What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of being fully engaged in the present moment. An important component of that is openness; a whole body awareness that extends to our thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations that each moment brings out, without being attached to the outcome.
And how exactly does living mindfully cultivate inner peace and well-being? It’s that non-attachment part. Where the process is what’s important; the how of approaching the inevitable change that comes with aging. And when we are so fully engaged in the process, it becomes about finding balance rather than perfection, and ultimately, therefore, an inner peace knowing we did the best we could with what we had.
Practical Tips & Strategies for Cultivating Inner Peace and Wellbeing
1. Let Go of Expectations To Embrace Change
Let go of everything you expected life to be. So much easier said than done, right? Start small: Forget setting unrealistic exercise goals or put out of your mind what others may think and just do you. By simply acting and going with the flow of what is happening instead of what you expected to happen, you begin to adapt easier, quicker, and accept what is.
2. A Positive Attitude Through Grace & Gratitude
Self-compassion & self-care are paramount to a positive attitude. Having a little grace with yourself as you flow through changes (and let go of those expectations!) helps you to accept the ups and downs for what they are. One of the biggest steps towards a positive attitude we can take is practicing daily gratitude. Cultivating a healthy mindset has numerous health benefits beyond helping one see that there is something to be grateful for in every moment, even if it’s not how we pictured it to be—often especially if it’s not how we pictured it going.
Being mindful of eating nourishing foods, and engaging in activities (see the next point!), and getting enough sleep is paramount to healthy living, and fostering the patience required to approach situations with openness. It also helps to surround yourself with positive influences!
3. Be Active and Engaged
From stretching to hiking, yoga to swimming, or daily walks around the block, infusing movement into your daily routine benefits your mind, body, and spirit. Exercising boosts energy to be more active and the mind sharper to be more engaged with the moment.
Engaging in lifelong learning: essential for maintaining a sharp mind and a sense of purpose” Creative pursuits often help us discover new perspectives, foster community, and celebrate your individuality. Verve Senior Living ensures all of our Life Enrichment programming presents opportunities for our residents to meaningfully engage in their community with purpose.
4. Nurture Your Social Connections
Creating a supportive environment through social engagement as well as your immediate, physical environment (check out our tips for decluttering your home, here!) is also important to mindful aging. We touched on this earlier, but surrounding yourself with positive, strong social connections is beneficial to your mental and emotional well-being.
And don’t be afraid to embrace technology for the valuable tool it can be to keep you connected to friends, family, and informed about your community. But engage wisely: See our tips for tech safety here.
5. Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
Spend just five minutes a day practicing mindfulness directly. This can be through meditation, breathing exercises, journaling, or simply observing your surroundings for a moment through the five senses. Journaling is an especially powerful tool to explore perspectives on situations, intrinsically unlocking our emotions through emotional catharsis.
All of these tips and strategies will help you build the resilience required to navigate life’s transitions, as well as combat stress, anxiety, and even illness. Interested in learning more? Indigo has a wide variety of books on mindfulness and meditation to help you cultivate inner peace and well-being.