Have you asked yourself lately how can I get started with being more mindful and embracing a positive outlook? First things first, don’t wait for times of stress to practice mindfulness. Incorporate it into your day-to-day to live a life full of gratitude. Read on to discover nine healthy mindful habits to start improving your mental health today.
1. Focus On The Present
Each day is an opportunity for new beginnings, new opportunities, and second chances. Start each day with this mindset to uplift and motivate yourself. Seize the moment and the time you have now to reach your goals and dreams. Do not ruminate on the negativity of the past. If you feel like you fell short the day before, or have built up frustration about something, do your best to breathe deeply and rather tell yourself you must own the present moment and not dwell on the past. Tell yourself now you have a new opportunity to move forward and ground yourself in the present moment.
2. Reframe Your Thoughts
Do you find that you may tend to fall into a mindset where you see only everything that is going wrong? Negativity fuels feelings of depression, stress, and anxiety. On a daily basis, we are presented with many choices. When faced with a new opportunity or event in your life you can usually find yourself fitting into one of two camps, either optimism or pessimism. Being consumed by negativity will bog you down. Rather be intentional and strive for the latter. You may find embracing a positive mindset difficult at first.
Start small and whenever you find that you are starting to feel negative or see the situation in front of you as doomsday, stop yourself and think about everything that could go right instead. There are different strategies to get your mind on a positive track. You can try positive reinforcement, putting things in perspective, or even meeting with a therapist online to help you with reframing your thoughts and apply some cognitive therapy techniques.
3. Try Mindful Eating
Something you do on a daily basis but may not be cognizant of is eating. With busy schedules, reaching for processed and pre-packaged foods is on the rise. However, it is time to bring mindfulness to our diets. De-stress by focusing your energy on making healthy food choices. Make sure you are eating a mix of fruits, vegetables, and foods full of essential vitamins and minerals.
Eating healthy foods will help give you the energy you need to get through your day rather than feeling hungry, stressed, sluggish, and bogged down by eating foods full of empty calories and absent of the nutrients you need. Something to incorporate into your daily diet would be healthy oils such as omega threes, which can help with feelings of depression.
4. Be Kind To Yourself
Another excellent daily ritual to improve your mental health would be to focus on the relationship you have with yourself. Being hard on yourself and subjecting yourself to extra pressure is taxing. Rather choose kindness, self-compassion, and self-empathy. When you start to feel you are ridiculing yourself, instead tell yourself you are enough. Think about the strengths and qualities you have that you love and just how much you have accomplished the day at hand. Remember the relationship you have with yourself is the foundation for confidence and overall happiness.
5. Apply Mindfulness to Your Relationships
Before, we discussed mindfulness and self-compassion, but now let’s dive into applying mindfulness to your other relationships, whether personal or professional. Often relationships are stressful. Either you need more support from someone, they are being too demanding, or you may not be on the same page.
If you find that you are at odds with someone it's time to bring mindfulness into your relationships. Be conscious of your own behavior in the relationship, have conversations, and try not to hold grudges. Find the good in those around you and focus on the positive things each relationship brings. Be open and discuss what you may need to talk about with those in your life.
6. Take a Mindfulness Class
Working time into your schedule to blot out distractions and solely focus on mindfulness is critical for you to allow yourself to de-stress under pressure or in the thick of the moment. An excellent way to learn the latest mindfulness techniques and really dial in is to take a mindfulness workshop. Follow along with expert instruction and embrace things like sleep scans and breathing exercises. Take things a step further and hold yourself accountable to a mindfulness challenge. This way you are sure to take things in stages and dedicate yourself to expanding your mindful knowledge on a daily basis.
7. Clean Up
With so many things to think about and take care of day to day, organizing is probably not one that is at the top of your mind. However, take note of your environment. We tend to fill up our spaces. Are you holding on to the clutter of the past? Are your things all out of order and you can’t find where you put your phone or your keys? Surrounding yourself with too much clutter can be stressful.
Whether it be not being able to let go of things, or trying to find fulfillment through your stuff, it's time to be mindful of our spaces. Ask yourself why I still have this, and does it bring me happiness? Try applying Marie Kondo’s method; if it does not spark joy, it’s time to part ways. Be mindful of what is around you. Clean up, de-stress, and let go of excess baggage.
8. Connect With Nature
Connecting mindfulness and nature is a wonderful way to help you find your calm. Don’t stay cooped up indoors, it can be very relaxing to spend time in the great outdoors. Open your eyes and appreciate the beauty of nature surrounding you. Look at the details of the wonder of the art of mother nature and think how amazing it is to be able to witness it. Breathe in the fresh air, and feel the mood-lifting as you are warmed by the sun’s rays. Try meditating outside on a blanket or take a break and kick back in a hammock. Let all your frustrations and self-doubt drift away by filling your mind with positivity.
9. Try a Sleep Scan
You may not consider sleep as part of your day, as you may think your day is done when you go to bed. However your bedtime routine is an integral component of each and every day. Take a look at your current sleep habits. How is your mindset when you are about to go to sleep?
Are your thoughts racing about everything that happened that day or are you feeling ridden by anxiety about what may be coming tomorrow? Rather let’s be mindful. Try deep breathing and various other bedtime meditations. Relax your muscles, and your body, and get yourself in the mode for restful sleep, so you can feel refreshed for tomorrow.
Instead of mindfulness being something you do here and there, make it a part of your daily routine. Doing so will make mindfulness come more naturally to you over time. You will find yourself building resiliency, and empowered to take charge of your mental health.