September is National Yoga Month, which means many of us will be striving to embody the Yoga lifestyle.
For some, that means eating healthier, staying fit, and working on our mind-body connections. But even if you got take-out for dinner and didn’t make it to the gym, there are plenty of ways to increase your mindfulness. Best of all, you can engage in some of these activities during your morning routine, at work, even on your commute!
Set an Intention For The Day
It’s fall, so you’ve probably already forgotten your new year’s resolutions. Meanwhile, your to-do list might be a mile long. These kinds of massive and impossible or tedious and boring goals can be overwhelming, and are sometimes destructive to our mental health.
Instead of setting an overarching goal for your life or focusing on all the work you need to do, give yourself a small, attainable goal for self-improvement today. Maybe you’ll eat three servings of vegetables, maybe you’ll compliment five people. Whatever you choose, repeat the intention aloud to yourself throughout the day.
This kind of goal-setting can keep you grounded and focused on the present.
Meditate for Ten Minutes
Meditation can seem complicated to the uninitiated, but really you only need two things: A distraction-free space, and some time to spend in it.
The space can be your bedroom, the breakroom at your office, even your car (while it’s parked). The time can be as long or as little as you can manage…even ten minutes can help improve your mind-body connection.
Set yourself up in the space, sit down, and focus on your breathing. Notice which parts of your body are touching the chair or the ground, and how that feels. If you want, you can even listen to calming music to help clear your thoughts.
Practice Deep Breathing Exercises
This is a mindfulness technique you can truly do anywhere, and it can make a world of difference for your overall wellbeing.
Whenever you’re feeling stressed or anxious, or even if you feel alright, pause for a minute to take some deep breaths.
As you inhale, feel the breath fill up your body, and visualize how the breath is bringing energy into you. As you exhale, feel the breath empty out of you, and feel yourself become firmly rooted as the energy escapes.
Counting in your head as you breath can also help keep your breaths regular and improve focus.
Think about the last time you had a neck ache. We’ve all been there. Many of us have sworn we’d never take rotating our heads for granted again. Then we treat the pain and forget about what caused it in the first place.
We find it easiest to concentrate and our thoughts are most at ease when we don’t have physical pains that are taking over our mindspace. One of the best way to prevent aches and pains is to stretch.
Roll your neck side-to-side, bend over and touch your toes, release the tension from your body as if you had just woken up from a long nap. You’ll feel a whole lot better, and your future self will thank you.