Life would be a lot simpler if the future was predictable… If events unfolded gently, if there was a fine balance between work and family, and big life changes were neatly spaced out. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to never have to think about something more than once?
Ah, yes. But while we may find ourselves wishing for this kind of life the truth is that reality is far more messy and colorful. Life can be hectic and stressful, and sometimes things don’t go according to plan. And while there’s beauty in the unknown and unpredictability of life, for a lot of us, it can feel overwhelming. That’s where mindfulness can help.
By learning to focus on the present instead of worrying about the future or being caught up in the past, you can learn to better manage life when it becomes hectic. Here are a few easy mindfulness techniques you can practice to get started:
Despite common belief, you don’t need a lot of time to be mindful. While seated meditation is a sure-fire way to tap into your surroundings, if you’re being rushed off your feet it can be hard to find the time.
That’s why, when you’re trying to find peace in moments of chaos, it’s better that you make use of something you’re already doing: breathing.
Whenever you feel that wave of tension rise – whether it’s while you’re trying to meet a deadline, moving home, managing the children or paying the mortgage — pause for a moment and take in a big breath. Do this for a couple of minutes, until your mind clears. It’ll help you find clarity in the chaos, allowing you to better manage the task at hand.
Keeping a mental to-do list can be stressful and exhausting – especially when you’re prone to forget the most obvious things. Why worry about potentially overlooking something when you can write it down? Instead of directing your stream of thoughts towards planning something in your head, rather put it on paper. This will give your mind the chance to relax. Make sure you leave notepads around the house and in your car to make your life easier. Practical, simple and beneficial. Your brain will thank you for it.
When you’re trying to carry the world on your shoulders, it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself. Being overwhelmed and busy is not only stressful but also plays havoc on your emotions. That’s why small acts of self-care can go a long way to helping you become more mindful. In fact, researchers discovered that acts of self-care can trigger the production of oxytocin - the love hormone that helps you feel safe and cared for.
So, the next time you feel distressed, hectic or uncomfortable, try treating yourself to something small – even if it’s just a self-hug or a caress. Learn to talk to yourself and acknowledge the tough time you’re going through. Remind yourself of your strength and that this too shall pass. By being kinder to yourself you have the power to change your experience.
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