How Mindfulness Can Improve Your Life

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Mindfulness is something that has tripped me up in the past. However, I’ve found that as I pay attention to what I’m actually doing, I make better decisions.

You might be surprised at how you can improve various areas of your life when you practice greater mindfulness:

Nutrition

One of the biggest changes I noticed in my life came after I began paying better attention to what I was eating. It’s easy to mindlessly snack on junk food all day. I started keeping track of what I was eating, and paying attention to its nutritional content, as well as how it was produced.

The result has been that I eat less processed foods, and I eat healthier. My husband has started paying attention, too, and that has made the whole journey much easier, since we are doing it together. We’ve reduced the amount of red meat that we eat, increased the natural produce we enjoy, and started paying attention to our choices when we eat out.

Now, we feel better in general, and have more energy. Plus, we’re becoming healthier in body and mind. I’ve been surprised at how increasing my attention to nutrition has actually made me more productive, and helped me think clearer.

Stress Relief

Mindfulness can also help you reduce the amount of stress you feel. Studies indicate that activities generally associated with mindfulness, like meditating, can help you reduce stress and anxiety.

I’ve found, too, that being aware of when I’m starting to become overly stressed helps a lot when it comes to bringing down the anxiety. Part of realizing that you have a problem is recognizing it. When I take the time to check in with my emotions and my physical state throughout the day, I find that I can better pinpoint items that are causing me stress before they become too serious.

Mindfulness has helped me get a better handle on my emotions and avoid lashing out at my son and my husband — something that has helped improve my personal relationships and make my home life more enjoyable. Add more mindfulness to your day — it only take a few seconds or minutes at a time — and you can increase your self-awareness and make better decisions that reduce your stress.

Finances

When you are mindful of what is happening with your money, you are far more likely to make decisions that matter to you. Paying attention to where the money comes from, as well as where it is going, can help you keep tabs on the situation, and ensure that you only spend money on items that are important to you.

However, it’s about more than just watching where the money comes from, and seeing where it goes. You also need to have a good idea of why you make the financial decisions that you do. Consider your financial priorities, and really dive into the reasons behind your purchases.

Understanding yourself, and why you make certain decisions, is a good first step toward changing your financial behaviors. If you aren’t happy with your financial situation, chances are that you need to make some changes. When you scrutinize your purchases, and figure out why you make the choices that you do, you are more likely to identify problem areas and make appropriate changes.

For instance, if you realize that you only want a particular item because it will make you look cool in front of the neighbors, it’s easier to decide not to make the purchase after all. Think about the reasons you are buying something — do you want to keep up with your brother-in-law, are you sad and trying shopping therapy, or do you really need it? A little more mindfulness can help you change your habits, and improve your finances.

This can even help as you take steps to improve your career. By paying attention to improving yourself, you can qualify for promotions and raises, and possibly improve your financial situation further.

Add self-awareness to your life, and you will be surprised at how things improve, and how you start making decisions that you are more satisfied with.

Have you tried increasing your mindfulness? What areas do you most pay attention to in your life?

About Miranda (Staff Writer)

Miranda is a freelance writer and professional blogger specializing in business, personal finance, and investing. She is a contributor for several personal finance web sites, and her work has been mentioned in, and linked to from, several online and offline publications. Miranda also has her own personal finance blog: Planting Money Seeds.

Comments

How Mindfulness Can Improve Your Life — 16 Comments

    • Exercising really is a great stress reliever! And I agree about the nutrition. I’m always amazed when I’ve been eating right for a long time, and then eat a burger, how awful I feel.

  1. Miranda!!! A great post. We have increased our mindfulness and it spawned questions about everything we were doing. We did all the things you suggest above, and in addition addressed fitness and fun. Your subtitles look much like the chapters of our book! Pretty groovy!

    Have a fun day, Miranda!!

  2. Maybe because I am detail oriented, I never thought much about this. My wife and I only keep good foods in the house and frequent restaurants that provide good healthy food at a reasonable price. I started running, bicycling and exercising 35+ years ago to reduce stress in my life. I was also a planner and I keep my finances in good shape.

    • I’ve seen you around the blogosphere, and I know how “together” you are with everything. It’s awesome that you have a great life, and you’ve been able to build the life you want. 🙂

  3. I’m on and off about it -some days I’m great. Some days – especially when I’m tired – not so much. The out comes the junk food and the laziness..

  4. Great advice. I think I’ve definitely increased my mindfulness, especially when it comes to spending. I’m not so quick to say yes to plans or purchases without thinking things through…knowing what purchases I may have upcoming in my month. I also meditate almost daily! That has improved a lot of things in my life!

  5. WOW, what can I say about mindfulness except that it’s the single most important part of my everyday life. Without being mindful nothing would get accomplished, goals would not be recognized nor achieved. I think if more people took a step back and soaked up a bit of mindfulness their world would paint a brighter picture. Great post

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