With spring upon us, we all feel the desire to go out and enjoy life. It’s a time to refresh and start anew. Psychotherapist, author and positive living speaker, Diane Lang, suggests that we start living mindfully this spring. Being mindful means to wake up to everything around you and be aware of all the present experiences. Being mindful is about being fully in the present. Here are nine benefits of mindful living followed by ni ne steps on how we can live mindfully.
Nine benefits of mindful living:
1. We live in the now – the happiest people live in the moment. They learn from the past, plan for the future, but enjoy the moment.
2. We become aware of the mind-body connection which allows us to know how negative emotions affect us physically. This allows us to use the connection as a warning sign when something is wrong. “I have a lot of clients who feel their stress, anxiety, anger, etc. on their bodies before they connect to it emotionally,” shares Lang.
3. We slow down and enjoy life.
4. We become aware of all the beauty around us – we connect with nature.
5. We are aware that everything is love – we feel love, give love and receive love.
6. We increase self-awareness which can help us become aware of our limiting beliefs and change negative thoughts.
7. We feel more relaxed, calm, peaceful and reduce stress.
8. When you live mindfully we realize everything is temporary so even wh en times are tough, we know that shall pass. It allows us to see that everything changes such as weather, seasons, thoughts, etc. We learn we can survive change and that change is also good! No need to fear change.
9. Because you’re in the moment we become more focused on whatever it is we are doing.
So how can we live mindfully? Here are nine easy steps to start now:
1. Be an active listener which means you’re in the moment. When someone is talking to you stay present. Don’t think about anything else. Stay focus. Give direct eye contact. Ask questions. Summarize. Show you’re listening by your non verbal’s such as hands and face.
2. Do one thing at a time — we are a society of multi-tasking BUT to be mindful we really need to slow down and do one thing at a time. Really focus on the task, get totally absorbed on what you are doing. Get into “flow.”
3. Simplify your life — don’t fill your day just to be occupied. That is just being busy without purpose. Do the things you enjoy and love. Don’t waste time and energy on things that are just “fillers.”
4. Take time each day to do nothing — I mean nothing. This doesn’t mean thought time or nap time. It means just sitting and observing. Try to clear your mind completely and enjoy the silence.
5. Nature — another way to be quite is by being surrounded by nature. You don’t have to do anything. You can just sit outside, talk a walk, go for a swim, lay in the sun, etc.
6. There is no wrong or right, no judgment. That takes away from the experience. Don’t look at mindfulness as a chore. It’s just a state of being. It’s enjoying every moment. It’s being alive in every moment. It’s being fully involved in every activity and conversation.
7. Mindfulness is awareness – Be aware that every moment of your life is important no matter how big or small.
8. Truly accept your life — accept where you are at this moment. Be aware of your emotions. Don’t push them down or avoid them. They will eventually rear there ugly head. Accept them, feel them and then you can move forward. Don’t intellectualize or repress your feelings. If you feel what is happening the negative feelings will pass quicker. Use your negative emotions as a teachable moment.
9. Mindfulness means self-compassion – having a higher talk with yourself. Watching the tape recorder playing in your head. Changing your self-talk. Use positive affirmations.
Diane Lang – Positive Living Expert and psychotherapist – is a nationally recognized speaker, author, educator, therapist and media expert. Lang is extremely mediagenic and offers expertise on a variety of health and wellness topics about creating balance and finding happiness through positive living as well as multiple mental health, lifestyle and parenting needs. In addition to holding multiple counseling positions, Diane is also an adjunct professor at Montclair State University. Diane is also the author of two books: “Baby Steps: The Path from Motherhood to Career” and “Creating Balance and Finding Happiness.”