The Power of Gratitude for Greater Health & Happiness

The Power of Gratitude for Greater Health & Happiness

Did you know that expressing gratitude for what we have in our lives has a significant impact on our overall health and happiness?

Sounds like rocket science, right? NOT!

But truly, it’s crazy how many of us forget to express gratitude each day, especially for the things that we are fortunate to have in our lives.

I guess, it’s probably because they’re no longer a novelty. Things like our family, our friends, our health, our houses our education or even our pets.

We have also become so focused on being busy, and on all the things we don’t have yet. This causes us to feel stressed and overlook all the amazingly wonderful things we do have. 

Whether it’s wanting more money, travelling somewhere new, a new job, cooler friends, a new car, a bigger house, etc… the list goes on.

Our brains have become wired to notice and remember the things that are wrong in our lives.

It’s a survival mechanism, that once served to protect us (back in our cavemen days). But, now has less significant importance only causing us additional stress, pain, suffering and unhappiness.

This is why it is important to train our brains to focus on positivity and gratitude.

 

 

What is Gratitude?

Being “positive” doesn’t mean walking around whistling, wide-eyed and smiling like a clown…. especially when you’re feeling lousy on the inside.

That’s just fakery and is not going to help you by any means.

It’s also not about ignoring your reality or pretending that things are wonderful when they’re not.

To express gratitude you need to flip your natural urges on their head (Eg. focusing on the negative) and instead, choose to focus on all the amazing things you have already in your life.

Say thank you for:

  • The company of your family and friends each and every day
  • Having a steady job to earn an income (Many people around the world don’t have this luxury)
  • Access to hygienic food and fresh water (Consider the poverty of 3rd world countries)
  • A secure roof over your head
  • The freedom of a car for independence
  • Having a comfortable bed to sleep in at night (Many are homeless & don’t have this luxury)

You get the idea.

There are SO MANY things to be grateful for!

This is why it is important to take a moment out of your day (even just 5 minutes) to list out and appreciate all the amazing things you have already achieved up until this point.

 

The Benefits of Expressing Gratitude

Dwelling on negative things fuels unhappiness, depression and anxiety whereas teaching yourself to notice, appreciate and anticipate goodness can be a significant happiness booster.

Research has shown that gratitude helps you to:

  • Experience more positive emotions
  • Decrease depression
  • Become more aware of the abundance in your life
  • Feel better about yourself on the inside
  • Improve your relationships, and
  • Strengthen your immune system.

According to HelpGuide.org, a recent study even revealed that gratitude can make you smarter with how you spend your money. Well, that’s pretty awesome, hey!

 

How to Express Gratitude

1. Give Sincere Thanks to Others in the Moment

When someone goes above and beyond for you or does something to make your day easier, ensure to say a hearty “Thanks!”

It doesn’t have to be anything crazy or over the top, just be quick to verbalise your thanks and appreciation.

Not only will it make the other person feel good, but it will also give your happiness a boost.

Give it a try and see how you feel!

*P.S> Watch this Video*

I love the video below. I almost listen to it every day as part of my morning routine because it reminds me of all the things to be thankful for.

You go Denzel Washington!

It gets me feeling all passionate, motivated and emotional every time….

Maybe it will have a similar impact on you?

2. Keep a Gratitude Journal

Rather than focusing on all the negatives of your day, take a moment to write down all the good things that happened.

Writing down what you’re grateful has been proven to help you feel happier, more connected to others and genuinely appreciative.

It also helps to bring to light small things that may have happened during your day that you overlooked at the time.

To be completely honest, I personally haven’t created a gratitude journal myself, but others do claim that it works for them.

I find that physically recording myself repeating a list of what I’m grateful for and then replaying it to myself each morning is also a really awesome way to do this.

Give both a go and see what you think works best for you.

 

3. Shift Your Mindset – Look for the Positive

Despite it hurting at the time, even the most painful events from our past can teach us positive lessons for the future.

Rather than dwelling on how sh*t something was, focus on what you learned and how it made you a stronger, wiser or more compassionate person now.

If you struggle with dwelling on the negative in life, check out our steps on how to Overcome Limiting Beliefs in 4 Simple Steps.

This would be a great next step for you!

How to express gratitude through meditation

4. Express Gratitude Through Meditation

I love taking a moment in my morning to reflect on all the amazing things in my life.

Mindfulness Meditation is the technique I use to express gratitude daily.

Meditation is great because it helps you build a habit of expressing gratitude and can help to calm the mind, promote relaxation and improve focus during your day. It also has many scientifically proven health benefits in addition to boosting health and happiness.

