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Mindful Moments and Making Time for Yourself

Sometimes, life can feel like a constant song on repeat. All the activities and homework assignments put us on autopilot and make us feel time is zooming by. Stress and thoughts fill our mind, causing us to lower our mood and affect performance of daily activities. With exercises that bring back our focus to the present moment, you will find a place of comfort in the never ending cycle. Acknowledging your presence will boost happiness and a healthy lifestyle you deserve.

Step One, Breathe

“Take a deep breath,” is a phrase we have heard before, but why is it important? Deep breathing lowers your stress levels and maintains calmness level throughout your body. If you are feeling weary, you can direct your focus to the inner body with your breath. To practice deep breathing, you engage the diaphragm, which is the body’s largest breathing organ! To master this stress relieving technique, according to a NY Times article, lie on your back and release any tension. Then, place one hand on your stomach and the other on the chest. Breathe in through your nose and notice how your belly and chest move up and down. Try utilizing the 4-7-8 breathing technique by Dr. Andrew Weil to help you keep your attention on your breath! Continue to inhale through the nose for four seconds, then hold for seven seconds while resting your tongue at the roof of your mouth. Then, exhale out from your mouth for eight seconds. Repeat as necessary.

Intentional Mindfulness

Ever feel as if time slows down when you admire fall leaves or stroll barefoot on a patch of grass? This is primarily due to the attention you set on the world around you. In addition to breathing, shifting your mind in the present moment can help your worries fade away. Mindful illustrates the practice in three simple steps:

  1. Notice— your ability to become aware of every breath or step you take.

  2. Shift your attention—to your wonderful senses. Glancing at the nearby car or paying attention to the sounds around will shift your mind away from stressful thoughts. Don’t forget to pay attention to your breath, as well, by practicing the 4-7-8 method as discussed above!

  3. Rewrite—“Encode this experience deep into your memory by savoring it for just 15 or 20 seconds,” as stated by Mindful.

Write Your Thoughts Down

Think about all the things we make our mind remember! All the overwhelming grocery items, important dates, and people’s names that float may constantly pressure the mind to feel as though we have to always remember. Writing down your thoughts will refresh the mental energy needed to remember, for example, calling your family member after dinner. You can write down smaller reminders on sticky notes or on an online calendar to prevent you from worrying about remembering them later!

Peaceful Conclusion

Taking all these techniques into consideration, remember to be intentional about the activities you choose to pursue. Actively being in the moment plays a part of empowering a healthy and happy life that you one hundred percent deserve. Take the breathing techniques, intentional mindfulness, and write down your thoughts into your daily life today!

By Izzy McIlvenna

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