living presently in each moment, while still taking into consideration one's own thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Above is my best definition of mindfulness. Of course it embodies much more than that single sentence, but simply put, that to me is the essence of it. To me, staying mindful is being self aware physically and emotionally.
I put a series of surveys on my Instagram asking people questions about mental and physical health and other fun aspects I associate with mindfulness.
Here are the statistics I gathered woven into a list of ways I try to maintain self awareness, and peace of mind.
1. The Little Joys/Victories
Throughout my day there are certain things I do to brighten my mood. For instance, I love reading my horoscope in the morning. Now I know zodiac signs and daily horoscopes aren't everyone's cup of tea, but out of the 189 people who participated in this particular survey, only 38% said they didn't believe in astrological predictions! So for all my fellow astrology lovers out there, I highly recommend the app The DailyHoroscope (not sponsored). I have had this app on my phone for about 4 years now, and it's something I pull out every so often when I'm in need of a new perspective on my day. Although horoscopes aren't always accurate, they let me envision the different routes my life has the possibility of taking - which I consider very intriguing and one of my favorite little joys in life.
Being productive is not always the easiest thing to accomplish, but it's certainly the most rewarding. Instead of making massive to-do lists that are frustrating to complete, try shortening your list to fit a reasonable time period. For example, writing down tasks you want to accomplish in the next 2 hours, or even sticking to a daily to-do list rather than a weekly one. Getting to cross off every item on your list by the end of the day is the best little victory.
2. Taking Care of Your Mind
More often than not, people tend to view meditation as something that is intimidating and/or difficult. Which is true, it requires immense focus and concentration, however, with a little guidance mental relaxation is well within your reach! Out of the 190 individuals who answered this survey only 21% of people practice meditation. For the 79% and anyone else who don't meditate but are interested in trying, here are some ways to get started.
Guided Meditation. Meditation doesn't always have to be in complete silence. Personally my mind tends to wonder quite a bit, which is why I prefer guided mediation because it gives my mind something to focus on. By simply entering "guided mediation" into Spotify or YouTube hundreds of recordings are instantly at your fingertips! Now all you have to do is choose how long you wish to mediate, find a comfy place to sit or lie down, and let your mind relax.
Freeing your mind. Sitting cross legged with your eyes closed isn't the only way to mediate. When I posed the question, "How do you relieve stress?" on Instagram I got some great responses! The majority of people said they listen to music to escape life's everyday humdrum. Personally, when giving my mind a break, I enjoy listening to 'vibey' music by artists like Daniel Caesar, H.E.R., SZA, and Sabrina Claudio just to name a few. Along with music, many of you said you prefer working out/physical activity to let your mind escape for a while. Thrown into the mix of responses was a little bit of ASMR, reading, praying, sleeping, watching Netflix, and using the app Headspace. So, if you are ever looking to mediate but aren't quite in the mood to do it the traditional way, look to these suggestions for some inspiration.
3. Focusing on the body of mind, body, and soul.
Your mental and physical health must be treated with equal importance! Since we've been mostly talking about the mind and soul, let's dive into some fun ways to stay active.
Yoga. Out if the 190 people that responded to this particular survey 44% said they regularly do yoga. From that group, 37% said they go to classes, and the other 63% practice yoga on their own. I personally fall under the category of doing yoga on my own time. Although I don't do it as much as I would like, yoga always leaves me feeling refreshed and well balanced. Whether you jump into a local class every week, or casually follow along with YouTube yoga instructors at home, yoga is a fabulous way to get your body moving!
Fun with Friends. Finding the motivation to get active on your own can be tough, so don't go it alone! Recently my friends and I have each downloaded the Map My Run by Under Armour app (not sponsored) to track our physical activity in the form of a competition. Because sometimes a little friendly competition is all the motivation you need! In addition, since warmer weather is upon us bike rides, runs through the neighborhood, and strolls in the park with friends are always good ideas :)
I hope these tips help you on your path to mindfulness!
Thank you to everyone that participated in my Instagram surveys! If you would like to participate in future surveys follow me @oliviasimoneee