If you’d like to learn more expressing gratitude through meditation, a great place to start is with our Mindfully Happy Handbook.

Get your copy of the Mindfully Happy Handbook today and learn how to live a happier, healthier and more fulfilled life through:

  • Mindfulness
  • Meditation
  • Gratitude
  • Building a Positive Mindset &
  • Overcoming Limiting Beliefs that hold you back from achieving your true potential.

Mindfully Happy Handbook Product

Click Here to Get Your Copy of the Mindfully Happy Handbook.

 

Not Ready For the Complete Handbook?

If you’re not ready to jump in and get the complete Mindfully Happy Handbook, but would like to feel happier and healthier in your life, ensure to sign up for our Journey to Happiness Checklist.

This checklist will give you a list of simple and easy activities you can incorporate into your day to live a happy and healthy life.

It won’t teach you the “how as this is covered in detail in our Journey to Happiness course. But it will give you an insight into the “what”, and some simple activities you can try.

Enter your details below or via the link above to get your FREE checklist.

 

Next Up: Read our Article on 12 Simple Tips to Live a Healthy & Happy Life

 

7 Proven Benefits of Meditation for Your Mental, Emotional & Physical Health

7 Proven Benefits of Meditation for Your Mental, Emotional & Physical Health

Are you considering getting started with meditation but are unsure whether the juice is worth the squeeze?

Well… a few years a go, that was me.

I was in the same boat!

I’d heard about the benefits of meditation, but it took me over a course of a year to finally commit to trying and to adopting it into my routine.

Mainly because:

  • I found it challenging to justify taking “time out” of my busy day to meditate
  • I felt like I was wasting time meditating, when I could be doing other “more important” things
  • I didn’t feel any different after my first few meditations or like I was getting any results
  • I thought meditation was a bit too “woo woo” for me.

No thank you meme - getting started with the benefits of meditation

Sound familiar?

BUT, once I learned about the array of possible benefits from regular meditation, and the importance of maintaining a consistent routine to experience change, I decided to push myself through the doubt.

AND, it was the best decision I’ve ever made!!

Overtime, I noticed that things were gradually changing.

And now, I can proudly say that some of the benefits I have experienced include:

  • My stress & anxiety symptoms have decreased
  • I feel happier and more content than ever
  • I have a better understanding of myself and my body
  • I am more self-aware and aware of others
  • I have greater control over my thoughts and emotions
  • I find pleasure and gratitude in the small things
  • I’m not as impacted by others or their opinions of me
  • I’m much less go go go all the time – and can now find a state of peace and comfort that I’ve never had before
  • I’m more focused and productive than ever
  • I’m more resilient in stressful times and able to keep a level head space.

 

But what if you don’t have time…

For so many of us, being in a constant state of stress and tiredness has become the norm.

And although it makes us unhappy, impatient and frustrated, we often consider ourselves too busy to change.

In some cases, we even prevent ourselves from doing that “one thing” that could help and potentially change our lives, because we convince ourselves that we just DON’T HAVE TIME!

So, we put it off.

Well I’m telling you now…

Having this mentality is wrong and soon, you’re going to burn-out or crumble from all the prolonged stress on your body.

This is why learning how to meditate, even for 5-10 minutes a day, can be so helpful!

In this article I’m going to highlight the proven benefits of meditation and why meditation can be a godsend, when you know how to do it properly.

 

 With a regular meditation routine, you maximise your likelihood of experiencing the mental and physical health benefits of meditation. 

Those who claim they have not experienced any benefits of meditation, are usually those who:

  1. Don’t put in the work
  2. Don’t keep consistent or
  3. Try to bite off more than they can chew and get overwhelmed

But for those who meditate properly, you are practically guaranteed some of the proven benefits below.

If you’d like to learn how to meditate, ensure to register for the FREE / Lite version of the complete Journey to Calm Meditation Course.

  

The Health Benefits of Meditation

Meditation can offer the following mental and physical health benefits:

  • Helps to reduce and relieve the symptoms of stress and anxiety (1)(4)(8)
  • Can improve productivity during your day
  • Lowers blood pressure, cholesterol and your risk of heart disease and stroke 
  • Helps to improve sleep and insomnia
  • Reduces burn out (2)
  • Increases your ability to focus and learn
  • Promotes happiness (3), improves mood (4), well-being, a positive mindset, greater quality of life and inner peace
  • Gives your body time to recharge so you have more energy throughout the day
  • Can help to reduce pain in the body
  • Improves your resilience and patience, enabling you to cope more effectively in difficult situations and with the busyness of daily life
  • Has been shown to slow down the ageing of your brain (7)
  • Increases the amount of grey matter in the brain (the area responsible for muscle control, seeing, hearing, memory, emotions, and speech)
  • Let’s you observe your thoughts subjectively, gain greater perspective of yourself and your surroundings
  • Can improve quality of relationships (5) by becoming more attentive of others and your surroundings
  • Become more self-aware and more able to cope with and manage difficult emotions (6)

Given the extensive benefits of meditation, many choose to meditate for the very real and positive changes it makes to their lives, not out of any obligation to do so.

