Mindfulness – How appreciating the Little things in life can have a positive impact on your health and well being.
As someone who suffers from anxiety, I have been practising mindfulness for the past year and I can’t tell you how much it has not only helped with my anxiety but my overall wellbeing and mindset. You know the saying ‘Enjoy the little things in life’ this is so true and mindfulness helps to tap into just that. Appreciating all the little things in our life that make us happy and learning how to live our life well, taking time to slow down and just enjoy being in the present moment. So today I wanted to share with you some ideas of how you could incorporate mindfulness into your daily and weekly routine.
Now, this is something that takes time to master as it’s natural that our mind tends to wander to the thoughts we have whirling around in our head like today's to do list for example. But taking just five or 10 minutes out of our day to just relax, breath and reconnect with our body can work wonders for your mindset and productivity levels. Just being in the present moment and giving yourself the time to stop and breath helps us to focus and think more clearly along with helping to calm stress and anxiety as it lowers the stress hormone cortisol. You could join a local class, some offer relaxing yoga with meditation too if you fancy the idea of combining the two. There are also a number of apps you can download on your phone such as calm and Headspace which offer guided meditations that you can follow at home. Youtube is another great source for meditation videos and tips on how to meditate. It’s entirely up to you when you decide to meditate but you could make it part of your morning routine to get you ready for the day ahead or you could meditate in the evening to help you relax, ready for sleep. Try incorporating it into your daily routine and see what difference it makes.
When we exercise it raises our endorphin levels which instantly makes us feel happier. Exercising mindfully is a great way to reconnect with our body. I personally like to go swimming as not only is it good all-around exercise being in the water also helps to clear my mind too ready for the day ahead. Whilst I’m swimming I like to be mindful taking note of the temperature of the water, the sounds I can hear around me etc. Bringing me back to the present moment. The day’s when I go swimming I feel more energetic and focused to get through my tasks for that day. If you already do regular exercise such as running for example, how could you make it more mindful?
Nature and Being Outdoors
Going for a walk outdoors and surrounding ourselves with nature is great for lifting our mood and helping us to refocus and relax. When out walking be mindful of what’s going on around you and appreciate the all the beauty that you can see. We’re usually so busy running on auto piolet that we don’t often take time to enjoy what we’re doing right there and then. Take note of the weather, what does the sky look like today? Note the types of trees you can see and the shape they are, can you see birds? What kind of birds, are they chirping merrily? Take some deep breaths and enjoy the fresh air. Take time out during your lunch break to enjoy being outdoors, it will lead to a more content afternoon.
Books and Magazines
Getting offline to enjoy a good book that we can’t put down is an afternoon well spent! Enjoy doing just that, snuggling up and getting lost amongst the words. Don’t feel you have to be anywhere or doing anything just enjoy the quiet time. Reading for half an hour each night before you go to bed helps to unwind and relax your mind too. Two wonderful magazines that I like to get on a monthly basis are The Simple Things and Breath. Both share mindful ways to live your life and embrace the art of slow living.
Now I won’t lie, I’m not a big fan of cooking, there I said it! I do however love to eat and fuelling your body with wholesome nourishing foods is something that I very much enjoy. Breakfast is my favourite time of the day and is a time when I like to be quiet and mindful with what I’m doing. When I’m making my cup of tea I treat it as a bit of a ritual, firstly it has to be made in my favourite cup and then I watch the tea bag as it swirls round in the cup, take note of the steam rising, the smell of the tea and the warmth of the cup in my hands. Eat your food slowly savouring each bite so that you can get the most satisfaction and enjoyment from the meal you have prepared. Take note of all the textures and flavours as you chew. Being mindful with food is something that can easily be incorporated into your day to day routine that will bring you joy.
Every morning I write down five things that I am grateful for, it doesn’t have to be big grand gestures but quite the opposite it can be the little things that you feel happy for like your morning cup of tea or the hug you had with your partner for example. Not only does it make you feel happier giving thanks for what you have it also helps to focus on your blessings rather than your stresses. You don’t just have to journal about things you are grateful for but keeping a daily journal, in general, allows you to organise emotions that may feel chaotic, which gives the power back to you and can be really therapeutic.
Managing Your thoughts and Emotions
I’m currently reading The Anxiety Solution by Chloe Brotheridge (if you suffer from anxiety this is a must read!) and one key thing that she mentions that has stuck with me is that ‘our thoughts are not facts’. For someone who has a tendency to over think things, this has been a revelation in terms of how I view my thoughts and to not let them spiral out of control by reminding myself of just that. With mindfulness, it’s important to acknowledge when you have a negative thought because as Charlotte describes by doing that you are then taking back control of your thoughts. Otherwise you can wind up worrying yourself senseless about something that may not even happen (trust me I’m speaking from experience here!) So next time you have a negative thought or worry acknowledge it by saying to yourself ‘thanks for sharing’ and then move on with your day don’t continue to overthink or dwell once you have acknowledged the thought. By having a better handle on our emotions, it helps us to be more mindful and in control. Bringing us back to the present moment rather than letting our mind wander off into the future of its buts and maybe’s.
I hope this has given you some ideas and inspiration of how you can be mindful in your daily and weekly routine and how you can make it part of your lifestyle. If you already practice mindfulness, what is it that you do to live in the present moment?
Photography: Kiki Sunshine | Jamie Street | Brook Lark | Ryan Moreno
I actually fell into flowers by chance, it all started whilst away travelling through Central America back in 2008 when I had an epiphany that I wanted a career that allowed me to be more creatively hands-on (up until that point I had worked in the fashion and homeware industry). I decided to take the plunge & study for a creative degree, originally enrolling for an FDA in design display but fate stepped in as the university discontinued the course. This left me wondering what on earth I would study instead? Reevaluating the list of other course options available I spotted it… Floral Design and Events Management and thought to myself ‘that sounds interesting’. After just a couple of classes, I had fallen hook line and sinker for the flowers! Three years later I graduated with a first class BA Hons degree in Floral Design and Events Management and following on from my graduation established Joanne Truby Floral Design in 2012 and have never looked back since!
With a focus on design and details and a ‘thinking outside the box’ attitude when it comes to working with flowers, our style is natural and organic yet abundant with a romantic feel. We adore mixing different colours and textures to create stunning floral combinations. With an ethos for creating wow floral concepts, I'm inspired by many different elements around me; art, interiors, travel along with nature itself and the seasons. I adore mixing different colours and textures together to create truly stunning floral combinations and I love nothing more than seeing a design concept come to fruition on the day of a wedding or event after months of planning. I also love teaching our floral masterclasses, it makes me so happy passing on my knowledge and seeing people ecstatic with their final creations. When I’m not busy designing flowers I also love to write about them and have had the pleasure of guest blogging for a number of leading wedding blogs along with writing regular features for print magazines including Wedding Flowers and Accessories and Perfect Wedding sharing our expert knowledge and guidance on all things flower related. To me, flowers come armed with a superpower, which is never failing to evoke such happy emotions, & I feel very lucky to work with such naturally beautiful materials. I adore flowers & foliage's and like to work with the best of each season's offerings. The smell, the delicate petals and the wide array of colours, shapes and varieties available never cease to amaze me!