Waking up to the sound of birds, the warmth of the sun on the fresh bed sheets, the smell of coffee being prepared somewhere nearby... These are some of life’s little pleasures. Tuning in to the present moment and really enjoying it is a sure-fire way to enhance wellness.
Mindfulness is defined as “paying attention in the present moment, without judgment.” Practicing mindfulness is effective in improving sleep, reducing anxiety, reducing pain and decreasing blood pressure. Those practicing mindfulness often report a more centered and focused awareness. Being aware of your surroundings and, ultimately, enjoying them is one large step in the direction of a richer, more satisfying life.
This life starts at home. Each morning it starts with the way we open our eyes and the environment we have created to start our day. Maybe right now you start your day with a snoozed alarm clock, a skipped breakfast and a rush out the door. It’s not uncommon for Americans to begin their days this way, as we have been conditioned to rush and to achieve. If you are getting tired of the strains of this life of rushing around, slowing down and living more mindfully may be just the change you desire!
Read on to learn tips about mindful attention at home. Mindfulness can help reduce your stress and make you love where you live!
1. Morning mindfulness: Start your day with a smile.
As you wake up, remember that this day is a new start. Choose to begin each day with an optimistic attitude. When you smile your brain actually responds by releasing chemicals that make you feel good. Kick start your happy with a smile and a little gratitude. You can even make it a routine to write in a gratitude journal for a few minutes every morning; it’s a guaranteed way to kick-start positivity.
2. Make your bed.
Use this simple task as an exercise in mindfully paying attention. Allow yourself to enjoy the feeling of smoothing the sheets, placing the pillows and tucking the corners. Make your bed an expression of your commitment to the day. By paying attention to the task at hand, with a nonjudgmental attitude (i.e. don’t focus on whether you like the task or not, just pay attention to the fact that you are doing it) you have told your brain that you are being productive today. Mindfulness can make you MOTIVATED!
3. Establish a home meditation practice.
Designate a spot in your home for this practice. Start slow. One or two minutes of mindful breathing in a relaxing spot can work wonders for your mood. Be intentional about where you sit to meditate. A spot near a window, where you can be comfortable but alert is ideal.
Settle yourself into a seated position and focus on your inhale and exhale. Counting the breaths can be helpful. Try ten first, and then see if you can do 20! A daily meditation practice is a powerful tool in changing your mindset and awareness. If you are interested in learning more about meditation and enhancing your home practice visit us at www.mindfulwaystowellness.com. We offer weekly drop-in group meditations as well as an 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course for those wishing to deepen their practice.
4. Practice mindful eating.
“Mindfulness in eating is about looking inward and outward at your relationship with food. Internally it’s about being aware of how you feel about food. Externally it’s focusing on the sensory effects of your food, appreciating the textures, colors, flavors and aromas.” -N. Zevnik, Mindful Eating
You can be mindful and connect with your food every step of the way. Pay closer attention to what you are choosing to prepare and eat. The food you bring into your home is a representation of YOU!
To learn more check out our post about mindful eating habits.
5. Practice mindful consumption.
It can be very easy in our modern times of convenience to forget about just how much we are consuming. Over-consumption, done in a mindlessly automatic cycle, is stressful to both the individual and to the environment (Roster, 2016).
Think about ways to reduce energy, water use or garbage around your house. By paying attention, in a mindful, nonjudgmental way, you can make a really big impact!
6. Keep your space tidy
Keeping a clutter-free living space will boost your mood, health, and wellness. Research has been uncovering the connection between clutter and stress on the body and mind. The more visual data the brain has to process, the more stress it endures on a daily basis (Vartanian, 2017).
Try these simple tidying tips to ease the strain that clutter creates for your brain:
1. Give every item a home. That way it’s easier to put things away!
2. Put things away every time! Get in the habit.
3. Get rid of the excess. Let go of the clutter, with respect.
4. Be gentle on yourself! No one is perfect.
7. Love your home!
Once you start living more mindfully, you will notice all kinds of opportunities to enjoy your moments at home. It could be that extra minute spent curled up with a good book, a certain smell of your favorite soap, or even the soft hum of the fan overhead. Enjoy your moments. Love your home!
As you practice mindfully living in your space you may notice that you are:
● Developing the ability to respond from a centered place.
● Improving your emotion regulation, reducing symptoms of anxiety.
● Experiencing less pain & physical distress.
● Sleeping better.
● Experiencing less tension, stress, & fatigue.
Improving the way you live in your home is as easy as paying attention. Enjoy that morning coffee smell, really savor the sunlight through the kitchen window. Remember that mindfulness is a practice, and like any other practice, it takes time to stick. You can learn more about how to practice mindfulness by checking out Mindful Ways to Wellness.
We offer classes in mindfulness, meditation and yoga. The center also offers holistic health services including mental health counseling, nutrition, life coaching, sound healing and more. Visit our website to learn more about our services and start your journey to mindful living.
Zevnik, N. (n.d.). Mindful Eating. Better Nutrition. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
Vartanian, L. R., Kernan, K. M., & Wansink, B. (2017). Clutter, chaos, and overconsumption: The role of mind-set in stressful and chaotic food environments. Environment and Behavior, 49(2), 215-223. doi:10.1177/0013916516628178
Roster, C. A., Ferrari, J. R., & Jurkat, M. P. (2016). The dark side of home: Assessing possession ‘clutter’ on subjective well-being. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 4632-41. doi:10.1016/j.jenvp.2016.03.003