How to meditate for stress relief and anxiety

How Meditation Improved My Productivity 

Did you know?

Finding 10-15 minutes each morning to meditate could actually make you more productive.

I wanted to expand a bit more on this, as this is one of the greatest benefits of meditation that I have experienced for myself from regular practice.

It might sound strange that sitting still and doing nothing for 10 minutes, can makes you achieve more in your day…

I think the reason it has had such a profound impact on my productivity is because I am now:

  • Able to think clearer with less distraction
  • More focused on my priorities, rather than trying to get EVERYTHING done or filling my time with “busyness” / meaningless tasks
  • Able to make faster decisions

 

How I Use Meditation to Relieve Stress & Anxiety Symptoms

Did you know?

These days 60% of all doctor appointments are related to STRESS?

And, although many of us experience its symptoms, few know how to effectively manage or reduce its side effects.

Meditation can help to reduce feelings of stress, anxiety and depression, and also reduce the physical side effects of chronic stress and anxiety on our bodies..

Previously, I’ve had difficulties managing my own anxiety and stress levels.

But since adopting a regular meditation routine, I feel so much more relaxed, in control and able to more better control my emotions.

Of course, I still get stressed from time to time, but not nearly as much as I used to before I discovered meditation AND, now when I do get stressed, I’m much better at handling it.

Although I’m yet to master it, meditation has already helped me to come a long way. It’s truly been one of the most beneficial habits I’ve developed.

I truly wish the same for you.

If you’d like to read more about my personal story with managing anxiety and stress with meditation, you can do so here.

Girl learning how to meditate in forest

 

How to Get Started with Meditation

As a beginner, meditation is definitely something that is easier to grasp when you have someone guiding your through it.

Trust me, I know!!

For years, I’ tried to learn how to mediate on my own…

But, I can tell you from first hand experience, it’s so much easier when you have someone teaching you how to do it, rather than just trying to wing it all.

Learning from someone will also save you:

  • The disappointment from failed attempts
  • Lots of trial and error
  • A ton of frustration
  • A lot of wasted time

If you’re interested in experiencing some of the benefits of meditation, you can get started now with the “Journey to Calm” Meditation for Beginners course.

Icon Journey to Calm Course

 

This course is designed to save you time, confusion and frustration when learning how to meditate.

In the complete Journey to Calm Course you’ll:

  • Learn theory and tips around the basics of meditation, mindset, mindfulness and self care
  • Have me guide you through 21 days of meditation.
  • Learn how to build a meditation routine that suits your currently lifestyle and routine
  • Learn the steps of meditation in a simplified and practical way.

If you’re not ready to jump straight into the complete 14-Day Meditation course, try our FREE / Lite version.

In this introductory mini course for beginners, you’ll learn more about:

  • The basics of meditation
  • How it can improve overall health
  • How meditation can be practiced to relieve stress and anxiety symptoms.

Get started today by entering your details below.

Next Up:  The Proven Benefits of Deep Breathing for Meditation & Stress Relief

Mindfulness Meditation for Beginners | The 8 Step Introductory Guide

Mindfulness Meditation for Beginners | The 8 Step Introductory Guide

Mindfulness meditation is much easier to understand and implement when broken down into simple steps. 

Although the concept behind Mindfulness Meditation is pretty simple and basic it does take practice to strengthen your ability to focus for extended periods of time.

Just as you would build your muscles at the gym, meditation takes consistent and repeated practice.

You simply can’t expect to be a master after your first session.  Well, that’s what I learned anyway….

My journey of learning mindfulness meditation was full of a sh** load of frustration, impatience and inconsistency.

I would put so much pressure on myself to be a master from the start, but these expectations were too high and unrealistic.

My intense focus on seeing quick results ruined and took away from the entire experience, which would result in my procrastinating with my sessions.

Don’t be like me kids….

You must understand that meditation is a skill that you build up over time. There’s no cutting corners and yes, you actually need to do the work and keep consistent.

The results may not be visible immediately but I promise you…they will come.

