A Quick Starter Guide on the Practice of Mindfulness

January 25, 2016

5:00 pm

We all have busy days, weeks, months…lives. But amidst the chaos, we need to remember how important it is to take some time for ourselves. If you’re anything like me your automatic argument is “If I had any time at all, don’t you think I’d already be doing that?” But the truth is, we like to be busy. We feel like if we’re not constantly hustling, grinding, or whatever buzzword you want to use to describe it, then we’re doing something wrong. We’re never going to reach our goals unless we’re constantly GO GO GO!

In recent years I’ve become more and more of a believer in the importance of protecting my mental health. Stress is really only helpful when we’re being chased by a saber-toothed tiger and need to make a life or death decision, like, right now. Otherwise it just makes us unhealthy and less capable of functioning at our best.

One of the ways that we can  reduce stress and make time for ourselves, even if we claim that we have no time, is to commit to a few minutes of meditation every day.

I know, I know, mindfulness is totes trendy right now, but it’s catching on for a good reason. It works. There are even apps that will guide you through the process.

But I’m here to give you a few quick tips on how to incorporate mindfulness into your life, and you only need 5 minutes (if that) a day.

1. Sit Still for Just 2 Minutes Every Morning

Seriously, all you need is 2 minutes — at least to start with. Every morning, first thing, sit up in bed and focus on your breathing for two minutes. Or, if you’re feeling extra motivated, focus on a mantra. Start with 2 minutes for the first week and increase it little by little

2. Tune Into Your Feelings

You can do this during your 2 minutes in the morning. Connect with your emotions. Pin down how you’re feeling and why. Own that feeling. Accept it. If it’s a negative feeling like anxiety or anger, realize that it is okay to feel that way. You don’t need to fix it, just accept it.

3. Mindfulness Gets Easier with Practice

Just like most things, you will become better at it the more you do it. At first your mind will wander, a lot. That’s pretty much a certainty. But as you train yourself to bring your mind back to the present, to your breathing or your mantra, it will get easier to stay in that place and not wander so much.

4. Don’t Worry About Being Perfect

The perfectionist in you might stress out about not doing it right. But that’s the absolute opposite of what you should be doing. Just remember that there’s no “right” way. Everyone is different. The fact that you’re even trying is all that matters.

5. Love Yo Self

Treat yourself with respect and kindness. When you’re going through your short (but hopefully growing) meditation and mindfulness practices, come at it from a loving place. Be positive and not critical, just for these few moments. You have the rest of the day for negativity.

 

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Kristin is an aspiring entrepreneur who is enthusiastically navigating her way through the DC startup space. She has an unending passion for learning and is never satisfied with the status quo. During the day she is an ops, biz dev, and marketing maven for Fission Strategy

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