August 17, 2015

Unlocking Mindfulness with this Key.

open door

Regret was and is the major motivator on my path to mindfulness.

I’ve learned the hard way what being mindful means to me. In the past, I’ve missed out on a lot of beauty around me because I’ve allowed stress to overshadow what’s important to me.

As I’ve grown, I’ve learned how to perceive the stresses in my life. Perspective is key. As a result, I’ve learned to enjoy life more and to be more content.

Life will always be stressful. Acknowledging the stresses in our lives and categorizing them allows us to focus on the important things. The beauty all around us is there whether we are stressed or not. It’s important to take a moment away from the stress and soak in the day.

I’ve made a promise to myself to bask in the moment at least once every single day. No matter how busy life gets, I try to make sure I acknowledge something beautiful. This has allowed me to not get caught up in how stressful life can get. Rather, I acknowledge the stresses of life in the moment, address the things I can control and put the things I can’t control out of the fore front of my mind.

I have found such peace in basking in moments every day. Looking back on the stressful times in my life, I have no regrets. Having spent most of my pregnancy nauseous and puking, I don’t see it as horrible because I took the time to soak in my changing body. I have hilarious dancing videos with my watermelon stomach. I enjoyed the naps while I had the excuse.

Instead of stressing to the point of exhaustion about relocating to a new city with a newborn and all the anxiety that comes with that, I’ve learned to treat the situation as an adventure. Since this will be one of my first years not going on a backpacking trip in a while, I’ve been trying to shift my perspective about living like gypsies. I get to pack a suitcase weekly, explore our province instead of the world while we stay with family. We get to strengthen the bond with grandparents, aunts and uncles. All things we wouldn’t get to do if we had roots set down. And summer is a great season to get to travel with my new baby!

Perspective is key.

It’s easy to let the world go on around you while you bask in a moment. The dishes can wait, the phone can ring. Take that time. Check in with you and your surroundings.

Here’s 4 tips to soak in life’s moments:

Take in your surroundings: whether you’re sitting at a cubicle or walking beside a waterfall. Take time to follow your senses in the environment around you. Are there noises you’ve become used to? What smells are you witnessing? Are you surrounded by many colors, colors that appeal to you or colors that irritate you? Acknowledge these senses and let go of the negative ones. Move on with your day.
You’ll be surprised at the new things you notice in your regular routine. As the seasons change, you may see that tree in your front yard differently, you may find beauty in a rainy day and most importantly you will be more present.

Make a Gratitude List: I find myself counting my blessings the most after a “poor me” day. Once I realize that I’m having a pity party for myself, I follow it up with how many blessings that I’m thankful for in my life. I take a few moments, stop whatever I’m doing and as I breathe, I go through a mental list of all that I’m thankful for. My health, my family and their health, our home and the hand we’ve been dealt in life are a few of the regular items on my gratitude list. This is a great way to inject some positivity into my day.

Belly laugh: Laugh at yourself. We all do things that could conjure up some giggles but instead we let them annoy us or get us worked up. Next time you stumble, confuse your words or forget what you were looking for try to find the humor in it. Make sure to laugh in your day. And if you haven’t done anything worth laughing, then find a reason to laugh. Try to imitate the backup dancers while watching your favorite music video, sing so loud that it upsets the neighbors dog, watch some blooper reels, etc… This releases the happy hormone, oxytocin. Laughing makes bad days more tolerable and good days even better!

Breathe: Don’t forget to breathe. Find a time throughout your day to take several deep breaths. I like to do this as I fall asleep to flush the day from my system. I also find myself doing this when things are becoming overwhelming. When I can’t fall asleep or I find my heart racing from stress, I practice my favorite breathing exercise: 8-7-4. Breathe in for 8 seconds, hold for 7 seconds and breathe out for 4.

It’s also a good practice to find that one thing that consistently happens throughout your day and promise yourself to take 10 deep breaths every time that occurs. Every red light you’re at while commuting. Each time you take a sip of water or eat something or wash your hands.

Enjoying life can be hard when things are stressful. Life will be stressful and it will get the best of us if we let it.

Once we learn how to be mindful, the stresses of life become much more tolerable. We can see beauty in the stress and this will make us happier and more content with life as we know it.



    What’s the Big Fuss about Mindfulness?


Author: Jaimee Guenther

Assistant Editor: Carlotta Luis/Editor: Travis May

Photo: flickr/Hannah


Leave a Thoughtful Comment

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Jaimee Guenther