In this article, I will give a basic break down of the steps on “what” to do to meditate but if you want to learn “how” to meditate, I teach this in much more detail in the Journey to Calm Meditation Course for Beginners.

If you’re not quite ready to jump into the complete course, you can start your meditation journey with the FREE / Lite version of the course below:

 

Here’s a basic overview of the basic steps you want to follow to start your meditation practice.

 

1. Prepare Your Meditation Space

Preparing your meditation space before is and important step because it can help to create the right ambience and get you in the mood for your mindfulness meditation practice.

You may like to:

  • Dim or turn off the lights
  • Burn some candles, a Himalayan salt lamp, incense or essential oils 
  • Play some background nature or instrumental meditation music
  • Lay out your yoga mat or meditation pillow to add comfort during your meditation practice
  • Give your head, neck and shoulders a quick stretch to prepare your body and release any built up tension that could make you uncomfortable in your meditation pose

 

2. Get Into a Comfortable Position

Finding the right meditation pose for your meditation practice is really REALLY important.

Sitting in the wrong pose during your meditation could result in back pain, discomfort and make you procrastinate with or even resent your practice.

When meditating, some prefer to sit cross-legged on the floor, others prefer lying down. The key is to choose a pose that is most comfortable for your body. 

Related:

 

3. Choose Your Type of Meditation 

The next step of learning to meditate is to choose which types of meditation you would like to do during your practice. 

Despite as many beginners think, there are many different types of meditation. There are some that can be a bit complicated and overwhelming for beginners.

That’s why it’s a good idea to choose a meditation style that matches your experience and preferences – I usually recommend mindfulness meditation for beginners. That’s also the style I’ll be focusing on within this article.

Mindfulness Meditation for Beginners - Meditation Room

 

4. Set Your Timer 

In terms of how long to set you timer for, it truly depends…

If you’re new to meditation, it’s usually best to start small and work your way up. Starting with 3-5 minutes, usually suffices.

Starting small also makes your meditation sessions seem  less daunting. It will also help prevent you from procrastinating due to feeling that it’s a burden on your time.  5 minutes out of your 12 hour day is nothing guys…. therefore, you’re less likely to put it off.

As you improve, gradually extend your sessions to 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, then 30.

Don’t let ego or judgement get involved in this process. Everyone starts at the same level.

 

5. Close Your Eyes & Breathe Deeply

As you close your eyes, start to focus on your natural breathing rhythm and take a few deep breaths to relax you.

In the Journey to Calm Course, I explain diaphragmatic breathing in more detail and how this technique can be used to increase relaxation during your mindfulness meditation practice.

This style of breathing is a great skill to learn for life in general as it can also help you to relieve stress, anxiety or any built up tension in your body during the day.

As you enter your meditation practice, it’s a good idea to allow your body to adopt it’s natural breathing rhythm and just simply observe how your body moves with each breath.

How does your chest, shoulders, rib cage and stomach feel?

 

6. Check in With Your Body and Surroundings

Take a moment to tune in to your body and your surroundings.

  • How does your body feel right now, in the present moment?
  • What is the quality of your mind? Are stressed, tired, anxious, happy or relaxed?
  • Notice the sounds of your surrounding environment but remain unattached

Enjoy a moment of pure mindfulness, by living in the present moment.

Don’t worry about the things you have on your to-do list for the day. Let go of worries or baggage from your past.

Just enjoy the moment for what it is.

Related:

 

7. As the Mind Wanders…

During mindfulness meditation, it is completely normal to have moments where you experience a lapse in focus. You may become distracted with a thought, a noise in your environment or maybe even an itching sensation on your body.

Meditation is a process of recognition. That is, noticing when your mind steps off track and then gently bringing it back to attention.

If this happens to you during your practice, don’t be too hard on yourself. Just take a deep breath and return your focus to your breath.

 

8. Stop Overthinking & Let Go

As a meditation newbie back in the day, I found it really hard to maintain concentration and would regularly get distracted by my thoughts. #anxietylife.

I also felt really awkward and had no idea what I was doing. Like who wants to hang in silence with their own thoughts…. well at the time, not me.

I’d often worry whether I was doing things right or wrong. For example:

  • Were my hands in the right place?
  • If my nose gets itchy, can I scratch it?
  • Should I be “ommm-ing” or saying something?”
  • “I’m not feeling anything, maybe I’m doing it all wrong???”

You get my drift….

But meditation is not a one-size-fits all, and everyone’s experience is different.

