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4 simple ways to be more mindful blog mother trucker yoga

4 Simple Steps to Mindfulness In A Stressful World

The idea of being “mindful” is now just as common language as “ya all” or “selfie”. What used to be the art of paying attention has morphed into the art of mindfulness. But what exactly is mindfulness? But what does mindful mean? And I know what you are thinking. I’m not about to ask you to wear yoga pants, sit on a yoga mat, and chant the night away (although it might do a few people some good).

Dictionary.com says

mindfulness

mahynd-fuhl-nis ]
Is the state or quality of being mindful or aware of something.

Psychology.

  1. a technique in which one focuses one’s full attention only on the present, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations but not judging them: The practice of mindfulness can reduce stress and physical pain.
  2. the mental state maintained by the use of this technique.

This way to mindfulness blog mother trucker yoga

The simple art of paying attention, being alert, present, and aware in a non-judgemental way. In yoga and mediation part of the practice is to observe, notice, and just take in. For most of us, we cannot help but float back into the past and drift off into the future when various things arise. The idea of replaying what happened, or predicting what will all while mixing in our feelings with what is.

To me, mindfulness is the practice of separating from all of that. Not to be dull and lacking in life. But the opposite. The art of seeing, feeling, and being a part of what actually is. I believe that nearly all frustration comes the moment we step out of them now. Mindfulness says stay with me, breathe and take it one breath at a time.

Mindfulness also asks us to be kind. To be kind to ourselves, to others, and to the world. [Check out The Daily Meditation and what Hope had to say about Gratitude…]

One of the best ways to practice mindfulness is to apply this idea to the little things. Because it’s the little things that add up to big things over time. If you don’t want cavities when you are older, focus on brushing your teeth today, and when brushing your teeth, do just that. Treat your teeth, the action of brushing with the utmost reverence and importance. And notice how you feel afterward.

4 Simple Steps to Mindfulness

1. Start now. Start simple.

Many people decide to step into mindfulness and create this elaborate plan of how they are going to meditate 20 minutes twice a day, and go for long nature walks, and do an hour of yoga daily. Adapting all those things has never done any of them, even in the slightest is a recipe for failure. Most won’t even get out of the gate and decide that it’s too much. I prefer to focus on keeping things KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid. Now I’m not insulting your intelligence, but rather suggesting we start simple.

Instead of starting to apply the practices of mindfulness when you are the most stressed, the most overwhelmed, the most distracted. Start when it’s easy, when and where you don’t have to change much of anything. When you brush your teeth, only brush your teeth. When you go to the bathroom, just go to the bathroom (I know crazy right). When you are cooking, or eating just do that one thing. Pay attention to every aspect of it. Be present. You may be surprised by how you feel after. Taking an everyday task you already to and turning it into a mindful one.

 2. Approach With An Open Mind.

We as humans like to predict. We like to know all the answers… Well most of us do. And I want to challenge you to approach one situation each day for a week with a completely open mind. Notice if you start to predict how the situation will play out in your head before it’s over. Take note if your mind has already predicted the future before anything has even happened.

Take inventory of your feelings before, during, and after and how do you feel? For me, the practice of mindfulness is not sitting on a cushion in a dark quiet room. Mindfulness is me being more present, more alert, more aware, and more engaged in what I am doing, how I am feeling, and despite all of that continuing. Mindfulness has given me more confidence in hard situations, ones I would normally avoid otherwise.

3. FOR Peace Breathing.

Pause F.O.R. Peace Breathing was introduced to me when I first started on my yoga journey. It wasn’t fancy, it wasn’t complicated, and it didn’t require any equipment. All it needed was you and your willingness to step back and breathe.

When you stop and take a breath in a stressful situation, you stop the hormones released by the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response) and start to live again. It is a simple tool that you can use every single day to prevent and release stress when it starts to bubble up.

Steps of F.O.R. Peace Breathing

Pause F.O.R. Peace Breathing un-complicates what our minds often make complicated. It makes you STOP and use the tool you were born with to deal with stress in your life.

What Does “F.O.R.” in Peace Breathing Stand For?

1. FOCUS

Focus on one, long, deep breath. Inhale deeply, feeling your diaphragm and belly expand (not your chest). Exhale through your nose or mouth for the same count, or longer. Be fully conscious of this breath.

2. OBSERVE

Observe your mind. Does it wander during this breath? Where does it go? Can you try again to be right here, right now?

3. REFOCUS 

Refocus if you need to. Bring your mind back to your breath. If your mind wanders, return to one deep breath.

4 Ground yourself physically.

Sounds silly, but we are all a part of something greater than ourselves. And science has already proved that we are all made up of energy. And when we are in nature our bodies have a way of restoring that energy within us with the positive energy around us. Ever been around someone who you felt like just zapped the life right out of you? Have you ever gone into a building, or slept somewhere were you just felt drained the next morning. Or the opposite. You are around someone who just lifts you up. Or slept somewhere and said that was the best night’s sleep ever. That might not be a coincidence.

