The New Year comes with anticipation of what lies ahead and also the expected pressure of making resolutions. Instead of putting pressure on ourselves to commit to a big change that might seem hard to attain, we can focus on daily small changes that might end up having a big impact.
Filling our days with mindfulness can lead to less stress, greater ability to regulate our emotions, and greater connectedness to the world around us. Mindfulness is really quite a simple concept - being aware of what is happening in the present moment without judging, but with kindness and curiosity. You do not have to set aside thirty to sixty minutes of time to be mindful. You can actually fit mindfulness into small minutes of time throughout your day. You don’t have to be a certain age and it costs no money. Here are some simple examples of how you, by yourself or with another, can fit some mindfulness into your day.
- Stand outside for a few minutes and let the snowflakes gently fall onto your face while looking up into the sky.
- In your yard, neighborhood, or while walking down the street, pay attention to what is around you. Stop and listen for the chirp of a bird. Watch a squirrel scampering about. Smile at the people you see. Look around until you find something you haven’t noticed before.
- Think of something or someone you are grateful for. Picture this in your mind. Think about it for a minute and notice how it makes you feel.
- Get out the crayons. Sit quietly and color. Focus on the coloring and notice the relaxed feeling. Pay attention to your breath - you might even notice it relaxing and slowing down.
- Go for a walk. Feel your feet touching the earth with each step. As you feel your feet on the earth imagine people all over the world walking on and feeling the same earth as you.
Blessings to you in the New Year.