How to Manifest Mindfulness with Eco Consciousness

Mindfulness is a topic that has been rising in popularity over the last few years.

Want to skip ahead?

1. What Is Mindfulness +
How Can It Help Me
2. Simple Mindful Activities
You Can Perform Outdoors
3. Thanking Nature For All
Its Benefits

4. Improving Our Level Of
Consciousness

5. Simple Resources To Get
Started

With more open talk about mental health, being more mindful is something everyone is wanting to know more about.

Studies have shown benefits against a wide range of ailments, both physical and mental.

These include irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, psoriasis, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

So how can you manifest mindfulness and how can it benefit you?


This article is in collaboration with Marta and Kelli of smplysustainable.com. To read more, please click here.


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The ultimate guide to mindfulness in the outdoors and spending time in nature. Learn how to thank the environment with these eco consciousness tips.

What is Mindfulness and How Can it Help Me?

Headspace defines mindfulness as, ‘the quality of being present and fully engaged with whatever we’re doing at the moment — free from distraction or judgment, and aware of our thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them’.

It can all seem quite complex at first, but it is actually the simplest practice you can do.

It only requires as much time as you can give (even a couple of minutes a day is productive), and the only tool you need is your mind.

In simple terms, I’d describe my mindful activities as just being aware of everything around me. Just taking the time to move slowly, if at all, and concentrate on my breathing and how I feel.

It is really that straight-forward and you can’t do it wrong!

All practice is progress, and everything can be done at your own pace. This is your special time.

So, a lot of you might be thinking, what’s the point?

Well, in short, it can make you a lot happier.

According to Headspace, people who incorporate mindfulness into their lives ‘often report heightened levels of happiness, patience, acceptance, and compassion, as well as lower levels of stress, frustration, and sadness’.

Who wouldn’t want all that?

Of course everybody is different, but the evidence to support the benefits of mindfulness are immense.

One study conducted by Northeastern University, found that 10 days of mindful activity increased positivity and well-being.



Simple Mindful Activities You Can Perform Outdoors

Alongside mindfulness, spending time outdoors in nature is super beneficial to your health, mental and physical.

Being outside can boost your energy, immune system and your concentration.

Not to mention, spending time out in the open can actually make you a better person!

According to psychologists, exposure to nature can help you shrug off societal pressures, allowing you to remember and value more important things like relationships, sharing, and community. 

So, what better way to do a spot of self-improvement and look after yourself, than combining the two? Mindfulness and nature.

Below, I have rounded-up the best mindful activities you can do whilst breathing in some fresh air.

Go for a walk

This is one of the simplest tasks you can do to enhance your ability to be mindful and improve your health.

Taking some time out of your day to go for a little stroll around your neighbourhood or a long hike out in the country, is all great practice.

Spend your time really taking in everything around you.

Look around you. What can you see? What can you smell?

These are great initiators to evoke mindfulness.

Practice some yoga

Now this one isn’t for everybody. If you have never practiced yoga before it might be out of your comfort zone to go out and do it in public.

However, you can begin practice at home, in your back garden is preferable.

The idea of yoga can be a bit daunting at first. I know it definitely was for me.

But you can do it, I recommend watching some beginners’ tutorials on YouTube. They really helped me.

Just remember, it doesn’t matter if you can’t do the poses correctly or it’s not comfortable for you.

Go at your own pace. The key isn’t in the positions, but in your slow movement and breathing.

Breathing in to the poses is vital for yoga.

So roll out your mat on the fresh grass and get practicing!

Meditate

Similarly to yoga, meditation is a whole new experience for some.

Meditation is the purest form of mindfulness there is. All the things we have previously discussed about mindfulness  all comes into meditation.

Find a quiet spot outdoors where you can comfortably sit and stay undistracted.

It is inevitable that you will become distracted at some point, whether you get caught up in your own thoughts or a loud car goes zooming past.

Do not let this trouble you. Just lovingly bring yourself back to your breathing and you will be in your happy place again before you know it.

Concentrate on your breathing

There are loads of great breathing techniques that can enhance your state of calmness and tranquillity.

Relieving yourself from stress and anxiety, something as simple as breathing had to be on the list.

Firstly, make yourself comfortable outside. Preferably, in a seated position.

I recommend closing your eyes to ensure complete focus on your breathing.

Next, establish where in your body you are breathing from.

Can you feel the expansion in your lungs, diaphragm or stomach?

Deep and slow breathing often feels like it is coming from your stomach, and this is the area I like to concentrate on.

You can simply breathe in and out slowly, with a focus on the area of rising and falling.

Or you can opt for a different breathing technique.

My favourite is the triangle method.

Imagine a triangle in your mind, and use the sides of this shape to guide your breathing.

Breathe in for 3 seconds, hold for 3 seconds, then release your breathe for another 3 seconds.

