Four tips for living more mindfully
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, especially this time of year. We invite you to pause, and take a moment to look at the world and really see it. Focus on the present and live in that moment — tune in, calmly, and with awareness of your surroundings and sensations. Here are four tips based on content from Access to Health, 16e that are designed to help you live a more mindful life.
1: Live more compassionately
- Be there. When others are down, be kind and offer support. Compassion is so much more than helping others through grief or pain — it’s the good and bad.
- See the good in others. Listen to your inner critiques of others, their appearance, or actions, and block the negative and focus on the positive.
- See the good in you. Practice self-compassion (cut yourself some slack).
- Remember that compassion is a skill. You can consciously foster your capacity for compassion for others and yourself.
2: Live with purpose/meaning
- Carve out “me” time. Start with 30 minutes of quiet time per day. Disconnect from media intrusions, meditate, play calming music, walk in nature, listen to the silence, and block any outside “chatter” in your life.
- Think about what’s important to you, and ask yourself, “What makes me happy?” Jot it down and ask yourself whether you did anything today that made you happy.
- Say “no” to things or events that are “downers” for you or those things you do out of guilt or a need to feel needed.
- Engage in activities (like volunteering) that help others and bring you satisfaction.
3: Live with gratitude
- Make a list of the things that you’re thankful for in life.
- Consider the “lessons” you’ve learned through pain, loss, adversity, or challenges. Think about how something that seemed like a bad thing in life may have actually shaped who you are today, and how you have moved ahead.
- Think about the people who are positive influences in your life and how you might “pay those actions forward”, and make a difference for others.
- When you wake up each day, try to say to yourself, ”Today will be a good day, because…”
4: Lean in, tune in
- Wake those sleeping senses. Hear more, see more, taste more, smell more. Slow down on your walks — hear the birds, smell the air. Take the time to savor your food.
- Do your part to reduce your environmental footprint — live simply, waste not, and walk the talk when it comes to planet survival.
It only takes minutes each day to live a more purposeful life. Use these helpful tips to make the most of your summer, and be ready to enter the next school year refreshed.
Learn how Access to Health, 16e can motivate your students to become actively engaged in their own health.
About the author:
Rebecca Donatelle has been a faculty member in the Department of Public Health, College of Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University for the last two decades. In that role, she has chaired the department and served as program coordinator for the Health Promotion and Health Behavior Program (bachelor’s degree, master of public health, and PhD degree programs). She has also served on over 50 national, state, regional, and university committees focused on improving student academic success and improving the public’s health. Throughout her career, her most important achievement has been teaching and mentoring thousands of undergraduate and graduate students.