Practising mindfulness was not part of my world years ago. I was way too ‘busy’ and stressed out to even think about actually slowing down and smelling the flowers. Ain’t no time for mindfulness, I’ve got way too much to do today!
When I was younger, I even remember my friend turning to me and saying “You’re just like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland. You’re always in a rush“. And that’s just how I was… always racing from one thing to the next, with my never-ending to-do list.
And I’m sure many of you can relate. Especially if you’re a high-achiever and hard on yourself like me.
It felt like there was always more to do, and no time to relax.
And that’s the thing… There is always more to do, and more to achieve. More, more more. And that list never gets shorter.
But, somewhere along the way, I became more aware of my ‘way of being’. And I realised that I’d become this stressed-out, triggered, anxious person… Rushing through life, with my head stuck in the future instead of the present.
It just felt like I was on this constant treadmill. And no matter how much I did or how fast I ran, it was never enough.
Life was happening around me and I was missing out on it
I started thinking about the wonderful cliche:
It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.
And it’s so true you know… Here I was, racing through life, always thinking about what I still needed to do and achieve…
When, in fact… Life was happening right now, in this very moment.
And I was missing out on it, as I raced on with my to-do list.
I knew that I needed to get my head out of the future and into the present.
I needed to teach myself to stop rushing, and somehow start to actually enjoy life in the now more.
And so I started to practice mindfulness in my life
I wanted to start to teach myself how to slow down and enjoy the present moment more.
And that was really tough for me. I struggled to sit still, or to ‘just be’. I felt like I needed to keep moving, keep working, keep busy… otherwise I felt like I was wasting time.
But… I knew that I needed a healthier balance, and that practicing mindfulness was a pathway to more peace and joy.
So I continued to look for little ways to slow down.
From taking a little me-time in the morning. To adding one less thing on my to-do list. To chewing my food more.
Little ways to just be in the present more.
Discovering a pathway to so much joy and fulfilment
And what I discovered was quite surprising.
Over the years, as I’ve taught myself to slow down – physically, mentally and emotionally – I don’t just feel more balanced and peaceful… I also feel happier than I’ve ever felt before.
My biggest gift from being mindful and enjoying the present is that it fills me up with so much joy for life.
Taking the time to enjoy what I already have in my life makes my life feel so much fuller and more wonderful. I’ve realised that I have so much in my life to love and enjoy. And paying attention to it fills me up with so much happiness.
It’s true, stopping to smell the flowers truly does make life that much sweeter!
I realised that it’s not just about to-do lists and future goals and aspirations. It’s about the journey of life happening right now.
Coming from a stressed-out-go-go-go way of being, slowing down was not easy at first. And it has definitely been a journey in itself. But, over time, step by step, I have created a much more peaceful way of being.
And it’s transformed my life inside out.
And so, for those of you who are often super busy, always got lots and lots going on, this is a post for you. If you suffer from stress and feel like you may need to create a slower pace to enjoy life more, read on.
6 Ways I Practice Mindfulness and Enjoy Life More
While there are many different ways I’ve experimented and brought mindfulness into my life, I wanted to just highlight a few in this post.
Here are 6 simple ways I’ve slowly incorporated more mindfulness into my life. These little habits have slowly become part of my life, inspiring me to enjoy life’s moments more.
They also add more peace and balance to my life. Allow me to still go for my goals, without sacrificing my health and happiness.
I hope they inspire you to practice mindfulness, so that you can slow down a bit and enjoy the journey more.
1. Enjoying me-time in the morning
This was a big change.
I used to jump in the shower, get dressed and fly out the door in record time.
Seriously… Sometimes I’d only give myself 15 minutes from waking up to leaving for work. It was insane. I didn’t even feel like I could have a coffee before leaving for work. I could only relax when I got to work (yip, a recovering workaholic in the house!)
When I started to prioritize my morning routine, I got very anxious. I’d be doing yoga and I’d feel so anxious in my chest, because it felt like I was wasting time. Self care felt like a luxury, and I felt like I ‘should be working’.
But… I knew I needed to find better work-life balance and so I continued to do my morning routine. And over time, it went from giving me anxiety, to becoming my foundation of self love and self care.
Now it is the sacred time I take out for myself first thing in the morning. Be it for a whole hour or just 10 minutes. I always try to take out at least a little me-time just to connect with myself, and to work on myself. Before the rest of the day sweeps me up.
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This constant quiet time for myself in the morning has helped me build mindfulness in many ways. Through practicing yoga, meditating, or simply journalling with tea. It’s time to just be in the moment, and not in the day’s to-do rat-race list.
And so… What activity could you do in the morning to practice your mindfulness?
2. Doing more yoga and meditation
Breathe baby, breathe.
Breathing has a wonderful way to practice mindfulness. You focus on your breath, moving in and out of your body. You create that mind-body connection. And it’s very soothing.
At the beginning, it can be tough to focus on your breath without your mind wandering. But, over time it gets easier and feels more and more soothing.
Yoga is a great way to get the healing and balancing effects of breathing. And you’re moving and exercising at the same time. It’s a double-whammy because it’s basically a movement-meditation.