Repeat these steps over and over for a relaxing way to destress and become more mindful.

Focus on your five senses

And finally, probably the most important activity you can do…focus on your senses.

Spending time outdoors is amazing in many ways, but the vast array of colours, smells and sounds it offers has to be used to your advantage.

Using your senses to become more aware of your surroundings and the environment, is one of the most mindful things you can do, and here’s how.

  • SIGHT – look around you, what can you see? Are there any people about or wildlife? Are your surroundings bright and colourful? Spend time counting all the things you can see that interest you.
  • HEARING – dial into your hearing and listen out, what can you hear? Are there birds singing? Or cars driving past? Perhaps you are near a running stream? Try to count how many different sounds you can hear.
  • SMELL – now concentrate on your nose, what can you smell? This one may not be as obvious as some of your other senses, but I assure you that there are smells all around. Can you smell freshly cut grass? Or has it been raining?
  • TASTE – next focus on your mouth and tongue, what can you taste? Have you still got the taste of the last thing you ate? Or are you sipping a lovely warm drink? Try to describe what you can taste in a few words.
  • TOUCH – lastly think about what you are touching, what can you feel? Is the warmth of the sun casting on your face? Or is there a breeze brushing past your skin? Think about how your body is making contact with the ground, are you sat down or stood up?

Follow this link to learn how to repay nature for all its mindfulness gifts. With tips on being mindful outdoors and sustainability.

Thanking Nature for All Its Benefits

The way nature can enhance your mindfulness practice is second to none.

So how can we repay this amazing force for all its benefits and gifts?

For a start, we can be more conscious of our surroundings, the environment.

How is our lifestyle negatively impacting the Earth we live on?

As the dominant species of our planet, it is important to do all we can to look after our environment.

This is where sustainability comes in.

Head on over to Simplifying Sustainability to read all about how we can work together to help our planet thrive and attempt to undo all the trauma we have caused our environment so far.



Improving Our Level of Consciousness

How is our lifestyle negatively impacting the Earth we live on? As the dominant species of our planet, it is important to do all we can to look after our environment.

This is where sustainability comes in. For more information, see smplysustainable.com.

Human activity has resulted in a sustained negative impact on the environment.

Indeed, some scientists have pointed out that we are currently living in the Anthropocene, a “unit of geologic time, used to describe the most recent period in Earth’s history when human activity started to have a significant impact on the planet’s climate and ecosystems” (National Geographic Society, 2019).

Outcomes from fluctuating climate patterns are uncertain, as “the scientific community doesn’t agree about the depth of climate change impacts on the planet” (Lemkow, 2020).

However, it is our responsibility to be aware of our own actions and their intended consequences.

“The challenge remains in opening up people’s imagination to that possibility that it can be done differently”

Katherine Trebeck

Follow this article to learn how nature gives you love and encourages mindfulness, and how you can love nature back.

Simple Resources to Get Started

To unlock change, education is the first necessary step. Following this, an educational guide of resources to understand our impact on the environment has been developed.

Find the latest tools and resources to be more aware of what a conscious lifestyle is:

Books

Podcasts + Videos

Websites


This article is in collaboration with Marta and Kelli of smplysustainable.com. To read more, please click here.

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Starting a Mindful Morning Routine

It’s Friday again and I’ve managed to pull another blog post out the bag! That’s going on my list of achievements.

So today, I wanted to outline the new practices I have started using as part as my morning routine, to encourage mindfulness. This basic schedule begins when I wake up in the morning to about midday.

Please bare in mind that I am not a morning person and I don’t start most days until 10am. So please, if you are a morning person or have to get up at an earlier time, just move the schedule forward by how many hours suits you.

Let’s get started!


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9.00 My lovely, soft morning alarm wakes me up.

I can’t get out of bed straight away, but I take my eye mask off, sit up a little and take some big sips of water.

This is important, you should start everyday by drinking water. It helps to kickstart your metabolism and gets your body ready for the day ahead. I can’t recommend this enough.

9.15 By this time, I have finally dragged myself out of bed and made my way downstairs.

Now, I know everyone’s morning routine is slightly different, but I always start with breakfast.

If this seems absurd to you and completely out of the realms of your usual routine, don’t worry. I am going to recap all the activities for mindfulness in this article right at the very end. You can rearrange them into whichever order suits you best.

My usual breakfast consists of crunchy peanut butter on wholemeal toast. I’m not really sure if this is the best way to kickstart the day but it suits me fine.

Occasionally, I will swap this out for porridge or strawberry Alpro yoghurt.

9.30 By now it’s time for my morning coffee.

I’ve recently been indulging in a vegan mocha creation of mine. But I do like to mix it up and have different hot drinks.