Just because your boyfriend’s friend’s sister, Doris, claims she felt results immediately after her first session of meditation, doesn’t mean that you’ll experience the exact same thing…

You could, sure… but it’s always good idea to keep your mind open and enjoy your own journey.Try not to compare yourself to other and don’t concern yourself with all the nitty-gritty details.

Just relax and let go.

Mindfulness Meditation for Beginners meme - stop overthinking

 

Want to Learn How to Meditate Properly?

If you’re interested in learning the “How” of the meditation puzzle, I highly recommend that you start your journey with our Journey to Calm Meditation Course for Beginners.

In this course, I teach you all about mindfulness meditation and delve deeper into exactly what to do in each step mentioned above to improve your likelihood of success.

I also save you a lot of time, frustration and pain as a newbie… I truly wish I had this course when I was getting started, as opposed to all the time I wasted and confusion I felt trying to do it all on my own.

Get started with the complete Journey to Calm Course here.

If you’re not quite ready to jump into the complete course, you can learn more about the basics of meditation, my journey, and how meditation can be used to relieve stress and anxiety in the FREE “Lite” Version of the course.

Get started with the FREE / Lite version of the course by clicking the link above or by entering your details below. 

What is Mindfulness Meditation? An Overview & Guide for Beginners.

What is Mindfulness Meditation? An Overview & Guide for Beginners.

Mindfulness is such an amazing natural therapy and has been scientifically proven to have many mental, emotional and physical health benefits. 

Feeling constantly stressed, anxious or burnout is really taxing on our bodies.

You may find yourself low on energy, with no time to enjoy the present or do things that fill your cup up.

If you struggle with managing the daily demands of life and the stress and anxiety that comes with it, mindfulness can be a great technique to include in your daily routine.

But as a newbie, some of the terminology used surrounding mindfulness and meditation can get really confusing…especially around mindfulness meditation.

  • What’s the difference between mindfulness and mindfulness meditation – or are they the same?
  • Are the concepts interchangeable?
  • What the heck is this business in the first place?

Confusion around Mindfulness Meditation

Yep, don’t worry, I get it…I’ve been there. 

As a newbie, understanding the difference between mindfulness meditation and normal meditation can be a bit confusing….so I’m going to bring everything down to basics for you.

The key thing you need to know, is:

Yes – technically Mindfulness and Meditation are different things AND Mindfulness Meditation, is it’s own category.

This is because Mindfulness Meditation is actually a specific type of meditation that involves combining the two concepts together.

Let’s explore this in more detail so it’s clear as mud!

Towards the end of this article, I’ll also answer some common FAQ’s that beginners often have about meditation.

 

What is Mindfulness Meditation? 

In simple terms, Mindfulness relates to your ability to be present in the moment.

Being mindful involves being aware of where you are and what you’re doing, but are not overly reactive, distracted or overwhelmed by what’s going on around you.

As a meditation practice, this involves taking a moment to clear your mind, relax, focus and observe wandering thoughts as they drift through your mind without any judgment. As you become distracted, you softly bring your attention back to focus.

Mindfulness meditation can be done in the comfort of a meditation room/ space, whilst you’re walking or even at your desk at work.

Mindfulness is a great meditation practice for beginners because the concept behind it is really simple, compared to some other types of meditation.

 

As said by some of my favourite celebrities:

“Meditation is all about the pursuit of nothingness. It’s like the ultimate rest. It’s better than the best sleep you’ve ever had. It’s a quieting of the mind. It sharpens everything, especially your appreciation of your surroundings. It keeps life fresh.”Hugh Jackman

 

“It feels good. Kinda like when you have to shut your computer down, just sometimes when it goes crazy, you just shut it down and when you turn it on, it’s okay again. That’s what meditation is to me.” Ellen DeGeneres

So there you go. You must be on to something good…

 

If you’d like to learn more about how to use mindfulness meditation to reduce stress and anxiety, and become a happier, healthier and more relaxed version of you, ensure to sign up for the:

In this short e-course you’ll gain an insight into the basics of mindfulness meditation and how you can use it to manage and relieve stress and anxiety symptoms.

I’ll touch on this in a bit more detail later in this article, but first – let’s touch on some common Meditation FAQ’s.

P.S> Here’s a video version of this post in case you prefer watching rather than reading:

 

FAQ’s about Mindfulness Meditation

1. How often should I meditate?

Once a day is usually ideal and most achievable, especially given our busy schedules.

Some prefer to do it more frequently (eg. in the morning and at night). As a newbie, I suggest that it’s probably best to only commit yourself to once a day. This will make it much easier and less of a time burden to turn it into a daily habit,

Note: At first, meditation may seem like a bit of a chore or another task to tick off your to-do list. BUT the more you practice, the more you’ll start to notice the benefits in your daily life.