Today, take inventory of who and what you surround yourself with. If all you do is spend time in a concert jungle, it might be time to step out into nature. Pull off at an oasis with a small park or grassy hill. Layout in the sun, or take a bit of time and reconsider who you surround yourself with. Being mindful asks you to do things with a purpose. And that purpose may be for you to take better care of you.

Take the Mindfulness Challenge!

Do you want more practical tips for being more mindful and peaceful in a stressful world? Join our 5-day Mindfulness Virtual Challenge September 7-11, 2020! Click HERE to sign up to join us!

 

What does mindfulness mean mother trucker yoga blog

Continue down the mindfulness path to a happier and healthier you with some of Mother Trucker Yoga’s other great content!

14 Ways to Reduce Stress and Overwhelm Blog

10 Tips for a Functional Body Blog

10 Steps to Goal Setting as a Truck Driver

 

Did you love this article?

Leave us a comment on what you thought. Or ways you work to stay more mindful.

Reduce Stress and Overwhelm Blog MTY

14 Ways to Reduce Overwhelm and Stress | As a Truck Driver

Overwhelm and stress. Stress can be overwhelming and even debilitating. It can cause headaches, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and negatively affect our immune system. We all know that stress isn’t good for us physically or mentally. However, how do we keep stress from manifesting itself into our daily lives?

Reduce Stress and Overwhelm Blog MTY

Life Is About Choices

The great American philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson, wrote a letter to his daughter who was worried over a mistake she’d made. This is what it said:

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders, losses, and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can.

Emerson’s quote serves as a reminder that we must give ourselves permission to make a few mistakes, be imperfect, and “fall off of the wagon” from time to time. Accept what you were able to accomplish and leave yesterday in the past. Do not let stress and mishaps prevent you from moving forward. 

An article that appeared in Medical News Today discusses how “overwhelm and stress, in common terms, is a feeling that people have when they are overloaded and struggling to cope with demands. These demands can be related to finances, work, relationships, and other situations, but anything that poses a real or perceived challenge or threat to a person’s well-being can cause stress.”

You may not always be able to control what happens in your daily life, but you can practice healthy habits to manage stress.

14 ways to reduce stress and overwhelm get up early MTY blog post

14 Ways You To Reduce Stress and Overwhelm in Your Life:

  1. Get up a few minutes earlier than planned and take some time to be silent, meditate, and visualize how your day is going to be great.
  2. Learn to say “no.” Say no to projects that won’t fit into your schedule, your vision, or may compromise your mental and emotional health.
  3. Allow others to help you. If they didn’t want to help, they shouldn’t have asked. And that my friend is not your concern.
  4. Have a backup. Have a backup plan, a backup car key, a backup babysitter, a back up a ride home. We think that it takes too much time to prepare. But did you have the time to figure out a half a$$ solution thereafter?
  5. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble, concern, and pain. Ask yourself: “is what I am about to say helping or hurting”? And go from there.
  6. Eat right. Start with one right choice. An apple. A glass of water. No need to bulldoze your life today. Just add in one new food or drink more water and see where it takes you.
  7. Listen to relaxing music or guided meditations (Check out MTY’s guided meditations made just for drivers). Choose uplifting or motivating broadcasts or shows. Stay away from music, radios, and entertainment that only causes more pain, confusion, agitation, and anger. You can choose what you listen to.
  8. Laugh—every single day. Laugh. Laugh so hard you cry. And better yet, laugh with a friend. Laughter releases endorphins that you desperately need to stay happy.
  9. Keep a gratitude journal. When is the last time you stopped and reflected on all you have to be grateful for? The news and social media do an excellent job of showing us where we are imperfect and lacking. Remind yourself you have so much to be grateful for.
  10. Surround yourself with people who lift you rather than tear you down.
  11. Take ONE DEEP BREATH before you say or do anything more.
  12. Be kind to unkind people. Kindness matters. Being kind doesn’t mean you agree with them or even want to be their best friend. But if you won’t be helpful, then who will be?
  13. Slow down. Most of us are all in overdrive in multiple areas of our lives. What’s the hurry? What if you will get there at the exact right time, every time?
  14. Meditate, pray, practice yoga. When is the last time you unplugged with something that will plug you back in? Make sure you check out Mother Trucker Yoga’s Online Membership site were drivers just like you can come together and get fit- inside and outright from the cab of your truck

Finding the best overwhelm and stress relief strategies may take some time. Don’t give up if one doesn’t work; move on and try another. However, it’s essential to keep looking for the tools that will help you manage life’s ups and downs healthily. Keeping stress at a manageable level is vital for your overall well-being. 

