When the world around us feels out of control and the light at the end of the tunnel seems impossibly out of reach, it’s easy to get bogged down by destructive and counterproductive thoughts. But it is in these times that practicing mindfulness and staying positive can yield the most benefits for your physical and mental health. Here’s how.
Feelings of hopelessness, like those many of us are experiencing, are often accompanied by a preoccupation with the big picture and an inability to see and appreciate the little things, which is why mindfulness can be so beneficial. To be mindful is simply to take the time to notice the things around you—the sun streaming in through the window, the pleasant fullness you feel after eating, the friendly wave from the concierge as you enter or exit your apartment building. If you focus on the things around you that you can control and that spark joy in your life, you can transfer some of the energy that is going towards feeling hopeless to feeling grateful and content.
The best part: You don’t need to find time to set aside in your busy day or sneak off to a corner of your apartment by yourself to sit quietly or meditate. You can be mindful no matter what you’re doing, whether that’s cooking dinner, sitting on your balcony, doing the dishes or folding the laundry. Find things to appreciate and focus on in each of these activities, like the smell of the spices, the breeze in your hair, the warm suds on your hands or the softness of the fabric. Doing so will pull your attention away from your worries and fears and into the present moment.
Then, if you do this exercise often enough, you’ll find yourself automatically spending more time in the present and less time making mental to-do lists, thinking about the things you could or should be doing, or worrying about everything going on in the world. You’ll feel more appreciative of the little things in your day-to-day life that make you smile, and those smiles will last for seconds, and then minutes, and then hours.
Another way to bring your attention fully into the present: Exercise. If you live in a Power for Life Fitness apartment building, contact your property manager to learn how you can participate in our weekly livestream classes. Or if you prefer to work out on your own, check out our YouTube Channel.