Daily Practices for a Happier More Mindful Life

Find something every day to be happy about can change your life!

Finding something to be happy about so that you are a happier person overall can seem almost impossible when you are in the thick of the negative mindset! If you find yourself in this situation, you may be wondering how to get yourself out so you experience less stress, anxiety and more happiness in your life.

Here are some daily practices that can help you be a happier more positive person.

Express Gratitude

A positive mindful attitude to have each and every day is gratitude. Rather than focusing on the bad things in your life, be gracious for the good things. You can actually do this in your mind when you can sit silently and be thankful for the job you have, your ability to put food on the table, or even something as small as getting up early enough to see the sunrise. Before long expressing gratitude for everything in your life becomes a positive habit and it changes the entire outlook on  your life.

Writing in a gratitude journal is a great way to start.  You don’t even even need a full journal to do this; you can use your daily planner or an online planner instead . You can even use social media.

Your challenge in  this daily practice is to find at least one thing a day you that you are thankful for and some days even that will be  stretch. Let’s face it, we all have bad days but we still must find good in that day to help us be happy in the long run. It can be anything from having a great cup of coffee  to being grateful the day is over so you can start fresh tomorrow. The point is to recognize the good and note it.

Reducing for Charity

Reducing for charity (AKA de-cluttering) may seem like an odd endeavor as a daily practice, but it is something that can be very fulfilling . The idea is to remove something that you don’t need from your life each day.
Maybe its a toy that your child no longer plays with, clothes they have outgrown or an extra set of dishes you really don’t use.

Place these items in a box and at the end of the week or month, give the box to charity. These items are no longer cluttering your day, creating a storage issue and you are helping someone else who may want or need them.

Happiness comes in when you find the joy in either getting the items out of your house or seeing that they can bring joy to someone else through your charity.

Check out the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

Breath Walking

Breath walking may be something that is new to you, but it can make you a
happier person. The concept here is to go for  a walk in nature each day at least for a few minutes.  Step away from your desk,your computer even your phone and get outside.

I don’t want you to leave without a way to  contact someone in case of
an emergency but I do want you to turn off music and put your  phones on silent. Just walk.

Concentrate on your breath as you move and walk and work to calm it. Notice the sounds and nature around you, and let go of the stress of the day through your breathing. You will find yourself healthier and happier at the end of the walk and as the walks progress, you may find yourself more adapted to handling your daily stress as well.

Acceptance

Accepting things as they are is another part of mindfulness, and a good attitude to develop. When you consent that things are the way they are ,even when the situations are not ideal its just how it needs to be in this moment.  You begin to accept the good and the bad, instead of dwelling or focusing  only on the negative.   Acceptance won’t keep  all negative thoughts from your mind, but the more you focus on acceptance, the happier you will be. Besides acceptance is the first step toward change.

Release Judgement

You might not have thought about how the way you perceive other can negatively affect your happiness.  Constant judgment whether for someones actions, attitudes, or even their appearance, creates negative connotations in your thought patterns.  When you are stuck in this pattern you hurt one person. Yourself!

Stop judging others and you will notice how much more free you feel. It is easier to have other positive attitudes when you focus on being non-judgmental.

Patience

Have some patience with the people in your life, problems that occur  and situations that happen. Acknowledge the way things are right now, accept them, and don’t over-analyze. Be patient and let things change as they need to, instead of forcing things or becoming stressed when things or people are not acting quickly enough.  Admitedly, this is one of the more difficult attitudes to learn through mindfulness, but also one of the most powerful.

Patience takes practice, but in time, it becomes another good habit; something you do every day without thinking much about it.  As you start incorporating these daily practices into your life, you will start to see change for the better and realize that you are happier.

Start slow and let the process work. It’s all about letting the process develop in your life at your own pace.

For more information about Living a Positive Life visit my website or contact me here!

The Many Benefits of Mindfulness

Suzanne Taylor-King BS, CHLC, CHN, CaPP, AADP

Mindfulness is something you may have seen in the personal development
section of bookstores, as part of a yoga DVD, or in various health and wellbeing stores.  You may already know that there are different aspects to mindfulness, including meditation. What you may not know are the benefits of mindfulness in your life.

Before you think there is too much involved and not enough reward for
that involvement, consider these three benefits of mindfulness in your life.

Reducing Anxiety and Stress

There are several techniques in mindfulness that can help with anxiety and the reduction of stress. Breathing techniques, meditation, and mind mapping are just three of these methods. The key point to remember with each of these methods is that they benefit you by helping you refocus and reduce the triggers in your life. They help you sort out the issues that you would normally stress out over and eventually have anxiety over. Mindfulness also helps you cope with future issues to avoid an immediate reaction and increase your anxiety regarding the situation.

Body Acceptance

Body acceptance is something you may not think of when you think of
mindfulness. The truth is, body acceptance can play a great deal into your stress and anxiety and how you view the world around you. Over the course of using meditation and other techniques, you may find what is triggering your body related issues, including your weight loss obstacles and unhealthy options that you are moving towards during triggered issues that cause stress.  Once you begin working with mindfulness techniques you will start to see a better appreciation for yourself, your body journey, and where you are in the moment.

Life Acceptance

Sometimes we just aren’t happy with our lives. We aren’t happy with different aspects that we feel we can’t change and must simply deal with. This can lead to depression and other issues including body issues. Mindfulness can help you find gratitude for various things in your life, find issues and people in your life that are toxic, and find ways to keep what works and get rid of what doesn’t with grace and acceptance. This can lead us to life acceptance and accepting the events that happen for what they are at that moment.

These benefits are just a starting point for mindfulness in your life. Noticing the other benefits that start to reveal themselves to you as you become deeper and more involved in the practice.

Download my just-published book on mindful living
for FREE here!

