Do you find yourself constantly worrying? Are you so focused on the past that the present just speeds right by you? Do you wish you were more engaged and relaxed? So do we! And because we love passing on the good news, we compiled some handy, practical tips just for you! Take a gander, if you dare.
1. Get Outside
This is always step number one! Human beings were meant to spend at least some time outside, contrary to contemporary popular belief. The greener the better, too. Recent research suggests that there’s a positive relationship between mental acuity and the amount of time spent in ‘green space,’ even if it’s cold – so that’s no excuse! If you want to take your mindful wilderness excursion a step further, leave your phone at home and spend some time unplugged. You’ll really start to cultivate an appreciation for stillness.
2. Let Your Mind Wander
Isn’t it strange that some of us forget how to daydream, that something we do so easily as children often rusts from disuse/discouragement? It’s especially troubling considering all the research that’s since emerged that tout the benefits of daydreaming. Harvard Researchers have found that the act of daydreaming can potentially allow access to memories and information that were previously out of reach. This access can create connections that in turn stimulate individuals creatively. Use this as your formal excuse to go lay in the grass one afternoon and cloud-gaze.
3. Get out of your mind.
All this daydreaming may be stimulating you creatively, but beware! Getting trapped inside your head can be a real bummer. It turns out that overthinkers (people who spend time ruminating or doing ‘past-focused thinking’) have higher rates of anxiety and depression. Yikes! How do you get out of your head when you manage to identify a ruminative spiral? There’s yoga, there’s meditation, there’s therapy, etc. If you’re feeling unconventional, you can try “narrativizing.” Essentially, by writing your experiences down and approaching them critically later on, you can create the necessary distance to foster a better understanding of yourself and the issues you may be facing. There’s an inherent power that accompanies telling your story, a sort of emergent ownership. You may find that telling your own story helps ease some of your worrying.
4. Decluttering Your Space
It goes without saying that everybody likes a clean house. There’s something insipid about the way clutter hangs over everything. Often, clutter is another branch in the worry bundle. It shouldn’t surprise you then that there’s a link between how cluttered your home is and how anxious you feel. Not only that, but a 2011 survey by Rubbermaid revealed that “91% of participants are “so stressed, anxious and overwhelmed when their homes are cluttered that they don’t even know where to begin with home organization.” Decluttering is hard for numerous reasons, one being that we have a hard time letting go of objects. How do we get over the initial fear of decluttering? Start small. “Clean everything” is such an overwhelmingly vague term that it’s practically useless. Reassess your thinking. It’s easier to just get the dishes done than it is to undertake cleaning the entire house. After the dishes are done, you can sweep the floor, and after that’s done, you can sort the mail. Before you know it, you’ll be living clutter free!
5. Midnight Quiet or Meditation without Meditating
We here at positivities.com are pretty big proponents of meditation. We could go on and on, listing the benefits of consistent meditative practice, preaching all the ways in which it helps you experience and appreciate life more fully and deeply. You might be tired of being constantly told to meditate. That’s okay! The underlying principle of meditation is calm and quiet mindfulness. You can achieve some similar net benefits to meditation by just allowing yourself fifteen minutes of dark and quiet silence. Solitary stillness “can calm down that hyper-activated nervous system, boost focus, benefit relationships by preventing social burnout, and help unravel problems.” So remember, before bed, try sitting in your quiet, dark bedroom for fifteen minutes. If nothing else, it’ll really relax you.
So here you are, 5 tips later. You’ve ascended to a higher plane of existence! You’ve separated the desire of the ego from the chaos of the id! You can lift objects with the sheer power of Mindfulness! You can levitate! Okay, maybe you’re not there, yet. Keep practicing these tips, and you just may become a total titan of being in The Now.