Do you think mindfulness requires hours of meditation, or moving away to a remote location and spending all day doing yoga and sitting in silence?
Well, news flash, that's not true! Just like any habit, we have to start small. If you want to start a new exercise routine with 7 days a week for 1hr+ per day that's a good way to self sabotage. Instead, just try finding a few minutes.
Let's start with acts of mindfulness that take 5 minutes of less. No excuses, let's get started!
Breathe: Connecting with your breath is one of the best ways to start getting mindful. Start by closing your eyes, breathe in through your nose for a count of 8, filling your belly with air and all the way up through your chest. Then release through your mouth for a count of 4. Do this at least 3 times, or as many times as you need to. No matter what your day holds, how crazy or stressful it may get, coming back to your breath can help calm your mind.
Get Outside: If you have a few minutes I highly recommend taking a walk (without looking at your phone or listening to music, just be present and look at the world around you). If you don't have time for a walk simply step outside. Take few deep breaths and look at the sky and notice the sounds around you.
Move your Body: This one is easy and fun! All you have to do is get up and move your body. You can jump around like an excited kid, dance it out to a favorite song, or just shake all of your body at once. Move all the way from your head to your toes. Move as much as you can for a few seconds or a few minutes. You'll be amazed how you feel after you give yourself permission to freely move your body with no judgement or expectation.
Aromatherapy: Scents have a powerful affect on your mind and moods. I like to keep some of my favorite perfumes and oils at my desk to I can easily access them throughout my work day. Think about some of your favorite scents, maybe some that make you feel calm or bring back happy memories. A few of my favorites are: eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, and mint. You can also keep fresh flowers near you and smell them whenever you need to. Flowers have the bonus of activating your sense of sight and smell.
Practice Gratitude: This one is especially helpful if you're having a tough day. Keep a journal near you during your day and write just one thing you are grateful for. If you find yourself stressed or angry during your day, stop and write one thing you are grateful for right now. Practicing gratitude is a powerful way to shift your mindset immediately.
Easy, right!? You've got this! Get started today, and don't forget to follow @MinutesofMindfulness on instagram for daily mindfulness inspiration.
Small steps add up to Giant Leaps!