By. Jannika Rask
Founder of Neue Reveal, Health Coach for anxiety management
We spend most of our day tending to our external environment, reacting to what’s happening in the world around us, including the news, our workplace, relationships, and personal responsibilities. We are bombarded with so much information and alerts on our phones, tablets, computers, TVs and social media and can easily get lost.
These external and internal factors influence our physical, emotional and mental health negatively more often than not. It is time to remind ourselves that we have the freedom to decide how we spend each moment of our day. When we unplug and tune in to the moment at hand, we tap into our innate wisdom and intuition, gain clarity of mind and deepen our inner connection to self and nature.
Here are 5 easy mindfulness practices that you can start incorporating as your daily ritual starting now.
1. Set daily intentions
This practice is simple yet so powerful. An intention is a guiding principle that gives purpose to whatever we set out to do. Think about what you want to accomplish, in other words what will bring you joy and satisfaction and make this day a “success”. The best time to incorporate this practice is within the first 20 minutes of your day. Research shows that this is the most effective time to impact your brain state. Through the law of attraction, the energy that you vibrate out will come back to you, so if you start your day with a genuine intention, you open yourself up to opportunities that support that.
2. Meditate for 5 - 10 minutes
You don’t need to meditate for long stretches of time to get the benefits. Carve out 5-10 minutes of time in your day to create a sense of calm. Sit upright but comfortable, close your eyes and focus on your breathing and just be. Every time you do that you reduce the tendency to react and instead create a space to respond. In the silent, meditative mind you are simply aware. This awareness returns the mind to its basic nature which is so healing. Through meditation, you give your mind a chance to be itself without disturbance and in this simple experience of living in the now, renewing your mind.
3. Take three deep breaths
Stop and pause throughout the day to take several complete, full breaths. Probably the most important thing you can do, yet most of us aren’t using our breath as a tool. There are many different breathing techniques, but the best one is the one you actually do. Take a deep inhale, expanding your chest and abdomen, and then exhale all that air, breathing out anything that is no longer serving you. Follow each breath as it goes in and out of your body. Repeat this three times and notice a shift in your energy and the space you’ve created in your mind. Observe any physical sensations closely. Do as frequently as you need throughout a day.
4. Practice mindful eating
We so often eat without thinking. We eat at our desk or on the go, when we’re stressed and tense, and sometimes we even eat while we’re on our phones or computers. So we eat fast and we eat more and we don’t take the time to actually enjoy our food. Slow down and chew your food, savor each and every bite, take in this sensory experience, think about where your food came from and the process it took to get from the farm to your plate, and give thanks for your meal. When you sit down for meals, without distraction, and eat with mindfulness, your body digests food with much more ease and you add a presence to your meal that brings more joy and satisfaction.
5. Connect with Nature
You don’t need science to know that being out in nature is good for you because you can feel the difference. Nature has a calming effect, releasing tension and clearing the mind. You don’t need to take a walk in a forest to mindfully connect with nature. Simply step outside and feel the sun on your skin or the wind in your hair. Take your shoes off and walk barefoot in the grass. Bring your lunch outdoors or walk in the park. Smell a flower. Water your plants. The more at one we feel with Mother Nature, the more mindful we become.
There are many simple practices we can implement throughout our day to bring us back to present moment awareness where we are centered and grounded. Practicing mindfulness influences how we respond in situations, fosters more compassion for self and others, and brings us closer to our meaning of purpose, worth and inner satisfaction.
Jannika is a mindset and confidence coach for women with anxiety. She guides and empowers clients to put themselves first, break free from limiting beliefs, and heal from within through simple, yet profound shifts. When she isn’t mentoring clients, Jannika is exploring NYC by foot, inspiring self-care and conscious living, and getting creative in the kitchen.