Mindful Living in Tough Times
Practising mindfulness could be daunting at first but the whole experience is so more rewarding. We, humans, have unnecessarily complicated the concept of mindfulness, it indeed is possible to be mindful and feel the joy of being present in the moment. Mindful living is such a beautiful thing it deserves our focus.
There are times when life gets totally difficult and turns upside down. As a human, we face many challenges, especially during an uncertain time. This practice of being mindful will always keep you grounded and navigating through a difficult time in life.
Mindful Living in Tough Times
When I left my job, it was really difficult for me to find peace and get rid of no income days’ stress. The uncertain thoughts of the future used to haunt me and I was totally lost in the web of such anxious thoughts. During this time of difficulty, I stumbled upon the term ‘mindfulness’.
At first, I was fascinated by the modern mindful practices and jumped into the vastness of practicing being mindful. But later, I started finding it difficult to let my mind be still.
This was because I always thought that being mindful or practicing mindfulness means meditating, being still, and super attentive. Though meditation is one of the ways to practice mindfulness, it surely isn’t the only one. There are many more simple techniques that we can practice in our everyday life to be mindful during tough times.
What is mindful living?
Being mindful is all about being aware, being in the moment. There are many fun-loving activities that can bring our consciousness back and help us dwell in the present moment.
“Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally,” according to Marsha Lucas, Ph.D., psychologist.
Being mindful can be totally rewarding if you learn to adapt it to your routine.
Here are a few benefits of mindful living in tough times
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Increases resilience
- Increases focus
- Being self-aware
- Increases self-compassion
- More cognitive flexibility
- Physical fitness
And so much more to add to this list, Being mindful is an art that comes with sheer dedication, patience, and practice.
But sometimes, even though we are pro at being mindful, there are times when we fail to be in the present moment.
We are so driven by the noises of our daily world that we forget our own sound. However, there are some simple ways to practice mindful living even in tough times. Let’s dive into the ocean of peace and bliss through mindful living.
Practice mindful living in your daily routine
The studies show that sticking to something new for 21 days builds your memory for that particular activity.
Mindfulness is also the same practice that needs deliberate practice when you’re just a beginner. Try being mindful of day-to-day life and indulge all your attention to the current moment.
It would totally seem difficult at first but with time and patience, I’m sure, you’ll be practicing mindfulness even without knowing about it. Being mindful, as I said, isn’t necessarily to meditate or shut down your eyes while sitting in silence.
It indeed is a powerful form of mindfulness which we’re going to discuss but including some tiny mindful practices in your daily routine can surely lead to a bigger change. And this change is what will aid you during your difficult times.
Being mindful when life is tough
Often in difficulties, we long for someone else to save us, protect us while at the same time, we fail to be there with our own selves. Mindful living can feel impossible.
We tend to leave the great share of our lives on autopilot and be totally unaware of the activity we do. Ask yourself, are you completely here even while reading this piece? Or your mind is wandering in the lanes of the past and future?
These questions are necessary to answer as they’ll force you to focus your thoughts on NOW. We all follow some or other kind of routines such as daily morning and evening routine. Try being more mindful while sipping your morning coffee or while reading or listening to the audiobooks, eating breakfast, or going to work.
You surely will feel the change when you start noticing and being in the moment.
Try mindful living in tough times in chunks
Our mind responds well when we break things into a shorter span of time. For instance, when I started a yoga practice, I was doing it for one whole hour. This indeed is too much for a beginner and for someone who never loved the idea of doing yoga asanas, so naturally, in some days I started getting bored with it. I then learned to do it for a shorter span to see the change, and the results were super amazing as I started doing it regularly and with all my heart.
This applies to mindfulness too. When we try being mindful for a small chunk of time, we are able to concentrate more and devote our total attention to that sole task.
Try practicing mindfulness for a shorter span just like enjoying the aroma of freshly brewed coffee or trying out a funky new hairstyle. The catch is to do it for a shorter time span while savoring the moment.
Being mindful several times a day is more helpful than a lengthy session or even a weekend retreat. While 20 minutes seems to be the gold standard, starting at a few minutes a day is doable, too.
Practice Journaling for mindful living
If you’re someone like me who loves to write, you can surely practice this great way of mindful living. Journaling is so far my best stress buster and I highly recommend including this practice in your daily routine.
While you may probably think that journaling is more for writers or creatives, it totally isn’t.
Who is Journalling for?
Journaling is for everyone who wishes to bring calm into their lives and have a mindful brain dump exercise. There are so many things that our mind is pulled off with.
Journaling helps to take down that pressure and spill it onto the white pages.
Journaling or freewriting will give your mind some space to wander. It will clear up the unnecessary clutter which will enhance your practice of being mindful.
Even while writing those pages, try to be still, calm, and in the moment. Notice your thoughts, where they are coming from, what is the pattern and how do you want them to flow.
Do not worry about any grammatical errors or sentence structure formation. Just write your heart out and let the pages absorb your pain.
A Mindful Living breathing exercise
Whenever you feel overwhelmed or frustrated, try this super helpful practice of breathing exercises. This mindful practice will help you stay grounded even during tough times.
Breathing workout nearly takes around 10 mins of your daily schedule. With those long inhales and exhales, push out your worries and anxious thoughts.
I always practice breathing exercises in a 5-5-5 span, where you inhale at the count of 5 and hold the breath for the same count. Then exhalation also takes place at the count of five.
This simple mindful living exercise will make you aware of your surroundings and be more mindful. Being present in the moment is an art and a gift which indeed takes some practice to follow.
Flow into something you love
When we do something we love, we always lose track of time. Whether it’s meeting your loved ones after a long time or diving into your passion, we never quite realize how time passes when we are into something we truly love.
Find your passion, something that you dearly love doing. It may be difficult to devote more time to those activities but try devoting as much as you can. You will find yourself totally lost in the moment and mindful living will have taken over.
At that moment, you will find yourself being completely mindful. Also, Doing something that you love reduces stress and releases happy hormones which then helps to cope up with tough times.
Why not try running? Running has many benefits for mental health
Go offline for Mindful Living
The biggest distraction that our modern era suffers from is the continuous notification pop-ups. We have no idea how much of our time is wasted in mindless scrolling until we end up downloading some software to monitor our online time.
Try silencing your devices when you’re doing work or even when you’re enjoying your favourite hobby. Let it not interrupt your mindful living activity every now and then.
Even while having lunch or breakfast, it is necessary to devote your total attention to the food and savor every bite of it.
This is what is called mindful eating which is super essential for your physical as well as mental health. Monitor your online time and try to reduce it as much as possible fr increased mindful living.
Slow down for Mindful living in Tought Times
In this fast-paced world, all we know is the idea of working hard day in and out. Hustle is the word of this decade and we’re all running a race just to reach nowhere.
Taking a moment and pausing, slowing down or resting is also productive because you’re taking care of yourself in that span and mindful living is your priority.
Your mind and body is a vessel that requires timely refills. Slow down and rest for a while. Nothing is going to run away when you take a break for yourself.
Practicing mindfulness during tough times could be super difficult but when we learn to be mindful in our everyday life, it becomes practical to be mindful during crises.
I really hope that these mindful practices serve you during a difficult time. Do let me know in the comments about your favorite mindful practice.
Mindful Living in Tough Times is totally possible – why don’t you give it a go.
If you enjoyed this post on Mindful Living in Tough Times I think you will also enjoy my post on an introduction to mindfulness
If you have a child going through times and you want to help them practice mindful living do take a look at my book Create your Own Calm
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