If your life is a house, are you confining mindfulness to one little room?
It can be tempting to think of mindfulness as a small part of your life rather than an overarching practice. But in reality, you should build your habits to support and complement your mindfulness. Think of mindfulness as the whole house—your other habits are the rooms inside it. Here are a few habits you can implement in your life to support the broader practice of mindfulness.
Consciously Consume Healthy Food and Drink
Your nutritional choices are intricately linked not only with physical health but also with mental and emotional health—for example, an excess of sugar or sodium can lead to an excess of stress. Caffeine and alcohol might similarly heighten your anxiety. But on the other end of the spectrum, some foods like walnuts or berries can offer calming effects.
And beyond what you consume, how you consume can make just as big an impact on your mindfulness practice. Instead of chowing down a freezer meal in front of the TV, consider opting for a quiet dinner at the table, with your electronics turned off.
Seek to make the act of eating a restorative experience in itself.
Allow Yourself to Get Sufficient, Quality Sleep Each Night
Sleep deprivation hurts your ability to focus and retain information. Because mindfulness relies on deeper awareness and concentration, your practice will suffer if you consistently lose out on valuable rest.
Conversely, you will be amazed at how much easier it is to process and cope with chaos after you’ve had a solid night’s sleep. Even amid urgent work deadlines, a hectic family schedule or demanding personal obligations, quality sleep will leave you better equipped to remain grounded while you accomplish your goals. Bedtime is also an ideal time to implement mindfulness principles. Prepare for sleep by practicing soothing breathing and meditation exercises—these activities will prove far more conducive to rest than watching a movie or playing games on your smartphone.
Maintain a Clean, Clutter-Free Living Environment
Numerous studies point to a close link between the cleanliness of your home and the state of your mind. Physical clutter can lead to mental clutter, impeding your focus on even the smallest tasks. Thus, you should always seek to maintain serene surroundings at home, at the office or anywhere else you spend a lot of time.
Try to view the cleaning process less as a chore and more as an opportunity to revive and refresh yourself. As you integrate mindfulness with your daily tidying routine, you will come to appreciate the time for introspection. These habits are only a small sampling of the components of a mindful life, but they are foundational to preserving your inner peace and awareness on an ongoing basis.
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