Oh January 1st. We love it here at AdventureYogi. After setting your intentions for the New year, it is a time to start pushing forward and making steps to achieve your goals, feel better and live a healthier lifestyle. Resolutions (“I’m going to lose weight”,”stop smoking”,”save for a mortgage”) are longer goals, and require thought, willpower and effort, which in achieving will be beneficial for years to come.
Along the way, though, it is important to remember to live in the present, and experience life! We have put together some mindful, simple, resolutions that may help you to live in the moment and find joy in the little things!
Yes, having a daily Yoga practice sounds like a difficult and sometimes unattainable goal- but it doesn’t have to be! 5 minutes every morning from your bed may be just enough to connect and check in with yourself before you start your physical day. Some simple breathing techniques (breathe in for 4, out for 6), a few stretches and twists, and the deeply restorative lying on your back with your legs and arms up in the air should be enough to get you started! (Our friends from Tuck have written more about this, here)
Look at you! You beautiful, miraculous being. What a wonder you are. Think about everything you have been through up to this moment, and after all of this you’re still standing, living, breathing. You have done such an incredible job at being you; in fact nobody does it better.
How nice does that feel to read? You can achieve that same feeling by saying it out loud to yourself. You’re the best at being the unique combination of ‘you’- so thank yourself for your inimitable contribution to the world- you absolute stunner, you.
Admission from the writer : I hold my hands up, as I started writing this post, I was eating a baguette at my desk. Therefore, the following advice is something I will definitely be taking into account for the New Year.
I was recently at a Mindfulness in the Workplace workshop with the wonderful Aideen from an organisation called Life Blueprint, who specialise in wellness programmes to relieve stress in the workplace. She shocked me with the statistic that we spend 47% of our lives on autopilot, not really present in what is in front of us. My first thought was that I mustn’t let the unparalleled joy of food be part of that time!
Being mindful when we eat is simply about being present to your relationship with food. What does it feel like when you’re hungry? What are the tastes and sensations of the food? What foods am I choosing to eat? Is that linked to my mood?
Eating mindfully can help you train your brain to make healthier food choices, stop eating when you don’t need to, manage/lose weight, relieve stress levels and be happier with your body.
This one is so simple, yet so transformative. Just sit, for 10 minutes a day, with as little external noise as possible. Feel your nervous system calm, and relish those moments of peace.
We’re pretty impressive as a species. Human beings are the only species on the planet who have not only evolved to have conscious thought, but are also able to have thoughts about those thoughts. This ability makes us caring, intelligent beings, but it can also lead to anxiety, and stress!
In Mark Manson’s “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a..” (I’ll let you guess what the rest of the title is!) he calls this the feedback loop from hell. Here’s his example: “You get anxious about confronting somebody in your life. That anxiety cripples you and you start wondering why you’re so anxious. Now you’re becoming anxious about being anxious. Oh no! Doubly anxious! Now you’re anxious about your anxiety, which is causing more anxiety”
Sound familiar? Our advice is to recognise your anxiety, smile, accept it as a fact of life, and deal with the root cause. (TIP: this takes a lot of practice, so don’t get in a feedback loop about not being able to break out of a feedback loop!)
Are you the advice giver in your friendship group? Or are you the world’s expert on a very particular topic? Don’t narrow your horizons by boxing yourself into this role – listen to the other person in front of you! They may offer a perspective that you would have never even considered.
Remember that hobby that made you feel just like ‘you’. That little piece of you that glows like a little sun when you think about how happy it made you. Was it hockey as a teenager, or ballet as a child? Did you love stamp collecting or knitting with your friends? Do you have a fond smile thinking about how great you were at building robots, or could you create the most incredible origami sculptures? Reconnecting with these hobbies is a fantastic way to get back to our true selves and our early experiences that shaped us. It is simpler than ever to find groups as an adult- try meetup.com to find something in a city near you.
Reaching out and being part of your community as a volunteer or a fundraiser is pretty much one of the only guaranteed ways of living a more meaningful life. For opportunities in your area your best bet is to check out do.it.org
This is so easy, but so powerful. Are you struggling to connect, or do you feel a bit isolated from the world? Starting the practice of making eye contact with strangers, and offering a small smile (or massive, beaming grin!) is the quickest way to brighten up your world, and others around you. HINT: most people smile back 🙂
As you scroll through Facebook and Instagram, and notice that EVERYONE is getting promoted, getting married, on holiday, having babies, and won the Nobel peace prize all at once, it is hard not to feel disheartened as you compare it to your own life. Remember- it’s not that everyone is having amazing life experiences all the time, it’s that it’s all we ever show on social media. As a result, many of us begin to feel this nagging feeling of missing out and not being good enough, when really, we just have a heavily-biased view of what’s going on in our peers’ lives. So stop comparing! The lives you’re comparing to are never going to be a fair representation of what’s really going on.
Are you meaning to get in contact with someone who you’ve lost touch with? Who comes to mind straight away? If they are someone who makes you smile and fills your heart up- just do it! No time like the present.
Linking to number 10 in this list- wouldn’t it be amazing if everyone truly shared what was going on with our lives, rather than making it “instagrammable”. Pave the way for your peers and open up, share, listen and stop striving to make everything look pretty. Someone might thank you for this.
In our ever busier lives, we tend to live digitally- which is great for productivity and keeping in contact. However, with conference calls and lunch break meetings over Skype it can be difficult to truly switch off. Give yourself mini digital detoxes by putting your phone away next time you catch the train or bus, and always give the person sitting in front of you your undivided attention, instead of your phone. If you want a longer digital detox, you can come along to AdventureYogi’s very first, in Norfolk this February!
What did you think of this list? What small changes do you plan to make this year to be able to live more in the present? Whatever it may be, we wish you a wonderful, positive year with all the tools you require to live the healthiest, fullest life you choose. x