Finding peace in a frantic world can be challenging, especially in today’s world. We are typically overscheduled, overstimulated, lacking adequate sleep, and constantly bombarded with things to perfect (our bodies, homes, outfits, diets, etc.) Being more mindful can’t take all of these distractors away, but it can help you block out the noise. Leaving you more time to focus on what matters most to you.
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Mindfulness Finding Peace in a Frantic World
Multitasking doesn’t work. Our brains can’t focus on more than one thing at once. Which leaves us spending more time completing tasks and in a frantic state.
Instead, focus on one task at a time. To make this easier, put away your phone, block distracting websites like facebook or twitter and give your full attention to your task at hand.
One of the most effective ways to be mindful is being intentional.
What does being intentional look like? Doing things with purpose. Giving your complete focus to one simple thing and doing it fully. It is similar to not multitasking, but takes it one step further.
What can you be intentional with? Everything. From taking a step or a breath to washing the dishes. You can be intentional with a one-second task or a 20-minute task.
If your task is longer, you will have to bring your attention back as it drifts away. That’s okay, just keep bringing it back, it will get easier with practice.
Set Your Priorities
I am a huge fan of to-do lists. However, it’s easy to make a list for a day that would actually take 2 weeks to accomplish. This can leave you feeling unsuccessful and deflated. Instead, have a running to-do list that you add to any time you think of something you need to do.
Each day, pick three things from that to-do list. These are your priority that day. If you finish them early and have extra time, you can (but don’t need to) complete other items from the list.
To keep this system functioning, without building up too many items on the running to-do list, I like to make one day a month into a “Challenge Day.”
Challenge Day Explained
This “Challenge Day” is usually during the first weekend of the month. I don’t make any plans for the day, I have my meals prepped or plan to eat leftovers, and I put away my computer and phone. This day is dedicated to getting as many items on my running to-do list accomplished as possible.
This allows you to start the month with a clean slate and feeling accomplished. The rest of the month you can stick with your three priorities for each day.
Reflection on a regular basis can make a huge impact in your life. I personally like to reflect daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly.
Here are some examples of ways to reflect (I encourage you to be to be creative with these and make them unique to you.)
- Did I accomplish my top three priority items?
- Am I letting things that are out of my hands control my emotions?
- What are three things that I am grateful for?
- What am I procrastinating?
- Am I spending time on things that will bring me towards my ideal life?
- Am I living the life that I want to live? If not, what does that life look like and what can I do next month to go towards it?
- Are there limiting beliefs am I holding on to?
- What habits do I want to cultivate? What are the actions I need to do?
- Rate the following areas on a scale of 1-10
- Health & Wellbeing
- Career & Money
- Home & Family
- Personal Growth
- Hobbies & Creativity
- Life Purpose & Vision
- Which two areas am I the proudest of?
- Which two of the above areas would I like to see improvement on in the following year?
- What are three small term goals that I can set for each of these two areas (make sure they are SMART goals)
- Where do I want to be in 1 year? 3 years? 5 years?
Another great way of reflecting is through journaling. The Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration is a great way to explore different parts of your mind. You will learn about yourself and think about things in a different way. Plus, it has beautiful artwork throughout.
Meditation has endless benefits, including:
- helps you regulate emotions
- decreases stress
- improves concentration and attention
- increases grey matter in your brain
- improves your memory
Want to learn more about meditation? Check out 7 Ways Meditation Can Change The Brain.
All yoga is great, but if I feel like I am currently living in a frantic world, restorative yoga is my go-to. With lots of support from blankets and bolsters you stay in poses for an extended amount of time. You don’t feel stretching or strain, instead, you feel release. After restorative yoga, I always feel a sense of calm, even if life is hectic.
Take “Mindful Minutes” Throughout the Day
Schedule in 1-5 minute sessions into your day. Set a timer on your phone or watch. Use that minute(s) to take a mini-break. Watch a relaxing video like the one below, breathe, put or head down, or anything else that helps you reset.
Spend Time in Nature
You don’t need to live by the ocean or mountains to enjoy nature. Below are a variety of ways you can spend time outside. These give you fresh air, grounds and connects you to living a more meaningful life.
- Take a stroll around your neighborhood
- Hike in the woods
- Go to the beach
- Step out on your front steps
- Walk somewhere
- Go for a bike ride
- Walk along a river
Set Aside Free Time
I’m going to be honest with you, I struggle with this one. It is something that I am intentionally working on, but I have a long ways to go.
Here’s a glimpse into my struggle…
Many days, I am guilty of working and cleaning from 6 in the morning till well into the night. I end up going to bed feeling as those my head is spinning and regretting that I didn’t take any time to enjoy the day. The next day, I wake up and repeat the same thing.
This cycle usually continues until one day, I wake up feeling so exhausted and burned out that I don’t accomplish anything all day. But, instead of feeling like I have broken the cycle and can spend the day getting much-needed relaxation, I feel miserable. I am cranky, emotional, and too tired to do anything enjoyable.
Recognizing a problem is always the first step. Once I identified that it is a problem for me, I spent a lot of time reflecting and coming up with a plan to improve.
I am clearly not an expert at this, so take my ideas and plans with a grain of salt. But, in case you are interested, here is my plan:
Don’t work or clean from 7-10pm. Everyday.
It may sound simple, but it’s harder to implement than you would think. With a type-A personality, it’s hard to set down a project or task, but it’s completely necessary. By setting aside this specific block of time each day, I am more likely to follow through. I am hopeful that taking this time each day will keep me from getting into this vicious cycle.
I hope these techniques help you find peace in the often frantic world that we live in. One bonus tip is to have a growth mindset. If you have never heard of a growth mindset, I would recommend reading Growth vs Fixed Mindset (How Yoga Can Help).