5 Lessons I Learned From Traveling Solo – Lesson 4: How to be Present (Mindful)

Traveling solo has taught me how to be more present (mindful).  When you don’t have the crutch of having another person with you, you’re naturally more focused on everything around you. When I visited Barcelona solo, I walked the city aimlessly…turning down whichever street seemed interesting. I got so lost in the sights and sounds of the city that I didn’t have a care in the world. I didn’t have an itinerary and was able to just explore. I chatted with strangers, tried new foods, bought a few local items and ended up walking 11 miles my first day. Safe to say, I slept VERY well that first night. 😴mindfulness

 When you’re in a mindful state, you’re more relaxed because you’re not worried about anything other than what’s in front of you. Most of our stress and anxiety stems from the fact that we’re constantly worried about the past (something we can’t change – it’s done. Let it go!) or we’re worried about what may or may not happen in the future (a time that hasn’t even arrived yet, and again…no control.) We’re moving through this world mindlessly and completely disconnected from our bodies at times. Try to live more in the present and see how much your stress is reduced. If you catch your mind wandering to other things, ask yourself: “Is my mind where my body is?”

Now, I try to incorporate mindful moments into my daily routine, which has resulted in less stress and anxiety for me, which is always a win!

Here are 5 easy ways you can start practicing mindfulness today:

  1. Download the Headspace app (or find any guided meditation that works for you – there are plenty on Youtube) and start incorporating 10 minutes of guided meditation to start your day. Start your day with a moment of peace, instead of the normal morning chaos. By starting your day in a great headspace, you’re in the right mindset to focus on achieving your goals and being the best version of yourself each day.
  2. Get into yoga, if you haven’t already. Yoga brings your mind, body, and soul into perfect harmony. If you aren’t present, you’ll fall out of a pose…BEEN THERE! 😂 Starting my practice in February has been life-changing. I don’t believe I’d even be in the headspace to start this blog without yoga. I have a phenomenal and encouraging teacher who continues to push me to do things I never thought my body was capable of doing. Thanks, Judith. 🤗
  3. Take a walk and leave your phone at home. Pay attention to the colors and smells around you, feel the wind blow across your body, listen to the chirping of the birds and buzzing of insects, and let your mind rest from the thousands of thoughts that cross it each day.  You’ll be amazed by what you’ll notice in your everyday surroundings that you never paid attention to before.
  4. When you’re in the shower, fully immerse yourself in the experience. Feel the heat of the water against your skin, breathe in the smell of your soap/body wash. If you catch your mind wandering to the mountain of things you need to do, gently bring your attention back to the water on your skin. Enjoy the experience of cleansing your body.
  5. When you’re eating your next meal, put the distractions away. Turn off the tv and put your phone out of reach. Focus on the experience of eating your food. Allow yourself to *really* taste all of the flavors. Feel the texture of your food against your tongue. Truly allow yourself to enjoy the blessing that is having a meal. There are so many people in this world who go hungry each day. Yet, most of us just rush through our meals mindlessly, not appreciating (or tasting) the blessing of having a  meal.

Click here for some additional resources on the benefits of mindfulness and meditation.

What are some ways you’re going to start being more mindful today? Did this resonate with you and make you more aware of how mindless you may be living? Drop a note in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!

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