I am not a mindfulness expert. At best I am a mindfulness enthusiast and, at my worst, a fair weather fan. I understand and appreciate the benefits of developing a mindfulness practice and, for the past few years, have tried a variety of methods, including, but not limited to:
After reading the list of mindfulness tools above that didn’t work in my favor, you may be thinking, “what else is left”? The greatest lesson I’ve learned while developing a mindfulness practice that works for me is, simply that; just doing what works for me. There are so many apps, online resources, videos, books, etc. on the topic of mindfulness and meditation – so many in fact that it can be overwhelming, which is highly contradictory to the whole point of living a more mindful life. In the process of trying out different methods to minimize my stress and anxiety, the more things I tried that didn’t work, the more stressed and anxious I got.
It wasn’t until I pushed the pause button on my search for a mindfulness practice that one fell into my lap. I stopped downloading new apps and watching trending TED talks on the topic and, instead, went about my normal routine. What I discovered is how many different ways I could practice mindfulness while doing the things I already loved. Since I came I to this organic conclusion, my mindfulness practice looks a little something like this:
I simply took what was already a part of my daily and weekly routines and infused some of those practices with mindfulness. Once I started making small tweaks here and there, it was amazing to see how many different ways I could go about my normal life with the intention of being mindful and maintaining calm.
One of most important changes that I had to make, and I would highly recommend to most, is limiting time spent on social media. While it may seem like a mindless task, each scroll through your feed, each tap of a story is a chance for your brain to take in more useless information. While I still take time on my lunch or at the end of the day to catch up on social media, it is much more limited and I do my best not to look at it while I’m also doing something else (i.e. watching TV, on a walk, enjoying time with family).
Once again, I am not a mindfulness expert and am working on becoming, at the very least, a mindfulness rookie. What I am a specialist of, however, is developing a personal mindfulness practice that is sustainable. Instead of chasing after the latest meditation trend or fad, I am sticking to what I know works for me so that I can enjoying a lasting, mindful lifestyle.
Have you developed a mindfulness practice? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
In Love, Peace, and Staying Mindful ~ xo