In an uncertain world, practicing mindfulness can calm the mind and body. When you can’t control what’s happening around you, it’s important to challenge yourself to control the way you are responding. Here Calgary dentist Dr. Cheba shares his tips on how to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine.
Mindfulness is a state of nonjudgmental awareness of what’s happening in the present moment including the awareness of one’s thoughts, feelings, and senses. During a state of mindfulness, you’ll notice your thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations as they happen. The goal isn’t to clear your mind or stop thinking – it’s to become aware of your thoughts and feelings, rather than getting lost in them.
Dr. Cheba believes the benefits of practicing mindfulness are simply being present at the moment, having the ability to make wise decisions, increased positive energy, and improved physical health. It also improves your ability to manage your emotions and adapt to stressful situations. Keep reading as we highlight Dr. Cheba’s five tips to practice mindfulness below.
Create a Routine
It’s important to embrace a mindful routine that will inspire you to be more present throughout the day. It’s a way of building something good into your life so you don’t forget what’s important. Done mindfully, a routine can remind you to be conscious. Done mindlessly, a routine is meaningless.
Each individual’s routine is different. It’s all about finding what works best for you to be in the present and stay grounded. It could be as simple as waking up at the same time each day, drinking a glass of water, stretching your body, eating a healthy breakfast, and planning for the day ahead. Remember, mornings are your time. If you’re constantly rushing, your body and mind will not be in the right place for a productive day. Creating a consistent routine is making time for self-care and understanding what self-care means to you.
Mindful meditation trains you to focus on what you are thinking and feeling in the moment. You have the ability to concentrate on your thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Contrary to popular belief, the purpose of meditation is to not let your mind go blank.
If you’ve never practiced mindful meditation, it’s quite simple. Go to a quiet space, sit in a comfortable position, and close your eyes. It’s important to focus on your breathing, which we will touch on in Dr. Cheba’s next tip. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. The most important aspect of meditation is to feel yourself relaxing as you continue to focus on your breathing. Think of things that you are most grateful for and try to eliminate any negative thoughts. If you quiet your mind, your soul will speak.
According to Dr. Cheba, breathing is the anchor of mindfulness. Deep breathing can change the physiology of your body. It helps the body to calm down, reduce stress levels, and improves mental and physical health.
Similar to meditation, breathing exercises are simple yet effective. Count to five, inhale through your nose, expand your belly, and feel your body being filled with healing energy. Next, hold and count to three. When exhaling, envision the toxins and negativities leaving your body. Repeat these steps until you find yourself in a complete state of relaxation.
Have a Check-In Buddy
A connection is important to us all. It fosters feelings of love, empathy, and acceptance, which are essential for sustaining our well-being. Social self-care involves having a supportive network of people you can turn to anytime.
To practice mindful social self-care, surround yourself with people that make you feel happy. It’s important to confidently know that you have someone to reach out to in times of uncertainty. That being said, it’s crucial to be the type of friend that you want to have in return. A check-in buddy can help you grow, lend a helping hand, be a self-esteem booster, and a free therapist. Trusted friends and family members can help you become a better version of yourself.
Regular Physical Activity
Health is adding a level of attention to every area of your life and your physical health is directly related to your overall mental health. We often want to distract ourselves from our workouts but being mindful during exercise can improve your workouts, relieve stress, and make you feel better overall.
When you aren’t focused on what you’re doing, you can lose the sense of satisfaction for a job well done. Mindful physical activity provides a stronger connection to your body. Have a purpose for each workout and always remember why you’re exercising. It doesn’t have to be an extreme workout, either. Simply taking yourself for a walk to clear your mind is a great way to practice mindfulness. Bring awareness to what's going on in your head and come back to the moment with focus.
Dr. Cheba believes we can teach ourselves mindfulness but it requires consistency and discipline. Mindfulness is a state of mind, rather than a particular action or exercise. Without practice, mindfulness is difficult to achieve.
Remember, life is a beautiful gift. Every second deserves to be wholeheartedly lived.