We live in a fast-paced world where most everyone is too busy, but chances are you can spare two minutes to practice mindfulness. Try these tips to sneak some mindfulness into your schedule for better overall wellness.
Do you feel like life is on fast-forward? As comedian and actress Lily Tomlin once said, “For fast acting relief, try slowing down!” Research has found that focusing on the present moment, or mindfulness, can lead to better health, lower anxiety and greater resilience to stress. Consider these tips for increasing peace through practicing mindfulness. (And did I mention that all four tips will only take you two minutes?)
- Take a technology break. Technology seems to be everywhere, and the constant flow of information can be stressful and exhausting. As you set boundaries and limits for technology use (i.e., limiting the amount of time on Smartphones or other devices, unplugging an hour before bed, etc.), you will free up time to focus on activities that bring peace and fulfillment, such as connecting with others, meditation or developing a new talent or hobby.
- Focus on being in the moment. Keep your mind on whatever you are doing at that moment and it if starts to wander, bring it back to what you are doing in the present moment. While this can be challenging, one strategy that can help is to engage all five senses in whatever you are doing. For example, take time when you are eating to notice the color, smell and different textures of the foods you eat, and savor the flavors.
- Be still. We live in a busy world, and it can be challenging to just stop and be in the moment. Try taking a 2-minute meditation break to close your eyes, take long, deep breaths and just focus on your breathing. If your mind wanders, be aware that it is wandering and refocus. If it is helpful, set a timer so your mind can be at ease about how much time you are spending.
- Spend time in nature. Research has found that nature tends to have a calming effect and reduces negative emotions, so take a moment any time you are outside (i.e., walking to and from your car, taking out the trash, etc.) to take in your surroundings. Use all of your senses to fully experience the moment, and take a mental snapshot to help it last longer.
While we may not be able to control the speed of life, we can control where we focus our time and energy. By employing these tips, you will find greater peace even on the craziest of days.
This article was written by Naomi Brower. Naomi is an Extension Associate Professor in Weber County specializing in helping others improve the quality of their lives through creating and strengthening their relationships. She earned her master’s degree in Family and Human Development from Utah State University and she is a Certified Family Life Educator. She enjoys hiking, traveling (especially anywhere green) and playing with her husband and adorable little boy. Contact Naomi at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out videos and other content at relationships.usu.edu.
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Greater Good in Action. (2017a). Mindful breathing. Retrieved from https://ggia.berkeley.edu/practice/mindful_breathing#data-tab-why_you_should_try_itPassmore, H. A. & Holder, M. D. (2016). Noticing nature: Individual and social benefits of a two-week intervention. Journal of Positive Psychology.
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