Even if we are well into the new year I am still in the mood for resolutions and good intentions and that’s why today I want to start a series in 10 episodes on how to drastically improve your wellbeing in 2019.
After 30 days of settling to greet the holidays, store the Christmas tree and recover from food coma, what’s a better time than February the 1st to begin putting into practice 10 new habits that will drastically improve, in the coming months, your level of physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.
To help with that, every Monday and Friday for the next 5 weeks you will find here 1 new challenge: 10 habits with practical suggestions, based on my personal experience that have worked for me and that I am willing to share in order to inspire you to look into them with your own study and research and to try something new and challenging.
1) MENTAL PRESENCE
Using my time, energy and resources in mastering the art of Mindfulness has certainly been one of the most useful and impactful tool on my life in recent years so it seems just right to start here.
“Through the present moment you have access to the power of life itself” says Eckhart Tolle, bestseller author and one of the best known spiritual teacher of our time but to bring attention in a non-judgmental way towards the present moment is also the foundation of Mindfulness, a discipline that for decades has brought its benefits to many aspects of human well-being, from the anxious states of mind to the inflammatory states of the body.
Whatever your current level of awareness, going deep on this theme will increase for sure the quality of your life and your relationships. My advice is to start by reading the books ‘The power of now‘ ( you can find it here ) and ‘A new earth’ ( you can find it here ) by Tolle and then practice setting yourself every day to pay attention to one little action of your routine. You can choose to focus on you washing your hands or your teeth or eating an apple; you will devote all your attention to what you are doing, focusing on every little thing. You will notice the color and texture of the soap, the scent that flows as you rub your hands, the sound of the water and so on and you will work hard to catch every sensation and every nuance. It might be useful to observe the nature, with its stilness ad perfection, or you can stalk your pet as I often do with my cat ( cats are true masters of stilness and mental presence ). You can also help yourself with apps like Mindfulness Bell, thanks to which you can hear the ring of a bell at preset times, which has the effect of bringing you back to the present moment, just like an alarm clock. I usually use an interval of 5 minutes and I guarantee you that, especially at the beginning of my practice, this time frame was enough to make me completely lose touch with the now.
You will soon realize how difficult it is to be present without losing your thoughts in a thousand streams and you will realize how many times life that happens right now, in the present, pass unnoticed under your eyes while you are dreaming over the past or you are projected, often with angst, towards the future. With practice you can get to be present in every moment of your life, allowing incursions to the past and the future only for the strict necessity (to make programs, remember a date or an event) and then come back to the present. An ambitious project, but indispensable since “now is all we have”.
And what about you? Do you just be and enjoy being? What are the habits that have improved the most your well-being?