I spend this time to be more mindful and aware of all my senses. Using a certain habit or activity to remind yourself to be more mindful is a great practice.

I will smell the coffee and try to describe the aroma to myself. I will feel the warmth of the mug on my hands.

Finally, I will taste the coffee on my lips and try to describe that best I can. Feeling the sensation of the warm drink going down my throat.

I also love to do this activity outside, weather permitting. It’s such an experience to sit in my garden with the dogs and observe everything around me.

Leaves falling off the trees. The plants swaying in the breeze. Birds singing their morning song.


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9.50 After 20 minutes or so, I head back upstairs and take any medications I need to at this point.

Every morning I take a vegan supplement that helps me to get all the vitamins and minerals I need for my diet.

I also take any prescription medication I’m on, making sure to wash down both with some cool water.

10.00 By 10am I am still in my pyjamas, but I find a quiet spot in the house (which can sometimes be difficult), find a cushion to sit on and cross my legs.

It’s time to meditate.

Now, it is down to personal preference what time of day meditation takes place.

Some people prefer to use it to wind-down in the evening. But I find, I am much less likely to do it if I leave it until last thing.

I am new to meditation myself, and I’m not going to pretend it is as easy as just sitting with your eyes closed. It isn’t.

I recommend finding some good guided meditations to begin with, I will list some I have found useful below.

Pick Up Limes

Yoga with Kassandra

10.15 As a beginner, I aim to do 15 minutes of meditation a day.

Sometimes I do more, sometimes I do less. Sometimes I skip it completely. But once I’ve come out of this meditative state, I actually start to get ready for the day.

To help incorporate podcasts into my day, I make sure to let them play during this time. I always start by listening to the daily podcast by Andy Puddicombe, Radio Headspace.

I love that he talks about relevant events to the day and his podcasts are only 4 minutes long. It is also nice to listen to an English podcaster, as the majority I listen to are Australian.

I am also working my way through Rachael Kable’s, The Mindful Kind. Listening to these inspiring podcasts about mindfulness and head space, is a really great and almost passive, mindfulness practice.

I’ve learnt so much through this part of my morning routine.

During my podcast listening time, I wash my face, brush my teeth, get dressed, brush my hair, make my bed and mist my indoor plants.

11.00 When all this is done, and I’ve completed the main bulk of my morning activities, I like to take a minute to sit down and review my self-care journal.

I started my journal just over a month ago, and it is in a similar style to a bullet journal. I use my iPad and download different journal templates, as a way to be more zero waste.

I have become so much more organised since using this journal and it has allowed me to clear my mind during meditation, as soon as I think of something I need to do, it is written in there.

I check my monthly planner and daily planner to see what needs doing today. I also write down what I ate for breakfast and tick off items from my habits list I have already completed.

11.15 I then respond to any emails than need replying to and use my phone for the first time of the day.

I check my social medias (usually Twitter and Instagram) also, and respond where necessary to notifications.

11.30 By this time, I have built up the energy to do my daily workout.

I head back downstairs and choose between the static bike or a YouTube core workout.

(I usually opt for a bit of cycling.)

I spend between half hour to an hour exercising, making sure to drink lots of water whilst doing so.

12.00 When I am all sweated out, I head upstairs and hop in the shower.

Just like with my coffee, I like to use the shower as a trigger to be mindful and acknowledge my senses.

I feel the water pouring down onto me, and its warmth. I feel the droplets bouncing off my skin and down into the plug hole.

I use my shampoo, conditioner and body soap all whilst thinking about their scents and feeling them foam up.

I also like to spend this time thinking about what my plans are for the rest of the day.


Want to know more about how to start incorporating mindfulness into your life? Well morning is the perfect time to start. Follow the link to my blog post and read all about simple tools and techniques you can use to be more mindful. . . . . . ignore- new newbie beginner blog blogger post article pinterest mindful mindfulness health mental meditate meditation breathing routine schedule timetable morning time of day wake up starting begin

And that is pretty much it.

I usually will listen to some more podcasts or an audiobook whilst I get dressed a second time, but that is the end of my morning routine.

To find out more about other mindful habits I have started to incorporate into my life, you can find my last blog post here.

I hope this schedule has been helpful to you in some way and that you take away at least one of the mindfulness practices I have mentioned in this post.

To recap, I have listed the main mindfulness techniques I have incorporated into my morning routine.

  • Eat breakfast or drink your morning hot drink mindfully – concentrate on your senses, think about all the different smells and tastes you’re experiencing.
  • Meditate – this can be a very short time for beginners (even 5 minutes is great), I recommend starting with guided meditations.
  • Review your planner or journal and plan out your day generously – you can remind yourself of some more mindfulness habits you would like to work on during the rest of the day.
  • Take a mindful shower or bath – focus on the scents of your soaps and shampoo, and the warmth of the water.

