how to practice mindfulness: journaling, meditating, + yoga

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I started loosely practicing mindfulness about a year ago when the world felt like it was over. It was a neat way for me to calm my anxieties and just be in the present moment. No more stress over tomorrow and the next day, and the next day after that.

Meditating was my primary way. Clearing my mind, focusing on my breathing…never had I felt so in the moment, okay, and safe. I started to appreciate the smaller things in life. Eventually, I was put onto yoga. Not great at it, but being able to be in tune with my body that so graciously carries me through this life is such a grounding feeling. And then came journaling – or emptying my brain, as I sometimes like to call it. I follow prompts and I write about my day. I explore my feelings and emotions. I even jot down a to-do list every so often. It’s as if I’m able to physically take all the weight on my shoulders off.

mindfulness: a mental state achieved by focusing on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and acceptation one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations

Despite this, I’ve always been very quiet about my experience with mindfulness because it felt embarrassing. I didn’t see people talking about it. Then the Dumpster Fire of 2020 happened and I felt like mental health, wellness, and mindfulness was given a stage. More and more people began to speak about it and made me realize that it wasn’t embarrassing or shameful. It’s absolutely wonderful and spectacular.

So what are different ways to practice mindfulness? How do I practice mindfulness? By doing three simple things: meditating, yoga, and journaling.

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finding mental peace: meditating

I started meditating by using an app. You can go on your App Store, type meditating apps and be bombarded with so many choices. I’ve tried the popular apps like Headspace and Calm which are both great options, but found one I really love.

My go to for guided meditations, it also offers sleep and yoga options. A lot of the mediation options are quick (think 5-7 minutes) if you’re on the go or busy which is great for me. Sometimes I just want to enjoy my morning coffee and all it has to give or take a minute before working on orders. There’s also an SOS option for the urgent calm me down down scenarios (like anxiety or panic or sadness).

The one downside is the cost. Because it costs a pretty penny for the premium content, if you don’t want to stick with what’s free. I have the yearly subscription and love it but it’s definitely an investment into oneself. Here are the current costs:

Other free meditating resources are: YouTube, Spotify, and even just taking five minutes of your day focusing on your breathing without a guide.

For myself, I’ve noticed that meditation causes me to take a break and both calm and center myself. When I am anxious, sad, angry, I meditate – either with the app or on my own. Even 5 quick minutes can do the trick. When I’ve meditated for longer, I feel as if I’ve been able to tap into my deep subconscious. It feels like I’m floating in the air and my breath is the only thing I can feel and hear. There’s so much clarity that happens within the moment. It’s absolutely amazing.

I’ve noticed I’m happier and more easy going throughout the day if I meditate in the morning. The little things don’t get to me. Mistakes happen and that’s okay. I’ve become more accepting to life and more accepting of my mind.

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finding physical peace: yoga

While meditating allows me to get in touch with my mind, yoga allows me to get in touch with my body. I can feel my body as a whole and as a being. I can feel how it’s able to support me day-to-day and, by doing yoga, I am able to slow down and give back to my body.

I started yoga in the middle of 2020 and practiced on and off until now, where I practice regularly. I don’t aim for any particular length of time, but make sure I get in at least 2 sessions a week as a way to say thank you to my body.

When I finish a flow, I feel so rejuvenated! I feel rested, empowered, and even optimistic. It’s crazy how just taking a moment to get in tune with my body brings a sense of security within myself and within my mindfulness journey.

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finding emotional peace: journaling

I have a lot to say about journaling. I’ll do my best to sum it up. And to sum it up, I must say: journaling has done so many things for me.

Then, one day, I realized I was really sad and there was a deep loneliness. I grabbed my iPad, opened GoodNotes, and jotted down how I felt. When I was done, I had another realization – journaling was oddly unbelievably therapeutic.

I bought a journal, some pens, and started writing. I write when I feel like it. I write what I feel like. There’s no more pressure that I force upon myself. Sometimes I’ll recall my day. Sometimes I’ll cry my heart out. Sometimes I’ll put down my to-do list.

dotted journal

Rating: 5 out of 5.

made from recycled materials

gel pens

Rating: 5 out of 5.

swear by these! have them in every color!

A journal is such an easy way to practice mindfulness. It’s readily available to everyone. You don’t even need a physical journal to start. For example, you’re probably reading this on your phone or laptop. You can start a digital journal in the Notes app or in a Word document/Google Doc.

Don’t feel constrained to make it perfect. Just write what you feel, when you feel.

I’ve been journaling for past near six months and I’ve never been happier. It has without a doubt helped my emotional wellbeing and I’m now able to recognize my emotions and feel more comfortable exploring them.

I can’t suggest journaling enough.

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All in all, mindfulness in general is something I highly suggest for everyone to take up. It doesn’t have to be everyday – although it is easy to incorporate each bit daily. You don’t have to splurge – it’s easy to make use of what you have.

Simply take a moment and be in the present. Reflect. Rest. Steady your breath.

Practice mindfulness for you.

Bring out the peace that’s already within you.

I’m so glad to have been able to talk about this with you all today. Let me know what you think and tell me how you practice mindfulness, below.

Until next time.

hi, i’m jade madison!

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