View meditation as a moment of luxury and peace – some you time… that can be quite rare to get these days.

 

2. How long should I meditate for?

As a beginner, just start with 2-3 minutes each day – particularly in the first week. This way your meditation practice won’t feel like a burden on your time.

Also, if you try to extend your meditation sessions too early, you’ll likely find yourself struggling to concentrate for the entire time. This can cause you to end your sessions feeling frustrated and deflated. We don’t want that!

As your attention improves, you can then extend your sessions up to 15-30 minutes.

 

3. I find it difficult to concentrate during my sessions. Why is this the case?

It’s quite common for beginners to find it challenging to concentrate in the first few sessions of meditation, but this is normal. 

Even I myself, and other experienced regular meditators have days where we find it hard to focus.

That’s why you want to choose a time in the day where you’re not engaged in thought-provoking activities beforehand. This is why morning sessions can be better (when your mind is clear).

If you find yourself struggling to maintain focus due to fidgeting, it could be worth giving your neck and body a quick stretch before you start.

 

4. I find sitting upright and cross-legged uncomfortable. Are there other positions I can try?

Yes! absolutely and I’m glad you asked. When I was first getting started with meditation, I too found some sitting positions uncomfortable. Especially if I was meditating for longer than 5 minutes.

If you can’t get comfortable during meditation because you get back pain or muscle tension, I’d highly recommend getting a meditation pillow or yoga mat. It will make your practice much more comfortable.

When I was starting out, it took me a while to rip the band-aid off and buy my first yoga mat and zafu meditation pillow. Thankfully, I made the decision because now I wouldn’t look back.

I’m so glad I took the leap because I had been stubborn for so long.

If this is something you struggle with, and you’d like to read more about it, ensure to check out the below articles.

Related Articles:

 

Ready to Get Started with Mindfulness Meditation?

Meditation is definitely something that is easier to grasp when you have someone guiding your through it. Trust me, I know!!

For years, I tried to learn meditation on my own… with many failed attempts, trial and error, a ton of frustration and sadly, much wasted time!

But by doing this, I actually learnt so much, including how to do it properly and master it.

That’s why I created the “Journey to Calm” Meditation for Beginners course, to help newbies save time, confusion and frustration when learning how to meditate.

In this 5-day e-Course, I guide you through the steps of meditation in a simplified and practical way.

NO jargon! NO ultra spiritual or religious content!

Just tips and guidance from someone who’s been where you are and has experienced, first hand, the results you can gain from meditation. 

If you’re interested in learning more about mindfulness meditation:

You’ll learn about:

  • The basics of meditation
  • How it can improve overall health
  • and how meditation can be practiced to specifically relieve stress and anxiety symptoms.

Get started today by entering your details below.

 

Mindfulness 101: A Mindfulness Guide for Beginners

Mindfulness 101: A Mindfulness Guide for Beginners

What is Mindfulness?

To understand Mindfulness, the main thing you need to know is that it relates to focusing you attention on the present moment.

Through mindfulness you develop a greater awareness of yourself and your surroundings.

Your mind will naturally process the information around you, but rather than consuming your thoughts with these things, you simply focus your attention on something else.

This could be something that you find calming. For example, your breath.

Becoming more mindful can enhance your life by helping you to deal more effectively with stressful situations, improve your mood, be more compassionate, and appreciative of the things around you.

At the end of this article, I will introduce you to the Mindfully Happy Handbook. Download your copy today and learn more about how you can live a happier life through mindfulness, gratitude and meditation.

 

How to Incorporate it into Your life

There are many ways to incorporate Mindfulness into your life – that’s why it’s so AWESOME!! Mindfulness is very versatile!

You can practice it whilst:

  • Walking
  • Eating
  • In the shower or having a bath
  • Cleaning or doing household chores
  • Exercising – Eg. Swimming, yoga, running, dancing.
  • Drinking herbal tea or your morning coffee
  • Smelling a rose in your neighbours garden

Read more detail about ways to incorporate mindfulness into your life below:

 

To become more mindful in your life, here are some basic steps you can follow:

  1. Choose something to focus on.
    • The natural rhythm of your breath is often the easiest to start with.
  2. Tune into your body to see how you feel and to observe any thoughts running through your mind.
    • Remember to only observe them and then return your focus back to your breath.
  3. Engage in your senses and surroundings.
    • What can you smell? What can you hear?

 

The concept of mindfulness is really simple. However, focusing on your breath without getting distracted can be challenging.

