June Happiness Project

I’m a little late getting started on June’s happiness project, which is ironic because the focus this month is on Mindfulness. This month I want to focus on the present and being aware and enjoying the moment. When I worked in the mental health field, I led a therapy group, in which we focused whole units on the benefits on mindfulness. So it’s time to practice what I preached and focus on the here and now.

I want to focus on mindfulness not just in a spiritual sense, but also in a sense of self-awareness and practicality.  I have a few ways in which I plan to practice mindfulness daily. The first is mindfully eating; not just mindlessly stuffing my face with whatever happens to be left-over my my kids plates. Oftentimes, I find that just by picking food off the kiddos plates I can pretty quickly wreck any progress I have made toward my fitness goals. I plan on using the My Fitness Pal app as a way to mindfully eat. In the past whenever I have used this app it helps create a sense of accountability, and now will help me be cognizant of what I am putting in my body.

Next, I want to focus on Being Present, AKA put the phone away. My intention is to put my phone down, and just enjoy being in the moment. As a parent, we hear a lot about “screen time” and limiting screen time for our children; Yet, we never really focus on how much we utilize technology ourselves. This week, Apple even came out with software updates in its new operating system, which helps decrease the amount of time people use its products. A company who makes its money off of the utilization of its products, has created a Digital Wellness program in order to help people set their phones down; maybe it’s time we do just that.

The third way to stay mindful this month is through meditation. In the past I have used a great app, which was recommended by Tim Ferris in a number of his podcasts and interviews. I have used Headspace in the past,  and really enjoyed the initial benefits of quick 10 minute meditations, so my plan is to utilize this app again daily.

The final way to practice mindfulness is through my Gratitude Journal. I use the The Five Minute Journal and each morning and evening I get a reminder, to write down what I am grateful for, and what made that day great. I need to not just use the reminder as a way to be conscious of being mindful, but truly doing each step.

On a final note, I do see the paradox in using technology to get away from using technology to be mindful and fully enjoying the present. It’s interesting to me, that in each of these steps, ‘there’s an app for that.’ However, my hope is that by utilizing technology in a mindful way, I will actually decrease my overall use of technology and help me focus on what is happening right in front of me.

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