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Mindfulness.  A word used and heard often, but do we truly know the meaning of this deep and intriguing word?  Do we know how we can benefit from using this tool?

Mindfulness is the idea of learning how to be fully present and engaged in the moment, aware of your feelings and thoughts, free from judgement and distraction.  

Mindfulness is being kind to yourself and taking time out to focus on your mental wellbeing by using exercises and meditations to calm the body, mind and soul.

Below are some practices to help you on your way to creating a healthy and content mind! 

Leanne and Fitness Tips Say:

Stop Negative Self-Talk

We have all had moments in our lives, some more than others, when that negative voice in our head starts talking too loudly and we are left feeling deflated about our body image, our work environment or our personality.  This is described by psychologists as self-talk.  When this happens, it can affect our self-esteem and in turn, our productivity.  

Even the most successful or happiest of people, experience some form of negative self-talk in their life.  These thoughts are not really the issue though – it is the weight that we give them and how we choose to engage with them.

It is so important when you hear these negative thoughts that you give yourself some loving kindness.  

Meditation is a wonderful place to start and there are so many meditations online to suit you and your lifestyle.  While meditation does not silence the talk in our minds, it will help to find a new perspective 

How Do You Develop Self-Discipline?

Self-discipline is often thought of as a fight.  A fight against those food cravings, a fight against our urge to smoke, or drink.  A battle with our emotions.  This all depends on how we frame our willpower.  Self-discipline is a learned discipline and one that can be developed over time with practice and determination.  Over time, it will become natural and effortless, whether applied to participation or avoidance.  

A good way to improve self-discipline is to stop giving our thoughts and emotions such power.  This doesn’t mean to give into that craving for chocolate, or giving up on something challenging in our lives.

 It means that we can learn to find peace with the impulses and thoughts that get in the way of who we want to be or where we want to go!  

Again, meditation is an awesome tool as it is a self-discipline in itself.  With meditation, we learn to move through such thinking.  Showing up to sit with our mind and thoughts is what strengthens this discipline and our sense of commitment.  Acknowledge your thoughts as they arise, but give them no power.  Instead, provide space to practice willpower, unhindered by resistance or temptation.  

Learn The Art of Gratitude

The fact of the matter is, when we feel happy, we feel more calm and less reactive.  Gratitude is the key to such a content space.  All of us have the power and ability to step into this space whenever we wish, and the more that we find ourselves there, the more familiar this feeling becomes and the more we are likely to experience it.  

It is all too easy to get caught up in the mundane, everyday inconveniences of life.  The boring commute to work, the takeaway order that is missing some chips, the frustrating email from a work colleague.  

The mind seems to have no problem focussing on these negative thoughts, but spends little to no time appreciating the things that should be focussed on and appreciated, however big or small.  We need to train in the art of appreciation, and although not always easy, when we practice being grateful we find that there is a humility attached to this feeling.  An awareness that we are part of something bigger than just our own lives.  

So, here is a start to showing gratitude; Focus on others!  It’s all too easy to get caught up in the pressures and stresses of our own daily lives.  By shifting our energy onto others and showing empathy, while focussing on their happiness, we give ourselves permission to relax and enjoy the moment we are in right now!  

While meditating, ask yourself… ‘Who do I appreciate in my life?’ Then observe the thoughts and feelings that arise and let gratitude wash over you.

Learning mindfulness can change your whole way of thinking and offers a life free of stress and filled with happiness and contentment!

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