 

You may think it is all about meditation and how to find out more about
yourself. What you may be thinking is that you don’t have time or that the
process just won’t do anything for you in your life. There are actually
several things you should know about mindfulness before you toss it out
the door as something that won’t work for you or isn’t for you. Here are a
few of those key points.

Mindfulness Helps Focus

One of the key points to mindfulness is how it helps with focus. By working
through the stages of mindfulness and learning different techniques, such
as breathing, you will start to learn to focus on certain stages and aspects
of your life. For example, instead of focusing on all of your tasks for the
day, the week, your friend’s tasks, and everything else going on you can
focus on the task at hand and be present in that task. This allows you to
get the task done quickly and easily.

Mindfulness Helps Stress

Stress can be brought on by a number of issues. One of the main issues
is having too much on our task list and not enough time to focus on each
item to completion. Other stressful aspects can be the outside influences
of others including gossip and friends issues and problems. Mindfulness
helps you by showing you ways and methods to avoid an immediate reaction
and instead focus on issues and decide what you need to take on and
what you do not. For example, you can still be there for your fitness
without allowing your friends’ issues to become your issues and cause
more stress.

Mindfulness is a Routine

In addition to viewing mindfulness as a way to handle events and aspects
of your daily life in order to be happier and less burdened, you should also
remember that mindfulness is not a one-time event. Mindfulness is not a
quick fix and it is not a Bandaid for your issues. Mindfulness is a routine
that you incorporate into your life. By doing mindfulness techniques each
day, you will find mindfulness becoming a part of you instead of something
you just do.

This is just a very quick overview of mindfulness and what it can mean in
your life. Consider these points along with some research on the benefits
of mindfulness and how you can put it in your daily routine and life.

Look for more on mindfulness in this series exclusively for the Living Healthy List and more on my website.

Reducing Stress and Anxiety With Mindfulness

Suzanne Taylor-King BS, CHLC, CHN, CaPP, AADP

Stress is something that everyone has and comes up in everyone’s daily life.
Some days are, of course, worse than others. In most cases, we can handle our daily stress but when the stress keeps piling on it can be difficult to manage.  Mindfulness is one way you can manage your stress, recognize the triggers, and work through that stress to remove it from your life and move on with your day. If you aren’t sure how mindfulness will reduce your stress, or even help with it at all, here are a few things to consider.

Work Through What Matters

Stress can come from a variety of areas in your life and unfortunately, some of those stresses don’t matter. That is to say that they may matter in the moment, but they are not priorities. One way to reduce your stress with mindfulness is to focus on the items that are important and need your focus versus the things that do not. An example of this would be having your mind cluttered with what someone said about you or gossip that is affecting your day. These are things that can and need to be reduced from your life because they are causing unnecessary stress. Once these are removed you can focus on the things that do matter like the appointments you have later in the week.

Take Time to Breathe

This may sound like a very basic concept, but taking time to breathe can help you reduce the stress in your life. The trick to this is to actually learn breathing techniques that can help you reduce your heart rate and keep your body and emotions in check. Once you learn a few breathing techniques, you can apply them at the appropriate times and help refocus yourself, reduce the stress, and deal with any fallout from that stress effectively.

Change Your Reaction

Often stress is caused by our immediate reaction to the stress or the thing
causing stress. We take in the immediate reaction and let it explode in our minds. This causes a massive amount of panic over something that likely doesn’t need that sort of reaction. An example of this would be reacting to a new item in your to-do list that is unexpected. You may panic wondering how you will complete the task with the other tasks you have. Instead, you can use mindfulness to refocus and realize that the task can be worked in with another task or handled quickly and moved to your completed list.  Anxiety is something an increasing number of people suffer from. This is primarily due to the fact that we as a society live and operate such hectic and busy lives. We have work, some have school, children, and a full calendar of things we have to do. This is just the daily stress. This doesn’t into the issues with family, personal life, financial issues, and so much more. Without managing stress these daily “life” issues can leave us
feeling anxious or nervous…..the next three techniques have helped me
and many of my clients deal with anxiety at the cellular level.

Breathing Techniques

When you become anxious about something, and your anxiety issues
start to kick in, the first thing that happens is your heart rate increases.
You become panicked, on some stages more panicked than others. When
this happens it can be harder to focus and harder to calm down. Breathing
techniques work in several ways. They help you stop and refocus. They
also help you slow your breath and take calming breaths that help your
heart rate lower to a reasonable level, and ultimately help your blood
pressure to lower. This helps you calm down and figure out what steps to
take next.

Budha meditating
Mindfulness is a Practice
Focus on the Issue at Hand

Mindfulness techniques like meditation and mind mapping can help you
focus on the issue at hand. What mindfulness does is help you use and
find techniques that can take a jumble of thoughts and work them into one
connected thought with a clear path to a goal that has a starting point
and ending point. Mindfulness can help you find joy in the task at hand,
even if it is simply completing the task and moving to the next one.
Through meditation, mind mapping, breathing, and gratitude you can focus on the issue at hand. More on mind mapping in another post!!

Find a Healthier Focus

Mindfulness has an added bonus of helping you remove the negative
issues and resources in your life and focusing on healthier replacements.
Instead of freaking out you can calm down with breathing. Instead of being
upset about the day and feeling helpless, you can replace those thoughts
with gratitude for at least one thing a day. You can find that you are
happier first and healthier later and overall change your entire life outlook.
Though mindfulness will help you with anxiety issues, it can take some
time. Using tools like aromatherapy, certain foods and better sleep habits
can improve those nervous symptoms…….. If you are having severe
anxiety symptoms, you may also want to consult a physician for further
assistance as well. Need help finding a Dr. or therapist I am happy to help
guide you and work alongside them with some holistic and natural
helpers!

Suzanne Taylor-King