Calm Book by Michael Acton Smith and the Calm App
Every morning (okay, most mornings), I utilize the the Calm apps daily meditation. Its a 10 minute guided meditation that focuses on one particular themelike gratitude or perfectionism. Taking just 10 minutes every morning to focus internally and guide my thoughts has helped me start my days on the right foot. Sometimes, if Im feeling a bit moody in the middle of the day, Ill turn to the 10 minute guided meditation to bring me back to a more centered feeling.
Not only have I found the Calm app to be an amazing outlet, but there is also a great book (that you can get in our new Limited Edition: How to Hygge box) that's filled with quotes and activities to help you reflect.
One of my favorite quotes that continues to inspire me is Robert Holden's, The real gift of gratitude is the more grateful you are, the more present you become. I have adapted this mantra into my daily life by starting each day with a "gratitude walk," or when I was commuting, "gratitude talk." Essentially, I start saying out loud (or in my head) things for which Im grateful. For example, I might say something like "I am grateful for the opportunity to learn something new at work today" or even, "I am grateful for this delicious iced coffee that I get to drink on the way." Thinking of the things Im grateful for puts me in the present moment and opens my eyes to everything positive around me.
You dont have to be able to twist yourself into a pretzel in order to reap the benefits of yoga. When I started practicing yoga a few years ago, I was blown away by not only the physical challenge, but also the mental benefits it provided. I would leave yoga feeling clear-minded and refreshed. Ive also come to find that when Im really in the flow of it, I have these little epiphanies that I wasnt necessarily seeking. Rather than sitting there racking my brain on, "What do I do?" it feels like the answer just comes to me.
Ive been a long time believer in the power of journaling. Just like a yoga session, spending time journaling brings me clarity. If you feel a little stuck, spend some time writing down your thoughtsyou may find that they begin to pour out of you quite easily. Not to mention, its an amazing way to spend some time away from all our technology. Light a candle, get some tea, and whip out the journal. Hello, time to yourself!
This one might sound a bit obvious because, well, youre obviously breathing right now, but conscious breathing is an extremely valuable tool to utilize when you want to calm yourself. Sometimes when Im doing something that requires all of my attention, I realize that I tense up and kind of hold my breath. The second I catch myself doing this I try to just stop and take a breath. In effect, youre releasing all the pent-up and potentially negative energy. I also take time to consciously focus on my breath when I need to find a bit of calm away from anxiety or fears. Once you start focusing on your breath, youll start finding yourself more in the moment.