I’m a compulsive (over) do-er. Sometimes I actually can’t help myself from “doing.” There are just so many things I want to accomplish in my day — even on the weekend!
Yoga, brunch, shop, grocery shop, meal prep, watch football with friends, laundry, dry cleaning, get clothes tailored… the list goes on. My list of things to do is pretty much impossible for a single human to get through in an entire weekend, let alone in one day. Even when I’m not moving, my mind is active, racing from one thought to another.
Then last year, I had a serious ‘ah-ha’ moment.
It was one of those moments where I finally let suppressed emotions expose themselves. I knew it had been there all along, but chose not to deal with it because it was easier.
Stress, anxiety, fatigue — you know the ones.
It happened after going through an entire morning and not being able to remember what I’d done. I mean, I knew I went through the motions, but I couldn’t remember actually being there. I couldn’t remember what it felt like to be there. It was like one of those moments when you zone out while you’re driving and then think, “Shoot, how did I even get here?”
At this time in my life, I was stressed at work, riddled with anxiety of the unknown on a daily basis, and it was debilitating me from achieving success in both my personal and professional life. I was distracted, disengaged, and moving through my day on autopilot; going through the motions but not truly engaged.
I wasn’t consciously living my life.
You might be thinking, “So what? I do the same thing — I’m too busy!” And yes, we’re all busy — the impact of multitasking and mind wander can actually hinder our ability to contribute to the world in the way we hope we do.
Our minds are our greatest asset, and when we’re stressed, anxious, and not living in the moment, it hinders our ability to focus, have happiness, listen, practice compassion, and have a clear perspective on situations. Because of the way we live, constantly ‘doing,’ multi-tasking, working too much, and not sleeping enough, we don’t give our bodies a fighting chance to excel.
Much like going to the gym and losing weight or getting stronger, we have to train our brains to be more mindful. It takes practice and commitment. Serena Williams didn’t become an awesome tennis player by chance (okay, maybe genetics were part of it).
Becoming aware of our bodies and minds enables us to regulate our emotions, allowing us to be more successful, function optimally, develop resilience, and be better leaders, friends, and feel like the people we want to be.
Imagine being able to take control those times when you feel so stressed, anxious, angry, sad, or like your emotions are out of control. It’s possible (I promise). Here’s how.
Where are you right now? You are here.
Whenever I feel like I’m running through my day and want to act with more consciousness, I stop and ask myself this question. It helps me feel grounded and remind myself to enjoy what I’m doing right then instead of looking to the past I can’t change or the future I can’t control. It helps me really feel like I’m living and enjoy even the most mundane tasks.
I mean, how lucky are we to be at work, to be able to grocery shop, to afford to go to a yoga class? Enjoy it.
Breathe & Meditate
When you feel stress coming on, whether it’s a big meeting or a first date, take a few breaths, just focusing on inhaling and exhaling. You can even close your eyes to make it more profound.
To take it one step further, try meditating. Even 5-10 minutes a day can make a huge difference, although around 20 is more ideal. If you’ve never done it, know that it will take a little while to get used to and maybe even feel a bit weird at first. Try an app like Headspace, Calm, or my newest favorite, Inscape.
I can do this.
I am strong.
I am confident.
I’m going to crush this project.
Manifesting your beliefs and desires can have a really positive impact on how you go through your day. When you believe in yourself, your inner super powers will really shine through. Try reciting these in the morning before you start your day and mix it up depending on what you want out of the day.
When I incorporate these three simple actions into my day, I find I move through life with more grace and a more positive perspective. I have an ability to see things from a kinder, more understanding point of view, which helps me have better relationships, increased confidence, and more success at work. Do you incorporate mindfulness into your day? Let me know what you think below.