I'd like to think I am a chill person, but for the most part my brain is always 10 steps ahead of me. I have a type-A personality with most aspects in life and a carry-stress-in-my-shoulders kind of girl. Stress, as you know, can lead to all sorts of unfavorable things, so I thought I'd share how I incorporate relatively easy mindfulness practices into my life.
5 Mindful Practices I Enjoy
Not only does prayer give me the opportunity to focus my mind on something specific, it typically takes the focus off of me and my issues and places my mindset back on God. I love the ACTS acronym for prayer that I was taught years ago at church and use this style of prayer often. A=adoration, C=confession, T=thanksgiving, and S=supplication. I'm happy to dive into this topic more with anyone interested!
2. BREATHS BEFORE MEALS
Growing up I had a very unique mind-gut relationship where even the smell of certain foods would send me into full-blown aching abdominal cramps. As years went on I learned different things about my health to help alleviate those symptoms. Fast forward to 2019, one of the things a dietician I was working with at the time told me to practice was to sit with my meal before eating (pray if that's your thing), and take a few breaths. The idea is that by pausing, I was allowing my mind-gut connection to get into a parasympathetic mode instead of sympathetic. Parasympathetic is also known as "rest and digest" whereas sympathetic is associated with "fight or flight" eating. The next time you go to eat a meal try to notice how you're entering that meal and this will make a little more sense ;)
3. GRATITUDE SHOWERS
I take my showers at night for a few different reasons, but one of them is because it's typically after my kids are sleeping so I'm not on anyone's 'clock'. I will relax in the shower with a few breaths and place my palms on different parts of my body and thank God for that body part and it's function. Some examples: *places palm on chest* 'Thank you God for my heart that beats even without me thinking. It has been beating since I was a little baby growing in my mom's womb.' *places palms on arms* 'Thank you for my arms that are strong enough to carry my babies and give hugs to the people I love'. It might sound silly to some, but this gratitude practice grounds me before bed and reminds me of our fragility and strength all in one.
4. DELETING SOCIAL MEDIA APPS FROM MY PHONE
One of the biggest issues I have with social media is being fed information at such a fast pace from people all around the world about things from all around the world. When, since the beginning of life have we ever been given such a great distraction like social media? Deleting the apps gives me the chance to be more present and mindful with how my time is spent.
5. MORNING SUN AND SITTING OUTSIDE
Sounds simple enough right? But for someone like me who feels unaccomplished by pausing, this is truly something I've had to create discipline around. In the morning I get outside and stare in the direction of the sun with no glasses/contacts on. I do not stare AT the sun, if it is shining, just in the direction. I do this for about five minutes. Not only does it help my circadian rhythm, but this simple pause sets a nice tone for whatever I do next. In addition to this - every day I try to sit outside midday/afternoon for 10-15 minutes for quiet time (without my phone). It's a good time for me to just chill and reset for whatever the rest of the day has for me.
I hope these simple ideas will be inspiration for you to create your own mindfulness practices!
For more day-to-day inspiration, find me on instagram at @allaroundgoodness_