What is Mindful Living?
Mindful living is a way to create a sustainable lifestyle that allows you to feel confident, inspired, and fulfilled in your day-to-day life.
While transformative travel can reignite your zest for life, it’s easy to fall back into your routine once your trip is over.
Don’t let it happen! You can achieve the same kinds of renewing experiences at home through mindful living. The important thing is to shake things up and disconnect from your everyday life.
The Four Pillars of Mindful Living
The same four pillars of renewal apply to mindful living: compassion, hope, mindfulness and playfulness. Together, these pillars nourish your mind, body and soul.
Mindfulness is perhaps the most important aspect of finding renewal. The best way to incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life is through meditation and journaling.
When done right, meditation calms your mind, allowing you to focus and pick up patterns in your thinking. Journaling can then help you reflect further on how your mind works, the things the patterns that emerge, and the things that matter most to you.
I find that attending meditation groups is the best way to ensure meditation becomes a part of your routine. The added benefit of these groups is that there are usually lessons or discuss as part of the meeting, so you can learn and grow from others’ wisdom. It’s also a great way to meet new people.
Self-renewal is not just about being self-focused. Selflessness and compassion for others is a huge part of renewing ourselves, improving our own confidence and sense of self. Practicing compassion will improve your relationships and make you feel more fulfilled.
During your meditation is a good time to reflect on the important people in your life and how you interact with them. Are you generous with your time, attention and compassion?
Volunteering is a great way to embrace compassion. Even just getting into nature and appreciating the interconnectedness of everything can spark compassion in your heart.
It’s easy to get caught in a downward spiral of negative thinking, but studies have shown that we grow and improve more when we are motivated by positive thinking.
In terms of self-renewal, this can be done by reflecting on your own strengths and the things you have achieved. Establishing a clear vision of your goals and aspirations also makes it easier to look hopefully toward the future.
Connecting with like-minded individuals and taking action to make a difference in the future can also spark hope. If you don’t like the way something is, what can you do to help change it? Whether it’s something in your own life, or something bigger, taking a step back and gaining some perspective may show you a different way to look at and tackle the problem.
If you still feel doubt, set a shorter-term goal or challenge for yourself. It could be as simple as going on a run or hike that is longer than you’ve ever accomplished, or it could be a challenge to read three books this month. Whatever it is, pick one thing and focus your energies on it. Sometimes you need a reminder that you can do what you put your mind to.
Fun and playfulness are just as important as being mindful and compassionate. Sometimes you just need to take your mind off things, but not in the mindless way of binge-watching TV. Instead, get out into nature. Go swimming at the beach or hiking at a park. Try a new activity. Or even just gather a big group of friends and enjoy a long night of laughter. Letting loose and having a good time is crucial to feeling fulfilled in life.
Act Now: Live Mindfully
A few simple ways to live mindfully:
- connecting with nature
- interacting with different kinds of people
- participating in activities that force you out of your natural thought patterns
The important thing is to challenge yourself. Step out of your comfort zone. Take time to appreciate beauty. Try something new.Change your perspective. Do something to flex your brain and get it working in a different way.
When was the last time you visited a state or national park? What did you do when you were there? For many of us, the answer is probably something along the lines of: walked a [...]