Meditation & Gratitude for Mental Health

During the entire month of May, I paid close attention to the areas I felt my life and attitude were lacking. Practicing mindfulness and improving self-care were at the top of the list – creating the name Mindful May. This consisted of meditation, gratitude journaling, and recognizing the good in every day. I was struggling with my professional life and feeling very behind and unsure of everything in life. Journaling and meditation became an escape. In my self-care post, I talked about how important it is to recognize the things you’re thankful for each day. Each of these new habits allowed me to see that there are so many things to be thankful for and that life really is pretty great.

I’ve come a long way since May and I wanted to share with you the habit I’ve learned that helped the most. By recognizing the little things each day, the things that were getting to me most started seeming much more trivial.

Meditation

I downloaded the Mindfulness app on my iPhone and started meditating every single night. There is a preliminary period that lasts 5 days, allowing newbies to get in the habit of creating an atmosphere and full body vibe conducive to meditation. Spending time on the computer every day and looking down at our phones all the time, our shoulders naturally tense up and back muscles tighten. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much you stretch. Take the time every single day to work through the tense muscles.

I recommend the Mindfulness app or a different app called Mediation, and deep breathing exercises. Pay attention to the cues the speaker is giving and watch your breathing throughout each exercise. I usually stick with the 5 minute sessions but they go up to 30 minutes!

Consistently meditating and paying attention to simpler breathing exercises will make a huge difference in the way you think and the way your muscles feel. Take advantage of these free apps! You absolutely deserve 5 minutes to focus on your self every single day.

Once you’re used to the exercises, create your own mediation practices. Spend 5 minutes each day journaling your thoughts and feelings about how you’re feeling during these mindful moments. Grab one of my favorite kate spade journals and get to work!

 

Gratitude

In your twenties, it’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle of life. Who’s getting married next? My friends are starting to have kids? When did I get old? Why am I so behind in life? We’re so wound up with the day-to-day things in life – work, family, friends, money – it’s hard to see what’s most important.

A question that comes up every single day: “What on earth am I doing with my life?”

When I finally slow down my mind and realize the good stuff, life gets so much better. The good stuff isn’t always the big stuff. The good stuff could be making it to work on time even though you got stuck in traffic. It could be your favorite sports team winning the homecoming game. Or even falling asleep before 11 one night! Appreciating the little things help us realize how blessed we truly are. Making an effort to acknowledge the little things helps make the big things seem less daunting. In addition, it helps to keep little things from really getting to you.

I recently ordered a Gratitude journal from May Designs in an effort to keep track of the little things. Each day, this journal allows me to jot down three things I’m thankful for. On the other side of the page, there’s space to write down priorities and goals for the day. May Designs has some of the cutest and most durable notebooks, planners, and journals. They’ve been my go to notebook for years now. If you head over to my Instagram, I’m running a special giveaway for the next two weeks! You can find the post and all the info at Life With Elisabeth Instagram.

Your Turn!

Have you implemented either of these practices in your life? If not, try it for a week. And please, let me know if it helps you!

What other things do you do to reset yourself and help you see how wonderful life is in every aspect? I’m always looking for other options to try and to recommend, so please, share with me!

 

 

A New Spin on Things

As part of refocusing Life With Elisabeth toward health and wellness, I want to include more posts about mental and emotional health instead of just eating well and exercising. From here on out, I will be sharing tips on how to gain mental clarity, work out routines, and recipes for healthy living. If you have anything in particular you’d like to see on Life With Elisabeth, please share with me! I want to know what you want so I can address things that will ultimately help you – the reason I’m writing in the first place!

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