The mindfulness movement has experienced huge growth in the past year alone, as more and more people are placing an emphasis on mental health awareness. If you’re looking to reduce anxiety or perhaps just take more time to live in the moment and focus on the present, mindfulness and meditation can be a great way for you to #FindYourZen this summer.
Mindfulness is simply a state of mind that is achieved by focusing on the present moment and consciously thinking about one’s own feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations. According to Forbes, mindfulness has been proven to reduce anxiety, reduce implicit age and race bias, prevent and treat depression, increase body satisfaction, improve cognition, and reduce brain distractions. Many people achieve this state of mind through meditation however, losing yourself in any activity that you love could also help you reach those benefits.
Use these methods to practice mindfulness this summer.
Practicing mindful breathing for at least 15 minutes a day can help melt away the stress of your day. Whether it’s while walking, listening to music, eating, or even showering, focus your mind on your breathing. Take deep breaths, sure to focus on the motion of the rising and falling of your chest. Breathe in cadence with the music to feel more connected to your favorite song. Try to stay focused on simply breathing, and if your mind begins to wander, slowly bring it back to your breathing. You can practice mindful breathing wherever you are.
Write in a Journal
Mindfulness and creativity are complementary. Exploring your creativity can strengthen your mindfulness practice, and vice versa. Take time to sit down and write in a journal this summer. Write about your emotional changes, inner thoughts, and most importantly, the present moment. Try using Zebra’s Sarasa Grand for an indulgent writing experience. With a weighted brass barrel and smooth ink flow, focus on the motion of your hand and the importance of each letter or word you are writing.
In the chaos of everyday life, it can be difficult to take time to recognize your emotions as they arise. Rather than subconsciously feeling emotional changes, try to acknowledge those emotions to better determine their purpose and how to cope with them appropriately. If you are at work or in a busy setting and you feel an intense surge of emotion, good or bad, don’t ignore it. Later, allow yourself to reconcile any negativity, and write about what may have triggered the negative energy.
Express Yourself Through Art
Sketching, drawing, coloring, poetry— whatever you enjoy, make a conscious effort to do it more this summer. Whether you consider yourself an artist or not, you can still practice expressing your thoughts and feelings through art. Zebra’s Zensations line of products was created with your inner artist in mind. From our Zensations Calligraphy Pen to our Sarasa Fineliner and Zensations Technical Pen, there is a product for every artist. Be sure to focus on hand movements, thoughts, and breathing whenever you practice mindful artistry this summer. Allow yourself to feel accomplished and proud of your work.
Adjust Your Daily Routine
As simple as it seems, altering your daily routine is an easy way to practice mindfulness. Changing your route to get to work or taking a different path on your walk or run will subconsciously focus your thoughts on your surroundings and the present. Focus on your senses, how things look and smell. Try a new food for lunch, a new fitness class, or read a new book. You could even write about your new experiences later in your journal.
No matter how you practice mindfulness, the most important tip to remember is to be present. Being present is an art. It means allowing yourself to be available, emotionally and physically, in every moment. Put your phone down and enjoy being around others or participating in your favorite activities independently. Whether you are present in the activities we have suggested, or even while hanging out with your friends, you can practice mindfulness by appreciating and living in the present moment this summer.
What are your best mindfulness tips? Use the hashtag #FindYourZen and tell us!