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Learning to add mindfulness is an active practice. Even though it should come naturally, in todays world it doesn’t.
I don’t know about you, but it wasn’t until I was in my late 30’s that I started to live in the present. That sounds ridiculous. We’re all in the present, but how many of us have our minds and emotions in the present. We’re always thinking about what we need to do next. Or comparing ourselves to others.
I’m guilty of doing too much during the day. I’ll send emails at a stoplight or sort laundry before I get dressed because I have a free 2 minutes. It took me the longest time to figure out how to keep my mind still during shavasana. I’m usually thinking about what I have to do right after yoga.
Stress. It ages us. Physically, mentally, and takes away minutes, days, years of our life. What are we really stressing about anyway? Is it that important? We have one life and we should enjoy what is around us. Our food. Our children. How we feel. Smells. Everything.
I think that social media is to blame for many of our insecurities. I kind of try to block it out. Now that sounds pretty funny for a blogger! (I’m aware of the irony that I will post this to social media). But, like most of us, I’ll look at someone who just posted something mundane on social media, and they’ll get a ridiculous amount of likes. I’ll get like 3.
That makes me feel terrible and then I realize that I’m not a teenager, I’m a grown-ass woman, I shouldn’t care, so I block it out.
As I’ve gotten older, I’m better at doing this. When I start to feel insecure being on social media, I literally disconnect from it. People may notice that I disappear for a while. I have a great friend that’s not on social media at all. She is the most centered and well-balanced person I know.
Now, give yourself a break from social media and focus inward rather than outward. Think about what truly makes you happy. The genuine people in your life. Your family. The people that love you for who you really are. The ugly parts and all. Do a media cleanse and don’t look at it for a month. See how much better you’ll feel.
Studies have shown we really do get addicted to our devices. They affect our brains in a similar way that drugs do.
Try disconnecting even for a day and see how you feel, then step it up to 2 days. You’ll notice a difference in how you feel emotionally and how you become more connected to the most important people around you. Not your followers on Instagram.
Lots of us pray, but meditation is different than prayer in that, it focuses inward. Really it’s about just quieting our minds.
Meditating just 5 minutes a day is a way to reset. Starting the day in meditation can help us silence the noise and relieve tension. It’s a great way to get perspective as well. If you have a hard time, just close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing. It’s amazing how often during the day I’ll notice I’m actually holding my breath!
Like prayer, meditating will also help you through stressful situations as well. It seems like there’s more noise around us than ever. It’s a good way to shut it out.
Many times our days are so busy we scarf our food hardly tasting it. Eat more slowly. Explore the textures and the minute flavors. It’s actually a very healthy practice to do as well. You’ll notice that bad foods such as fast food actually don’t have much flavor. You’ll learn to enjoy healthy food.
Letting Go of Judgment
We all will find ourselves in judgment. It’s human to do this. But, if you stop and put yourself in their shoes and have more empathy it’s like letting go a of a heavy burden. Seeing the good in everyone. Understanding why they do what they do. And do not look down at anyone. It’s another form of insecurity.
Being Secure with Ourselves
We are who we are and the people around us love us for that. Trying to present a perfect version of ourselves is like acting. Acting takes work and it takes ourselves away from who we really are. We all have flaws. Just accept them and don’t worry about who judges you for them. In most cases, they aren’t flaws at all. Sometimes there’s a mold we try to make ourselves fit into. If we can’t fit, we think there’s something wrong with us. Just remember we were all made to be different. We’re not clones.
I practiced yoga for years until I had children. Then, I stopped. It was probably the time I needed it most. I have only recently started doing it again. I’m not very good at it, but it doesn’t matter. It’s about quieting the mind and stretching the body.
Taking care of our body is essential to our spirit. And yoga helps keep us strong and flexible. Two very important things to keep up as we age. Both keep injuries at bay. And if you’re injured and in pain, it’s very hard to be mindful and at peace.
It also helps with anxiety. The deep breathing and the practice of yoga itself brings awareness back to our bodies. Body awareness is key to being healthy.
Finally, we all get caught up in our daily lives and forget how to live and enjoy the small things. I notice elderly people enjoy every small thing about life. We don’t want to wait until we’re old to do this, to appreciate life and our loved ones. That is what’s most important. Not the size of our house or what clothes we wear.
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