This last year has been quite a crazy one for everyone all over the world. Even though times are still pretty trying for most, it is very important to give a little time every day for some mindfulness. I truly never understood why this was so important until I was desperate to calm down. 2021 really hit everyone hard & to say I was stressed to the max is an understatement. I had also been dealing with some massive health issues, which in no way was a stress savior. Finally, one day when I was at my worst, I decided something had to be done differently. I read up about mindfulness & found little books about it at Barnes & Noble. Besides the fact that the books are absolutely adorable, they did have some valid points to help!
So what exactly is mindfulness? I found myself asking the same question, so don’t worry! It is simply taking a moment throughout the day to relax & breath. This can be done through meditating or just sitting peacefully in silence for a little. It is suggested to take about 10 minutes of nice relaxed breathing with your eyes closed. The purpose of doing this is to slow you down to relax & think clearly. What is truly important? Does dwelling on small thing & the past truly matter? Is becoming rich or famous really a way to a happy life? It gives you a chance to reflect on what matters. Mindfulness is supposed to bring you inner peace to stay focused on what is happening in the now, change our perceptions & to learn not to be discouraged. It also helps with anxiety, which is always a positive!
Sounds easy enough right? Well to be honest, it’s not that simple. The main struggle that I had is trying to remind myself to take a moment every day. Being a business owner, I find myself working nonstop & even skipping lunches or late through the evening. With my mind racing 100 miles a minute, it’s tough to remember something so simple. So I had to find a way that worked best for me. In the morning I start with a small 15 minute yoga session. This helps prepare me for the day ahead & get going. Before I start work I write down 3 things that I am grateful for at that moment. Of course I am always thankful for my family, boyfriend, doggies & such, but you have to look deeper. It can be hard to remember the good things when bad things happen, so each day is a little reminder of what is good. For example, when I was laid off due to COVID, I was so upset. I had to have an emergency surgery two weeks later & was mortified about everything going on. However, I was still very blessed. I was grateful that my mother was able to take time off & fly down from Washington to care for me after the surgery. I was grateful to have the ability to finally grow my clothing boutique. I was tremendously grateful for my puppy during those times, as she gave me more comfort than I could ever imagine.
The best way that I can describe mindfulness from my perspective, is bringing joy. The little things in life truly do matter a lot & mindfulness is recognizing the joy in your life. For instance, in one of my books it talks about getting rid of clutter. Too much can often be overwhelming. Taking a bath & really enjoying the warm water & scent of a candle. Going for a walk & taking the time to notice the details of flowers or the butterflies on them. As I said before, the little things.
If you start to struggle with ways to start or how to practice, I have two little books that I really enjoy, that have helped. One is The Little Book of Mindfulness, by Gilly Pickup & the other is 52 Lists for Happiness, by Moorea Seal. I will add an Amazon link to both at the bottom. One has some ways to practice mindfulness & little sayings to help. The other book is for writing weekly gratitude & happiness.
So remember to take a moment every day to be thankful, to bring joy & to relax your mind.