To me, this goal is probably the most imporant in the new Cycle because it can teach us a powerful lesson: that mindfulness drives happiness. Being able to live in the moment and savour every second of your day is what sets apart surviving from living. And maintaining mindfulness is a struggle – one which we all go through every day. Many people think we become oblivious to happiness when we fill our days with mundane tasks and get stuck in routine. Not finding your job rewarding, for instance, might deprive you from enjoying life. What happens though when you have found your call? When you’ve achieved your dreams? We often overlook the simple fact that peace of mind needs time – time we need to make for “zen moments” to happen and develop. Finding your balance, accepting yourself and life for what it is and cherishing it don’t happen automatically. We need to train ourselves to slow down, to pause and reflect. This is a list of what helps me practise mindfulness and appreciate life even when times are rough:
- Cherish the little moments: Always start with your day with a hearty breakfast (And a cup of coffee, if you ask me:): Don’t skip your meals or anything that gives you pleasure because of your busy schedule. If it’s difficult to organize your time, try writing to-do lists the day before or during the weekend.
- Listen to Music! -Use Spotify’s playlists: There are Zen-dedicated playlists, but my favourite ones are their Coffee House or Acoustic ones. You can find music depending on the genre of music you prefer, your mood or search for music using keywords such as “motivation” or “concentration”.
- Spend at least 10′ every day doing something you love: As many of you know, my passion is singing, but I sing all the time, so I suppose singing doesn’t count 🙂 What I love doing when I’m stressed though is sketching/doodling/drawing. I normally put music on, grab a pen or marker and start creating. I use that time to “declutter” as I say, so I focus on my sketch and try to block out other thoughts.
- Breathe!: The power of proper breathing is something we all overlook, but mastering some breathing techniques can reduce your stress levels and make you feel more relaxed and ready to tackle any problem you might be having. There are lots of breathing exercise videos online to choose from!
- Use a Positive Thinking app: Sometimes, it’s difficult to get ourselves into the mood for relaxation, let alone spend time doing something other than work. Technology comes -once again – to our aid. There are many apps supporting positive thinking. Happify and Smiling Mind are just two of the many out there.