Of course, you can take your breathing to the next level with meditation. Even just sitting with yourself and breathing mindfully for 5 minutes a day has wonderful effects. And it teaches you how to be comfortable just being in the quiet moment. Instead of thinking about what comes next.
3. Eating as slowly as possible
I used to inhale my food. Seriously. I could probably eat a whole pizza in under 10 min.
I’d been trying to eat slower for years, but I always found it very difficult. For someone who was always in a rush, eating slowly did not come easily!
It was only actually when I learnt more about digestion, that I started really taking eating slower more seriously. I learnt about how digestion starts in the mouth. And by eating mindfully and chewing your food, you allow the proper digestive processes to happen.
That’s what really inspired me to be a more mindful eater.
Before I’d eat while driving, walking (or running) to an appointment. I’d eat while working and doing other things.
Now I sit down and take a moment to eat. And to enjoy my meal and chew each bite.
And slowly, over time, I now eat so much slower than I used to.
And wow… I enjoy my meals so much more! I savour every bite. I smell the food, taste each ingredient, and uuummmmm and ahhhhhhh after most bites.
4. Scheduling ‘Chill Time’
I just love doing this.
When I’m creating my plan for the week, I make sure I schedule chill time. Because it says to myself that life outside of work is just as important. And that’s why it’s scheduled, because it’s important.
And even if I don’t always get to ‘chill’, at least I’m constantly reminded to ‘chill’ until I eventually take time out.
I use this ‘Chill Time’ to do things I enjoy or to simple relax and take some time for self care.
It’s time to be in the moment, listen to my intuition and follow that. I may have an essential oil bath to relax more. Or I may read a book to get inspired. Or I may go on a trip to the sea or spend time in the garden to get closer to nature.
This is time out to enjoy life and the things that nourish me and light me up. None of the ‘have-tos‘ ‘need-tos‘ or ‘must-dos‘. Just the ‘want-tos‘.
And during this time, I practice enjoying the experience in its entirety. it’s a wonderful opportunity to practice mindfulness doing something joyful and relaxing.
Oftentimes, especially if you’re a go-getter, you’re always busy. And even when you aren’t working, often you’ll have a list of things to do.
Do you schedule in time to play? Time to chill? Time to just be and enjoy the moment?
I challenge to give it a try.
5. Listening more during conversations
Another way I practice mindfulness is when I’m having conversations with people.
This was inspired when I learnt about Active Listening in coaching. About really listening. Not just thinking of what you’re going to say next in response. But instead, it’s about listening with all your heart – Being genuinely curious, and stepping into the other person’s world…
Outside of coaching, I started practicing active listening with the people in my life. And it was incredible to feel the change of experience when I did this. My conversations got so much richer. And, by truly listening, I learnt so much for these conversations. And it reminded me that we have so much to learn from one another.
And particularly with family. I started listening more and made more effort to really see their points of view and experience of the world. And it made me so much more understanding.
And with my man… By taking the time to really listen more and see the world through his eyes, I found myself becoming so much more understanding. You start to realise that we’re all different and see the world differently. And when you mindfully listen to one another, you can find much more understanding and compassion.
And this alone has made my relationships so much better.
And also… By listening more, I connected more. We’d have a meaningful connection through a mindful meaningful conversation. It was far more enriching.
And so, next time you’re having a conversation with someone, bring some mindfulness into it. Be 100% present and listen with curiosity, and see how it adds to your conversations and connections with people.
6. Stopping to appreciate little moments
A while back I started really practicing gratitude. Taking the time to write down and think of things I was appreciative of. And it felt so good.
So I took this a little further and I started to intentionally look for little moments to celebrate during the day. Small things, simple pleasures. Those things we normally take for granted while we race to the next big thing.
Some of the moments included… I’d end off my morning routine by going and giving my man a lovely long warm morning hug. During the day I’d randomly get up from my desk, walk onto the balcony and just stay there for a moment looking out at the view or feeling the sun on my face. In the morning, I’d take a couple minutes to just enjoy the cosiness of the soft warm duvet and pillow. During a meal, I’d close my eyes after taking the first bite and just savour the taste. Sometimes I’d just lie on the balcony and just want to clouds roll by.
This constant awareness of everything good in my life is hugely nourishing. It truly is simple soul food. It moves me from a place of lack and worry and stress, into a place of joy and love and abundance. Where, even if things get challenging, I feel so grateful for everything I have, that I’m still full of happiness.
That is one of the true powers of being mindful and enjoying the moment. It makes you realise how much you have and how how wonderful life is, right now. And through that it helps shifts you into a place of peace, love and joy.
And so… What are some simple things you can take a moment to appreciate during your day?
I hope your inspired to practice more mindfulness and feel more joy
In my personal experience, being mindful has given me more joy that I ever expected. It’s truly become one of my greatest tools to keep me feeling positive and fulfilled in life.
I truly hope that this post has inspired you to practice more mindfulness in your life. And to enjoy the present moment more, instead of just racing through it towards your goals. It truly is a pathway to so much more joy.
Which if the above are you going to incorporate into your life more?
Post a comment and let me know!
P.S. If you’re looking for some help in finding a healthier more peaceful balance in your life, click below to book a free health consultation with me. I’d love to connect and see how I can help you!