Day 9: PRACTICE MINDFULNESS
Welcome to Day 9 of Confidence Boot Camp. We are so excited today to share with you some wise words from another of our guest bloggers, Jennipher Walters from Fit Bottomed Girls. If you aren’t familiar with the Fit Bottomed Girls or Fit Bottomed World, we’d encourage you to check them out. They are true pioneers in the body and fitness movement, who started in 2008 as a group of friends who wanted to find fun, no-diet ways to be fit and healthy. They’ve gained widespread attention in many different publications, have over 183,000 subscribers to their blog, and host a podcast that now has 46 episodes covering topics on health, nutrition, and ways to be happy and healthy.
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
Mindfulness as a practice has gained a lot of attention in the past few years. Many businesses are providing mindfulness training to their employees to help them be more productive and reduce their stress. The essence of mindfulness is learning how to control your attention. The human brain can actually hold about seven different thought streams at once. That’s pretty crazy, when you stop to think about it! But just because we can think of so many different things at once, should we? Research has shown that it’s not really more productive to multi-task, and when the brain is trying to hold onto so many thoughts at once, it can increase anxiety and reduce confidence.
Learning to be mindful is about staying present in this moment, in the experience you are in right now, without worrying about the future or perseverating about the past. When you stay in the present moment, you can feel more in control of your thoughts, your feelings and your actions.
We love the tips shared here with us by Jennipher Walters, and we hope you will, too.
10 Easy Ways to Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a big buzzword right now. And with good reason – being mindful can make you feel more centered, it can reduce stress and it can actually energize you. But how do you do it, exactly? We’ve got 10 situations that are ideal for trying it out.
When you do chores. Tend to wish you were doing something – ANYTHING – else than the chore you’re doing? Instead of mentally fighting against the pile of laundry or the grime on the bathtub, tune into the task at hand. Feel your body as you scrub or fold. Put all of your attention on the task at hand. As thoughts of hating the laundry and tub come in, don’t fight them. Just recognize them and get back to what you’re doing. (Seriously, this sounds silly but it can actually make chores SO much more enjoyable!)
When you work out. Don’t just hop on the elliptical and watch TV at the gym, spend a few minutes paying attention to how each of your muscles are firing and contracting and helping you to move as you are. Pretty darn amazing, huh?! (And if you need some workouts, go here!)
When you eat. Slow down and savor your meal fully by following these mindful eating tips.
When you go outside. It’s so easy to rush between one thing to the next, but each time you are outside, take a breath and look around. Focus on the breeze or the light hitting your skin or even the sounds.
When you sit. It’s easy to sit and slouch down, but practice sitting upright and being fully alert and aware of your entire body touching the chair and the air around you. A bit of a different experience whether you’re working or watching TV.
When you talk to … anyone. So many of us live in our heads, but listening is a mindful activity. So the next time you have a conversation, don’t just think about what you’ll say next, really, really listen fully to the other person. (Bonus: this can make your relationships so much better and help you to find common ground with others.)
When you drive. We love tunes in the car, too, but it can be way mindful to drive with nothing but the sound of the tires below you and your focus on the road ahead. It’s safer, too.
When you cook. Slow down and enjoy the process of cooking – the chop of the onions, the smell of the garlic. Experience it all!
When you pick up your phone. We all mindlessly use our phones – and grab for them when we’re bored or we want to check out. But, instead, every time you pick up your phone, take a deep breath and ask yourself: how does this make me feel? The quick moment of reflection and mindfulness can lead to some pretty big insights.
When you breathe. When you’re stressed or busy, your breathing is usually quick and shallow. So make a point to take three deep breaths every hour or so. It’s like a mental reset.
Yep, they’re all basically little mini meditations that you can squeeze into even your busiest day. Which one(s) will you try?
Your assignment for today is to select just one of the tips Jennipher outlined here, and try it. If you’re feeling really confident, try two…or three! Share what you learned with someone else, or teach it to another person. Write your experience in your journal, or share with us on Facebook or Instagram.
The best way for all of us to get better at confidence is to practice and share. We want to hear about your successes (and your failures!). We’re all in this together.
See you tomorrow, Campers.
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