Surround yourself with people that support you in your journey and leave those that don’t, behind. You won’t regret it. 

Resources: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/145855.php
Meditation for Truckers

Benefits of Meditation — And Simple Ways To Start Meditating

When your profession demands for you to be on the road for the majority of the year, your physical and mental health can take a turn for the worst. As previously mentioned on the Mother Trucker Yoga blog, “while out on the road, movement can be limited and stress can be high.”

Thankfully, Mother Trucker Yoga has brought mobility and good health back in drivers’ lives. But if you would like to practice another stress-relieving method in addition to our easy workouts, consider adding meditation to your daily routine.

You might be asking yourself, why choose meditation? Can’t I just take deep breaths whenever I feel stressed? Though a post on Pain-Free Working indicates that simple breathing exercises could temporarily alleviate stress, practicing meditation strengthens the mind to cultivate inner peace and improve mental well-being in the long run.

The Benefits of Meditation

The benefits of meditation are limitless, and given the sedentary lifestyle of truckers, there’s a lot that can be gained. The road is long and lonely, and it can negatively affect your state of mind and physical health. However, with the help of meditation, truckers can get the job done while still taking care of their mind and body.

Based on scientific studies, here are the benefits of meditation, as shared by Healthline:

  • A good way to manage stress
  • Minimizes anxiety
  • Improves self-image and promotes a positive outlook on life
  • Increases self-awareness
  • Increases your attention span
  • May decrease age-related memory loss
  • Promotes kindness
  • May help battle addictions
  • Improves sleep
  • Helps manage pain
  • Can decrease blood pressure
  • Can be practiced anywhere

Different Forms of Meditation

Believe it or not, there are numerous forms of meditation; so if one form doesn’t work for you, there are still plenty to choose from. One of the more well-known forms is yoga meditation. The controlled breathing exercises and postures focus the mind on the practice and calm the mind, all the while promoting flexibility. Yoga is also a type of movement meditation, which is where you draw mindfulness from movement. Tai chi and martial arts also fall under this category. Spiritual meditation is often a huge part of Eastern spiritual traditions, such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Taoism. For religious meditations, this often involves prayers to divine power. For non-theistic traditions, self-awareness and self-actualization are the focal points of the meditation.

Another form is zen meditation. It can be part of Buddhist practice, where meditators must be mindful of their thoughts without judgment. At the same time, focus on their breathing and maintain a
comfortable position. According to Medical News Today, zen meditation requires more discipline and practice, and practitioners often prefer to study under a teacher, considering all the steps and postures that must be followed. With that in mind, this may not be the best meditation form for truckers. To see what other meditation forms could potentially work for you, check out this blog post on MindWorks.

Tips for Beginners

As straightforward as deep breaths in and out may seem, meditation is not as simple as you would think. But by starting off small and practicing every day, you’ll get the hang of it, and eventually, you’ll open your mind and body to new techniques.

To help you get started on meditating, here’s what you can do:

1. Designate one area, a comfy chair or cushion for meditation

Getting into the habit of meditating can be difficult; however, creating a small relaxing environment can help set you up for a successful practice, whether that’s just a chair in your living room or a cushion next to your bed. Cushions are definitely recommended for truckers since you can take them with you wherever you go. Eventually, you’ll have the ability to meditate anywhere, but for now, setting up the scene will help you get in the right headspace.

2. Start with just two minutes every morning

Before you go about your day, begin your morning with meditation. Doing it first thing in the morning will naturally become part of your daily routine, giving you a positive mindset to tackle the stressful drive ahead. As for the meditation itself, rather than following a specific type or technique right away, just spend two minutes listening to your own breathing. Take note of the movement of your body as you breathe in and out. When your mind wanders, and it will just bring your thoughts back to breathing. You could even count each breath. Do this for the first week or two, increasing to five minutes in the following, then possibly move on to guided meditations.

3. Stay connected with a meditation journal

A journal is a great way to track your progress, as your entries offer clarity and insight on how you might need to adjust your meditations and how far you’ve come since the beginning. Daily journaling gives an opportunity to reflect, gain perspective, and most importantly, be positive and kind to yourself. As for the entry format, it’s entirely up to you. It can be as simple as including the date, type of meditation, and comments on the practice, or you can use a guided format. With all these benefits and tips in mind, it’s clear that regular meditation is an easy way to achieve a good work-life balance, practice gratitude, and maintain a positive mindset as you trek across the country on your own.

 

4. Benefits of Meditation

If you are wondering how has meditation helped others? Check out Healthline’s benefits and stories from people just like you. And learn how meditation has impacted their lives. HERE

Article written by Mandy Rudd
Only for the use of mothertruckeryoga.com