New Year’s Resolutions for Mindful Living
“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” –Mother Teresa
You survived the holidays (barely). After weeks of stressing to the max focusing on everyone else, now is the time to focus on a better way of life – for you. As we head into 2019, create new year’s resolutions that speak to your needs, your wants, your self improvement, beginning with mindful living.
Why Mindful Living?
Why mindful living? Research shows that the benefits of mindfulness are surprisingly far-reaching, delivering memory boosts, improved focus, and even relationship satisfaction. Mindfulness was shown to relieve stress and fatigue, and decrease anxiety and depression in groups studied. Sound appealing?
This year, treat yourself to a better, more present you. Make your year of mindful living with these resolutions:
Want a surefire way to incorporate mindfulness in your day-to-day life? The answer is mediation. Practicing meditation regularly can increase your well-being, and even lower inflammation in the body. Start pausing for a few minutes of meditation each day using apps like Smiling Mind and Insight Timer.
Breathe In. Breathe Out. Repeat.
A calm breath leads to a calm mind. Teach yourself to breathe (the right way). If it’s hard at first to turn your mind off, don’t worry. When it comes to mindful breathing, practice makes perfect. And the more you practice in neutral situations, the more you can rely on deep breathing to guide you through stressful situations.
Go for a Walk
Take a walk. Bundle up and get out in nature, if possible. Spending time in nature can actually spur the mind toward a meditative state, according to a 2013 UK study, giving an opportunity for valuable self-reflection.
Stop Checking Your Phone
Excessively checking in with your phone is unhealthy at best and addictive at worst. One report found that the average person checks their phone 150 times per day. This takes away from your ability to be present in the moment. Studies are increasingly showing that our connection to our phones is damaging in ways we never anticipated – with possible risks of brain cancer and overall decreased empathy in our society. Mindfulness keeps you from being subject to every ping, and aware of how you feel when checking (or not checking) your phone.
Be Ok with Feelings: Positive or Negative
Instead of insisting on happiness at all costs, learn to accept the moment for what it is. Rather than resist or control, just accept what you’re feeling. The mindful person will be accepting of both positive and negative emotions, rather than insisting on finding the bright side of things.
There’s no better way to be present in the moment that when living out an adventure. It awakens and refreshes the senses, and breathes in new life. This year, find a new adventure. Go ahead and get it on the books, and pave your own way to a more mindful self.
Don’t Try to Control What You Can’t
As a whole, we waste an inordinate amount of time worrying about things that we can’t control. Mindfulness teaches to simply observe and let go. According to Thai meditation master Achaan Chah: “If you let go a little, you will have a little happiness. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of happiness. And if you let go completely, you will be free.”