I’m a thinker or to be more accurate, an overthinker. I worry about the strangest things and struggle to let things go. It’s a behavior I learned growing up from parents who each had their own issues and forms of anxiety. It’s not a behavior that is easily unlearned and it makes practicing mindfulness much more difficult.I know now that mindfulness is not something you ever stop practicing. You never reach the end and there isn't a Certificate of Completion with a blue ribbon. That realization has helped me a lot.Click To Tweet
I simply strive to be more mindful on a day to day basis and this little trick has calmed me more than I ever could have dreamed (pun intended).
I just start (and end) every day with moments of mindfulness. Here’s how …
Start Your Day
Before you get out of the bed, as soon as you wake up, roll over on your back and let yours arms rest to your side. If you do yoga, this is the corpse pose (morbid I know, but somewhat accurate, because you just lay there). Do whatever you have to in order to be comfortable in this pose. If something itches, scratch it. If something is uncomfortable, move it. If you’re too warm, get cooler. If you’re too cool, get warmer. You get the idea.
Take slow, deep breaths and try to clear your mind. Be in the moment.
Once your mind is settled, you can use this time to either say affirmations to yourself such as …
Today I will do something that makes me proud of myself.
Today I will solve a problem.
Today I will get shit done. (my personal favorite)
Today I will be kind to others and myself.
Today I will bring happiness to someone else.
I also take this time to recite the first verse of the Serenity Prayer to myself, as a reminder that I can only control so much and that there are things in my life I need to let go.
Serenity Prayer (first verse)
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Sometimes I also go over my To-Do List for the day … things I’m looking forward to and things that aren’t fun, but must be done.
My entire Morning Mindfulness takes about five minutes and then I’m ready to start the day.
End Your Day
When you get into bed at night, roll over on your back, arms at your side … just like the morning pose. Get comfortable and clear your mind. If your thoughts are racing and your worried about something then keep a small notepad and pen next to your bed for those thoughts. Write it down and promise yourself you will think about it tomorrow.
Remind yourself to be in the moment … in the right now. Don’t be depressed about your past (that you can’t change). Don’t be anxious about your future (that you can’t predict).
Breathe deeply and slowly and just be.
I take this time to be thankful for the things I have, listing them in my mind. Sometimes I do a physical and mental inventory of what I have that’s working, being thankful that it does.
As I calm my body and mind I can feel myself drifting into sleep.
It’s the perfect way to end the day.
If you’re striving for a simplified, calmer life, try to start and end your day with mindfulness.
Also in the Mindfulness Series …
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