Overcome with a case of the grumps? Bad day have you heading in a downward spiral?
Once the emotion train starts up, it is often hard to hit the power button to off and you can easily be hijacked by your mood. Mindfulness is an old age technique gone modern that involves focusing your busy brain into a relaxed and present state of mind.
I’m definitely not a pro when it comes to wooing myself into a meditative state, but being mindful is the ultimate, all-natural mood stabilizer. Have you ever been swallowed up by a crying fit and taken a few deep breaths to calm down? Mindfulness is essentially just that—bringing awareness to your present moment. If I can do it, you can. Trust.
You can easily shift your mood with these 5 easy steps to mindfulness:
- Find your Quiet Space: Discover a location that is distraction free. This can be a quiet room in your home, a secret corner in your local park, a nook in a bookstore or anywhere that you can induce a relaxed response. Really, this is like timeout for adults….a place to concentrate on what you did, how you feel and why (sans the punishment of being in timeout!). When your mood is in a messy space, head to this calm local to collect your thoughts and concentrate on the present moment.
- Take “Mindful” Breaths: You are breathing right now and likely simultaneously you are reading this post, letting your mind wander into a to-do list ridden place and taking a sip of water. Direct your attention to your breathing from time to time. Close your eyes and breathe from deep within your belly, through your nose and out your mouth. Focus on the rhythm of your breath. This should ground you and ease your bumpy mood. I recommend doing this exercise every time you do a common move (like buckling your seatbelt of answering the phone) and again when your head hits the pillow at night. You can use those cues as reminders to keep your mood in a blissful state.
- Focus on One Task and One Task Only: Seems simple, right? But think about all the times you are talking on the phone while driving or browsing the web while watching TV and prepping dinner. We live in a world where mutli-tasking is king. So while we have become accustomed to completing several tasks at once like rock stars, we are also impacting our mood to the brink of unhealthy disaster. Make a point to keep your mind focused on your task at hand at least once a day. Continue to add this mood-changing habit to multiple activities so that the end of your day ends on a happy note.
- Walk with Nature: I took my pup on a walk to the dog park the other day and the simple act of being in nature provided an opportunity to let all my thoughts go and ease my anxious mood. You have to go the extra step to make your walk a mood-changing, mindful one by observing your surroundings, noticing the feeling of the ground, taking in all the sounds and so on. A runner’s high, if you will, in walk form. A mindful walk is a slow and steady way to let the negatives go. Enjoy your walk!
- Create a Mood-Specific Playlist: Admit it. You have that song that can make you smile before the chorus even hits. If you are attentive to the kinds of music that you pick to bring you up or calm you down, music can be a powerful tool to your mood switch. Create a playlist that is categorized by beats per minute to promote your desired mood or choose to focus in on a song’s lyrics. In no time you will be associating certain jams with your desired emotional state. Being slightly more mindful of your music picks and listening habits can change your playlist to more than just background noise.
Mindfulness is a natural way to find your good mood and have a positive outlook on life!
Speaking of being in a GREAT mood…I am being featured on MizFit’s site today! This is a huge honor as Carla is a major source of inspiration to live a healthy and happy lifestyle. Please head on over to read bite size tips on relationship building….with your food!
How do you stay mindful? Share your tips and advice for the sake of our mood!