I hope you have found this week’s article of some help to you. I would love to hear what your mindful morning routine consists of too.

See you next Friday!



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Adopting Mindfulness From a Beginner’s POV

So I’m just going to jump straight in with this one. I’ve only just started this blog and I’m already slacking, from now on please expect a new article every Friday.

Since the start of the UK lockdown I’ve had this drive to better myself and my life.

But I had no idea how to do this.

It all started whilst watching some random YouTube videos that came up in my recommended, talking about self acceptance. I thought to myself, ‘is the universe trying to tell me something?’.

So I did some reading and researched in as many ways I could during a worldwide pandemic.

Becoming more mindful, was one of the ideas that kept popping up wherever I looked. So I dug a little further.

I listened to an audiobook on Audible called Habbits for Happiness by Dr Tim Sharp and this really brought everything together for me.

I couldn’t recommend this audiobook enough for beginning your own mindful and self-love journey.

Each chapter of this audiobook spoke about different habits you should incorporate into your life, in order to essentially become happier.

I followed all the steps exactly, one of my favourite tasks was setting my SMART goals, which I will discuss more in another post.

And this was my foundation for my mindfulness journey.

Unfortunately, it would be no help to share my personal goals, targets and habits as these will be different for everybody.

But here are some steps I can recommend that have helped me establish a more positive day-to-day life.


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The ultimate guide to mindfulness for beginner's. What it involved and how you can become a pro in no time.

Beginner Habits for a Better Life

Drink more water

This is a tip you see everywhere as we are told it can improve a lot of health problems but there is a reason for this, water is amazing!

I highly recommend working your way up to the recommended daily allowance of 2-3 litres. More on this and developing a water drinking habit in an upcoming post.

Give yourself some time for self-care

Always make time for you and doing things you enjoy. Whether that’s having a nice, relaxing bath or doing a spot of gardening.

Meditate

This one can seem very daunting at first as it did for me, but the sooner you start the better.

Meditation is something that you can take at your own pace, you choose how long you do it for and how often. I currently aim for 15 minutes every other morning.

Give yourself a stabile sleeping pattern

Although I don’t have any advice for the insomniacs, I can’t recommend a repetitive sleep schedule enough.

I have recently discovered the Bedtime setting on iPhone and it has been so useful in establishing myself with a routine.

Take a moment of everyday to notice everything around you

This is essentially what mindfulness is all about. I like to remind myself to be mindful by using a trigger.

For example, I will often have a mindful shower, a mindful meal or a mindful cup of coffee.

Listen to podcasts

This is something I have recently brought into my morning routine and they are so great.

In terms of becoming more mindful, I couldn’t recommend The Mindful Kind by Rachael Kable more!

I also love Radio Headspace by Andy Puddicombe as the episodes are around 4 minutes long each and come out the morning of every weekday.

Take up yoga

This is another one which can seem off-putting to a novice. I was one of those people too.

Yoga can be incredibly difficult but there are so many resources out there you can use from home, and you can simply take it at your own pace.

I love using beginner YouTube videos, I recommend SarahBethYoga. Of course, when gyms open back up, going to yoga classes is another option to consider.

Breathe with purpose

This one sounds a bit silly, we all breathe with the purpose of living. But really concentrating on your breathing and how it affects your body is an incredidble mindfulness exercise anybody can do at any time.

You may of hear of people slowing their breathing and counting to 10 in stressful situations, but that’s not all it is useful for.


Ever wondered what mindfulness really is and if it could change your life for the better? Get reading my latest blog post and find out how I've found adjusting to this new lifestyle and if I think it is worth it. . . . . . ignore - blog blogger new fresh newbie beginner article post pinterest news adopting mindfulness mindful thoughtful meditate meditation breathing tools techniques novice rookie pov point of view

I can’t describe to you how implementing these changes in my life has really helped me feel better in myself and become happier over the past month.

Find out more about my new morning routine, which details how I like to start my mornings in order to set myself up for a mindful day.

It can all seem overwhelming at first, but the majority of tasks involved in this article only take a few minutes to complete.

Remember to start off gently and try not to tackle everything at once. Try implementing a couple of new habits each month until you feel more comfortable.

And please, if you take anything from this article, please do check out some podcasts and audiobooks.

They’re just such an easy and useful way to digest new information, especially whilst travelling or doing some house work.

The top platforms I suggest are Audible and Spotify.


Ever wondered what mindfulness really is and if it could change your life for the better? Get reading my latest blog post and find out how I've found adjusting to this new lifestyle and if I think it is worth it. . . . . . ignore - blog blogger new fresh newbie beginner article post pinterest news adopting mindfulness mindful thoughtful meditate meditation breathing tools techniques novice rookie pov point of view

Recommended Reads

Many of these can be read in a book format, or listened to via an audiobook.



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