It’s easy to go through life on autopilot, never stopping to notice or appreciate the present moment. If left unchecked, we’d spend every minute ruminating on the past or worrying about the future, rather than being in the here and now.
This inability to be present can hold us back. It traps us in a cycle of worry, stress, and anxiety. Today, I want to share something life-changing that helped me combat this cycle: mindfulness.
What is mindfulness?
In a nutshell, mindfulness is a technique that involves grounding yourself in the present moment. It’s staying curious about your thoughts, emotions, or surroundings, and accepting the current moment for what it is. I find it’s an incredibly powerful tool for improving your mental wellbeing. There’s a wealth of research linking mindfulness to reduced stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as evidence it can improve your physical health.
Becoming more present can make you more self-aware and calm. By taking a step back and observing how we feel, we can better understand why we feel and act the way we do. And by doing this without judgment, we can separate ourselves from fleeting emotions and thoughts, taking back control and eventually letting them go altogether.
Simple daily habits
Living a life in the present isn’t easy, especially when we practically condition ourselves to worry about our past and future. But mindfulness doesn’t have to be complicated or intense. It can start with some super simple habits.
Throughout the day, practice tuning into the present. Think of it like pressing the mute button on your life. Put down all the stress and anxiety you’re carrying for a minute or two. Some of my favorite ways to practice daily mindfulness are:
- Take 5 deep belly breaths when you first wake up. Notice any feelings of excitement or anxiety for the day ahead. This isn’t limited to the morning either—you can press pause and take deep breaths whenever you feel like life is getting to be a bit too much.
- Brush your teeth with intention. Rather than jumping ahead to thinking about your first meeting of the day or where you’re going to pick up your daily coffee, focus on the action and sensations of brushing your teeth.
- Do a five-sense exercise while you’re on your morning commute or walking in your local park. Think about what you can see, smell, hear, touch, and taste. Focus on the birds singing in the trees or the feel of the grass under your feet.
Another pocket of time that’s perfect for mindfulness is your skincare routine. Like brushing your teeth, you already set aside this time every day. So why not turn it into an act of self-care? Plus, by slowing down the process, you’ll also maximize the effects of your products and encourage brighter, clearer skin!
My daily skincare ritual is the place where I always take a moment to relax and be mindful. I find it’s such a perfect way to start the day with intention and end the day with reflection. Here’s what a mindful skincare routine might look like to you:
1. Cleanse away any negativity. While you’re massaging your VTM Cream-to-Foam Cleanser into your face and neck, set positive intentions for the day ahead or, at night time, imagine you’re washing away any stress.
2. Massage around your eyes. As you gently work in my favorite eye cream—Phormula 3-10 Eye Intensive—to minimize fine lines and wrinkles, take a moment to practice gratitude for your day. What are you most thankful for?
3. Take a moment to relax. As you use your serums of choice, close your eyes and allow the aromas and essential oils to create a deeper sense of calm and relaxation. Pay attention to the fragrance you smell and the feel on your skin. Personally, I love pausing to appreciate the Madonna Lily found in VTM Micro-Essence.
4. Encourage glowing, happy skin. Take a few minutes to work a moisturizer into your face and neck. I’m currently using the Phormula 3-10 Skin Repair, which is like velvet on the skin. Appreciate the cold sensation and say any positive affirmations or intentions to get you ready for work or sleep.
I know how difficult it can be to switch off the noise and stay truly present. But the more you complete these little habits, the easier it will be to detach from the negative thoughts and patterns that hold you back.