Developing a Mindfulness Practice

Developing a Mindfulness Practice

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:

  • Using meditation apps while commuting to work (my eyes were open, but would still not recommend it)
  • Playing a guided meditation to fall asleep (just another thing for my active brain to focus on)
  • Meditating quietly while sitting down (I only tried this twice before realizing quickly it was not for me)
  • Breathing exercises (if done in complete silence, still not sufficient enough to turn my brain off)

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. developing a mindfulness practice

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:

  • Weekly long walks while listening to relaxing music or a soothing podcast
  • Strictly listening to classical music or NPR daily news on the drive to and from work
  • Lying on my bed with the lights turned off and my eyes closed after a long day at work
  • Meditating on the natural beauty of the great outdoors while on a hike or long walk with my husband

developing a mindfulness practice

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

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Hi there! Chasing Belle is where I share my favorite hikes, healthy living tips, and love of the outdoors! The world is a big, beautiful place and I plan on chasing down every square inch of it :)

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