Fitness expert and founder of West Coast Workout, Tammy Stokes is a regular contributor to Wellwellwell, where she shares her expertise on how readers can achieve their happiest, healthiest lives.
Learning to live mindfully can have some great benefits—like more relaxation and less stress and anxiety.
While mastering the art of mindfulness can be a challenge, once grasped, it is quite rewarding. Life becomes more in focus and you learn to prioritize what’s important—eliminating what’s unnecessary and freeing up time to enjoy the things you love.
Here are five tips to help you create more meaningful days.
1. Wake up with a mindful approach.
Mornings are fresh—a new day awaits you. Before you begin your journey, take a moment to look at the sky. Is it sunny, cloudy, windy or calm? Are you feeling peaceful, rested or restless? Take notice.
Direct your attention to the day ahead and what you want to accomplish. Set an intention. An example may be, “I want to spend time with my kids today” or “I want to run 3 miles.” Write it down and carry it with you.
2. Have morning rituals.
Dedicate the beginning of your day to a routine. Maybe it’s a few sun salutations before washing your face, drinking a glass of lemon water and relaxing with a cup of coffee. Create a morning routine that gets you focused and prepared. Try and eliminate needless things like watching television or reading the paper. Even checking emails can wait.
3. Enjoy mealtime.
During meals, give full attention to your body. Eat slowly and enjoy the taste of healthy food that serves you well. Think about what your diet may be missing. Have you had enough greens, fruits, vegetables and fiber? If you are feeling a little under the weather, then include additional nutrients to your diet. Eating a light but nutrient-dense plan can help you recover quickly. Eating mindfully also makes us more aware of when we have had enough to eat. It can help to control overeating.
4. Keep life simple.
Simplify your to-do list. Prioritize what is really important, starting with what is the one thing you must get done today. Know that if that is all that is accomplished, it’s enough. Staying focused, organized and flexible is key.
5. Always leave time to unwind.
Ending your day right is just as important as beginning it. I like keeping a gratitude journal on my nightstand. Before I lay down, I write all the things that happened that I am grateful for. This ends the day with the proper perspective—an attitude of gratitude.
If the day has been unusually demanding, having a warm bath infused with essential oils, a hot cup of herbal tea and soft, relaxing music can help unwind. With rituals like these, stress doesn’t stand a chance. It melts away and you’re eased into a good night’s sleep.
By making life more meaningful each day, you add joy, accomplishment and a connectivity to all that is important. As everything in life, the more we practice the better we get at it.