If you find yourself struggling with this, remember that it just takes some practice. Therefore, be kind to yourself and avoid getting frustrated or giving up. Instead, return your attention back to your breath and start again.

So, that’s mindfulness…Let’s now talk about “Mindfulness Meditation”.

 

What is Mindfulness Meditation?

Mindfulness meditation is simply a type of meditation that uses mindfulness principles during its practice.

The two concepts are sometimes intertwined which can make things confusing at times.

During Mindfulness Meditation, you follow similar steps as those mentioned above (focusing on the present, your breath, clearing your mind and observing wandering thoughts), but, it is usually done for a specific amount of time and not whilst multi-tasking.

Instead, you usually adopt a certain pose to meditate in – whether it’s a seated, standing or lying down position.

You can read more about them here:

 

The Benefits of Mindfulness & Meditation?

There is such a wide range of scientifically proven benefits of meditation and you don’t need to be a Buddhist monk or yogi to experience them.

All you do need to do is practice regularly, even if it’s just 5-10 minutes a day.

Some of the known and proven benefits of meditation include:

Read more about the benefits here:

Generally, the most important and challenging part of Meditation, is turning it into a daily habit. Some days it can take some self-discipline and determination, but I reassure you, commitment and consistency is key!

If you’re interested in learning more about meditation for beginners, ensure to sign up to the FREE “Lite” Version of our complete “Journey to Calm” Meditation Course for Beginners.

This 5-day Meditation Course will teach you about the basics of Meditation and how you can relieve stress and anxiety naturally.

Get started by entering your details below.

5 Ways to Incorporate Mindfulness into Your Daily Life

5 Ways to Incorporate Mindfulness into Your Daily Life

Today, we have a guest post from Adrianne at Your Happiness Quest about 5 ways you can incorporate Mindfulness into your daily life. Adrianne helps women to beat depression and overwhelm by teaching them how to grow a positive mindset and build the confidence to chase their dreams.

Hey guys!

Today, I’m going to give you further insight into Mindfulness and how you can incorporate it into your daily life.

Mindfulness is truly great for everyone, which is why I want to show you how you can do it! AND without it being a burden on your time.

 

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a form of meditation.

The art of mindfulness is about learning to be simultaneously self-aware and aware of your surroundings.

Everyone should learn how to practice mindfulness to both enhance your daily life and help brighten your day when you are feeling down. It is one of the most important tools you can add to your mental health ‘toolbox.’

The great thing about it is that we can apply mindfulness throughout our daily lives.

 

How to Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness can be broken into a few basic components which can be applied to vaious areas of your daily life.

  • First you want to choose a primary focus; usually breath, but the connection with your body and the ground is another common focus.
  • Next tune into your body and how you feel.
  • Finally, focus on your senses and surroundings.

This will change somewhat depending on your activity. Practicing mindfulness is easy, but like any meditation exercise, remember it is a practice so be kind to yourself and simply return to your chosen focus when you get distracted and make mistakes.

If you’re interested with getting started with Mindfulness Meditation, click here to sign up for the FREE 3-day Meditation eCourse for Beginners!

In this 3-Day FREE Meditation eCourse you I will help to simplify things by giving you an introduction to:

  1. Mindfulness Meditation
  2. Health Benefits of Meditation
  3. How Meditation can help you manage stress & anxiety
  4. The importance of regular practice, and
  5. Other Meditation Tips for beginners

 

Benefits of Mindfulness

Everyone can benefit from mindfulness meditation activities, and you only need to practice a few minutes a day to reap the benefits.

One study found that the more people meditated, the greater the benefits, indicating that it has cumulative effects over time. So the more time you dedicate to it now, the more you will benefit in the future. You can start to feel the benefits immediately, but like a muscle, the more you practice, the stronger you get.

The benefits of regular meditation practice are numerous and still being studied. Here are a few of the scientifically-backed benefits of incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine:

If you’d like to check out more about Meditation’s benefits, ensure to read the article below:

Five Ways to Incorporate Mindfulness Into Your Daily Life:

1. Walking

I love mindful walking because you can do it anywhere, around the house, garden, neighborhood, park, office, literally everywhere.

1. Firstly, Just focus on feeling the ground beneath you. Now focus on each step. Feel how your feet move against the ground. Heel first then toes. Is the ground soft or hard? Are you walking on grass or sand? Notice the grounding sensation that having your feet on the ground has.

2. Now focus on the sounds around you. There might be birds chirping, traffic driving past, trees swaying in the wind, lawnmowers humming. Listen carefully to what you hear. Is there anything in the far distance you didn’t notice at first?

