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how to live a more mindful life

mindfulness has become a bit of a buzz word in the last few years. a word I only discovered myself in 2016 after purchasing a book in a small indie shop in new zealand called ‘the little book of mindfulness’. mindfulness is a practice that derives from a traditional buddhist element called sati which is the first factor in the seven factors of enlightenment. the practice of sati dates back thousands of years, with more recent modern clinical studies showing both physical and mental health benefits from its use. you may be familiar with some techniques mindfulness encompasses such as body scanning and meditation, but what else can we incorporate into our days to ensure we are living mindfully and in true connection with ourselves?

mindful living is about awareness, care and alignment. it’s about being present in the very moment. it’s about making conscious choices. it’s about living a life that reflects your intentions and values. it’s no secret that living this way will ultimately help us to feel happier and more fulfilled. it may not be something that you can realistically apply to every area of your life, but you can apply it somewhere even if it is just one area. let’s explore some examples of mindful living below;

- mindful movement/exercise movement and exercise are essential to our physical health. in a world where most of us spend a lot of time sitting down and hunched at desks, our bodies really appreciate a regular walk and stretch. exercise often gets associated with the gym or with hardcore exercise classes that feel impossible to complete, but that’s where mindfulness can help us. some days you may feel you have the energy and ability to complete an intense cardio exercise routine and other days you may be lacking in motivation and can only bring yourself to go for a gentle walk. the essential thing here is to listen to your body. checking in with yourself daily to assess your mood and energy levels means you can respond in an accurate way enabling you to make a conscious choice to move your body in a way that benefits you. women must be particularly mindful of this as we go through a monthly cycle where hormones have a big influence on our mood and energy levels (we love maisie hill’s book period power for more information on this!)

- practicing awareness the multi-taskers among us may recoil at this one! we are often juggling more than one thing at a time but doing so means we are not fully aware. if we are not careful, we spend most of our day on auto-pilot and the day ends in a blur. to practice awareness means to take in the sights, smells, sounds and tastes we experience. for example, instead of putting headphones in on your daily walk try listening out for the rustle of the leaves on the trees or whistling bird song. focusing on this will help you to feel more connected to what you are doing in the present moment and almost ‘buys’ you back some time. in that very moment, it doesn’t matter what came before or what will come after - you are just simply being aware of the present. - reflection & appreciation spending a short moment to reflect on what has happened in your day and how you feel can help us to stay rooted in gratitude and cultivates an appreciation for life. try spending 5 minutes in the morning or evening to write down a few things that stood out for you and what emotions were associated to them. this practice of reflection can help to boost our emotional health as it allows us to become aware of our state of being. mindful reflection brings us back to ourselves and creates an opportunity for us to better recognise our thoughts, feelings, values and beliefs. through this practice we can move forward with more understanding of what makes us who we are. - nurture yourself truly caring for yourself starts in the mind. pay special attention to what energises you and what depletes you. this may mean setting a boundary with something or someone or deciding whether your next meal is going to be processed junk or something healthy and nourishing. be mindful of what your mind and body need in the moment and react in a way that suits this need. you can only achieve this by pausing and checking in so make sure you make space to do that. to truly feel in alignment, our life has to reflect the conscious decisions we make otherwise we are not being truthful to ourselves and this can lead us down a path of discontent. harness your power to make mindful choices. - slow down it is so important that we give ourselves permission to slow down and rest. especially when our mind and bodies are giving us all the signals that we need to. this can be tricky to do, especially when our thoughts decide to guilt trip us into pushing on and being as productive as possible! give yourself time to re-charge whether that is by reading a book, meditation or having a nap. become free of distractions and stimulation and turn your attention inward, even just for a short amount of time.

another important element of living mindfully is allowing yourself the compassion and time to do so. don’t get down on yourself if not every waking moment of your life is particularly mindful - it’s called a practice for this very reason! the essence of living mindfully is to implement small things in our lives here and there to help us on our journey and ultimately benefit our emotional, mental and spiritual wellbeing. we would love to know what steps you take in your life to live mindfully and how they impact you. leave us a comment below. stay well,


founder of the conscious collective x

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