? Mindfulness is all about being at ease with ourselves, in the present moment. Through it, we stop our crazy busy lives to examine what’s going on inside and outside.
In this case, we achieve this by taking at least five minutes for self-love and to be present. Like, what’s allowing five minutes of our day for self-kindness? Nothing, right?!
#3 Breathe And Say Thanks
Now that we’ve taken some time out of our day and our phone is locked away, we can start to be mindful… Find somewhere you can sit down and be comfortable. Close your eyes if you can or relax your gaze. Right after, take three deep breathes through the nose and release air through the mouth.
As you do this, be grateful to yourself for providing the time to heal and reconnect with your being. Keep the deep breathing going.
#4 Recognise Your Thoughts
So as we breathe, relaxed, with eyes closed, we begin to recognise what type of thoughts come in. Are these thoughts positive or are they negative? Don’t be afraid of them. Once you acknowledge their essence, don’t hold on to them. Allow them to come in and let them go.
Remember it’s also A-okay if your mind wanders. It normal because staying focused and meditating can actually be a task, so don’t be hard on yourself if you end up thinking of Chinese food. Let that thought go, take a deep breathe, and keep being present.
#5 Give Yourself A Little Love!
Once you’re done, give yourself a big hug. You deserve it!
This type of meditation should last between 5 to 10 minutes or as long as it feels needed. Remember our goal here is to train our minds to be comfortable in the present and not lost in the future or past. As we keep practising we learn how to stop some of that negative anxious bullshit. Instead, we replace it with a breather that spirals us up to a kinder and more effective headspace.
Sounds nice, right? After all, If we want to become 100% that bitch like goddess Lizzo, we have to begin by being a bit more compassionate with ourselves.