Mindfulness. Slowing down and being in the moment has been a huge topic for me this spring, both on this blog and in my client work. It’s at the core of my three-part series on self-love for Tom’s of Maine, the focus of a feature for Hello Humankindness, the topic for a post on Medium and pops up here on Cupcakes And Yoga Pants often.
Why? So many of us run on autopilot and move through our days without truly absorbing the small moments and subtle things in front of us. Do you often wonder how you missed what someone said, overlooked something in your field of view or wonder where the time went?
It happens to us all. We simply need to be more intentional.
Today I’m sharing an article that highlights the wise insight from psychologist Kristine Klussman who focuses on empowerment and positivity, not labels and diagnoses. Enjoy!
Disclosure: The following article was created by a content marketing publisher and edited by myself. This post contains affiliate links and advertisements. I earn a small commission if you shop through them, which helps fund this website so I can continue to bring you amazing content. Thank you! ~Angela
Millions of people are unlocking their own ways of being mindful. One of the most potent tools is your mind. Recognizing what you are feeling, why you are feeling it (if there is a why), and managing your emotions are the keys to good mental health. It take awhile to change course, but that isn’t the point. The point is simply – try.
“Connecting with meaning starts with connecting to your values.” – Kristine Klussman
Slow Down and Be Mindful
Have you ever noticed when you rush from place to place, your blood pressure rises, you feel stressed and you don’t enjoy what you’re doing? Multitasking leads to expending more and more energy trying to refocus on tasks as we go. Slow down. It might seem like you don’t actually have the time to slow anything down, but the truth is, you probably aren’t using your time as effectively as you could be.
Get up a little bit earlier, sip your coffee slower, pay attention to what you are doing and how.
Engage all of your senses. Take note of what you smell, see, feel or hear. Are you actually tasting your food, or just gobbling it down to get finished with your meal?
Face Fears with Rationale
We all have fears, things that cause us to pause for a moment. We reconsider our plans, to avoid doing ‘that’ thing. Driving lessons, swimming lessons, skydiving, applying for a new job, asking that question, starting a new habit. But, really what is the worst that can happen?
You learn a new skill. You bump into someone you don’t like. You finally launch that business. You hear the word ‘no’.
Our imaginations can run rampant when left unchecked. So next time you are considering doing something new, and you catch your brain creating nightmare scenarios, address each of those thoughts. Most of the bad situations you are considering aren’t likely to happen, so being positive and dealing with them rationally is going to help you relax.
Often our fears aren’t based on experiences. They are based on the ‘what if’ – the unknown, the vague.
Criticism Isn’t Your Enemy
Have you done something you are really proud of but the fear of being told it isn’t good enough is holding you back from doing anything with it? That goes for artwork, showing off new skills, or sharing ideas, or really anything. The feeling that you are being rejected, or the other person is being negative, can be strong. However, that is very rarely how it is intended.
If you let criticism hold you back, then two things are going to happen: you won’t learn to deal with it in a healthy way, and secondly, you’re going to let your dreams slip away. Neither are good options.
So how do you tackle it?
Take a breath before you reply. There is a gap between what someone says and how we perceive it. Firing off your first thoughts might land you in hot water, and when we speak while angry or upset, we aren’t always giving time for our brain to process what was said. Take a breath, pause for a moment. Pay attention.
Criticism is actually a helpful tool, so treat it that way.
Create a Positive Moment in Someone’s Day
Not everyone believes in karma, and that is just fine. However, it would be difficult to argue that what you put out in the world doesn’t come back to you when it comes to people. If you are snappy to someone, the next time you see them, they are likely to return that treatment. If you had been nice, even if you hadn’t felt like it, you might find the next time you see them, they smile and pay that back. It doesn’t take much to smile or say hello.
Often what is missing in people’s lives is someone who can actively listen. This is a skill that you have to practice daily. You don’t have to offer solutions, or take action, just absorbing the information and letting people vent is often enough for them to feel better.
Don’t be afraid to smile at people as you go about your day. There is no harm in being a positive person. Listen to happy music, say upbeat things, encourage people and watch funny movies.
Simple things can make your day, and the day of others better. You shouldn’t force any of these things, just pay attention and consciously go about your day. Take time for yourself and do the things that you love in life with less fear.
Until next time,
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