3. Feel the breeze against your skin and in your hair. What sensations does it create? Warm, crisp, refreshing, chilling?

4. Finally, breathe. In and out through your nose and out your mouth. What can you smell? Remember to stop and smell the flowers you come by. Feel the fresh air while you breathe in and out.

Anytime you find yourself getting distracted, move back to feeling the ground beneath your feet. Remember to relax and observe. You could even listen to a few podcasts as you go along!

2. Eating

In our busy lives, we often end up shoving food into our faces while we race out the door or run around at lunchtime trying to get errands done. If you have read Mireille Guiliano’s French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure you will be familiar with mindful eating. Though she doesn’t call her style of eating mindful eating, it is very similar.

Mindful eating is about slowing down to savor the presentation, scents, and flavors of your meal. It’s about enjoying every bite to the fullest. Food can be one of the most pleasurable daily activities. It fuels us, it can enhance our energy levels, and if we’re honest here, it is just downright fun.

You owe it to your loved ones as well as yourself to know and pursue your pleasures.”
Mireille Guiliano, French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure

Mindful eating and weight loss

Mindful eating also helps us to become more aware of what we are eating and how much we are eating. If you want to enjoy food more, lose weight and feel healthier than mindful eating is for you! Yes, I did say lose weight. This depends on what and how you eat but typically when we eat too fast we overeat. It takes a little time for our stomachs to register we are full. When we slow our eating we allow time for our brains to register we are full so we eat less.

  1. Mindful eating is simple, just remember to slow down and enjoy your meals.
  2. Before you dig in, notice the presentation, the colors, ingredients, and scents.
  3. Take one bite at a time and note the taste and texture. Is it smooth or crunchy? Does it melt in your mouth? Sweet or savory?
    Before you take your next bite note how you feel. Warm, refreshed, satisfied, hungry, full?
  4. Every time you catch yourself getting distracted and eating too quickly pause, take a break and breathe for a moment. Go back to noticing your food and how you feel.

As with all mindfulness practices, remember to be patient with yourself, relax, observe & enjoy the pleasures of eating.

 

3. Showering/bathing

This is an excellent chance to practice mindfulness. You have some time to yourself without anyone disturbing you.

  1. First, take a few deep breaths and notice how the water feels on your skin. Is it steamy or refreshing?
  2. Showering and bathing is a very sensual time. What does the soap smell like? Listen to the water splashing or swishing around you. Tune in and enjoy the peace.
  3. When you get out, stay in the zone. Notice how the fluffy towel feels.
    Take a moment to pamper yourself with body brushing &/or a full-body moisturizer.

As well as practicing this for a couple of minutes every time you wash you can also set aside self-care time for a more extended bath. Light some candles, add some bath salts and bubble bath, brew your favorite herbal tea, put on some soothing music, breathe and relax.

 

4. While waiting in line

Waiting in line can be one of the more monotonous parts of the day. Waiting in line to buy your groceries, waiting to bank a cheque, waiting in line at the clothing store. Why not turn it into a chance to get some meditation practice in?

  1. Take a moment to focus on your breath, slow down and clear your mind. Breathe in and out through your nose. Feel your stomach and chest expand and contract with your breath.
  2. Now just like in the walking mindfulness practice tune in to feel the grounding sensation of your feet connecting with the ground.
  3. Pay attention to your surroundings. Notice any sounds or smells? What is the temperature like? Is there a breeze? How is the lighting in the room?
  4. Then when you are next start to bring your breath back to normal. You will find the time has passed by and instead of feeling bored you feel refreshed.

5. During household chores

Just like waiting in line this can be a monotonous task, or you can turn it into a moment of peace. Your focus will depend on what you are doing but as we have discussed earlier take a moment to slow down and focus on your breathing. Then tune into your surroundings, notice the physical sensations you are experiencing, your movement, the temperature, the breeze and anything else you notice. Next pay attention to the sounds and smells of your environment.

When you are ready to come out of your heightened state of focus reverse the process. Focus on your surroundings, then go back to focusing on your breath for a few moments. At the end of any mindfulness practice always remember to note how you are feeling now compared to before you started.

Ready to Get Started with Mindfulness and/or Meditation?

If you’re interested in learning more about meditation for beginners, ensure to sign up to the FREE “Lite” Version of our complete “Journey to Calm” Meditation Course for Beginners.

This 5-day Meditation Course will teach you about the basics of Meditation and how you can relieve stress and anxiety naturally.

Get started by entering your details below.