Often times, our days get ahead of us and by the time night falls, we cannot even remember what we did or how the hours passed by so quickly. Here are some ways you can catch yourself from running blindly through your day like a tornado, missing everything, so that you can live fully and with intention.
- Set intentions. This may sound silly, but the way in which you wake will determine much of your day. When you open your eyes (before anyone – human or companion animal – notices you are awake), take a few moments to pay attention to your breath. Slow your mind, do not let it race off thinking about your stressors. Set an intention for the day. What do you want to accomplish and how do you want to feel today?
- Be grateful. As you are setting your intention, spend an extra moment thinking about all that you are grateful for. Perhaps you may want to jot this down in a “gratitude journal.” According to the Harvard Health Publications, “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.” Focusing on what is good in your life will sprinkle your day with more happiness!
- Get moving. Spend another moment stretching and moving your body. Connect with how you feel, physically and emotionally. Take inventory of your thoughts, and of the signals your body is sending you.
- Step outside. According to Marilyn Price-Mitchell, Ph.D. in The Moment of Youth, research suggests that “’nature relatedness has a distinct happiness benefit’ beyond the more generalized benefit of feeling connected to family, friends, and home. Our connection to nature also correlated with most measures of human well-being, indicating it may play an extremely important role in maintaining positive mental health.” Spending some time outdoors before you begin your day will help ground you and improve your overall well-being.
- Be mindful. Sure enough, at some point during the day you will be racing around, again. Try to remember to slow down while doing everyday tasks such as walking the dog or washing your hands. The MindfulMinute.org suggests, “The next time you wash your hands, slow down the process by paying attention to the feel of your hands as you turn on and off the faucet. Listen to the sounds of the water flowing through and from the pipes. Feel the soap as you apply it to your hands and smell its aroma. Bring awareness to the movement of your hands and fingers–to the feel of the water as it plays against your hands. To the temperature.” Exercises such as this one will aid you in becoming more present with your day.
- Be kind. Kindness is a universal language, and everyone benefits from it. Mark Twain said, “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Pay it forward, kindness is contagious and before you know it, one kind act has snowballed into dozens performed by others as a result.
- Check in with yourself. Lastly, it is important to check in with yourself to see how you are feeling throughout the day. Acknowledging and accepting your emotions and feelings, whether they be what you consider “good” or “bad” ones, can help you to release the junk that is holding you back and keeping you stuck. It allows you to let go and move forward rather than fester and spiral into a negative or anxious head space.
Try these seven tips out for a while and see how you feel. Implementation into your life – and routine – will help you to remain more present and therefore enjoy (and remember) your day more. As you get comfortable, feel free to improvise and add your own twist to the list! Find what resonates with you and makes you feel good. And do more of that!
This article was originally published by Camille on examiner.com.