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How I’m Incorporating Mindfulness into Each Day

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I have been working on my physical health for at least two to three years now.  The acid reflux, the joint/muscle pain, the irregular periods, the hair loss, the cystic acne, etc.  I’ve made dietary and supplement changes.  I have changed up my workout routine.  I have been sleeping more.  But I have also come to realize that so many of these issues have a strong mental connection, as well.

The short story: I need to work on relaxing more, being less stressed, and being more mindful.  Let’s talk a bit about how I’m approaching these new goals.

How I'm Incorporating Mindfulness into Each Day with the Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker | cleaneatingveggiegirl.com #ad #CG #inSpire @SpireioHow I’m Incorporating Mindfulness into Each Day

The following six bullet points focus on the things I have been working on in the mindfulness realm over the last month.  I’d love to hear more about what has/hasn’t worked for you in your journey toward increased mindfulness in the comments below!

1. Beginning my mornings with meditation.

How I'm Incorporating Mindfulness into Each Day with the Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker | cleaneatingveggiegirl.com #ad #CG #inSpire @Spireio(and yes, I said mornings but realize I screenshotted this at 3:55 p.m.!)

Let me preface this paragraph by saying that getting out of bed 10 to 20 minutes earlier than normal to meditate it not easy.  There are days when I snooze through my alarm a bit too long and meditation time turns into “how quickly can I shower and do my hair?” time (AKA the complete opposite of relaxation).  But on the days when I make the conscious effort to start my day with meditation and breathing exercises, I find that my entire day just goes a whole lot more smoothly.  I have a more positive attitude, and I take the time to appreciate more of the little moments.

I personally like using apps on my phone for guided meditation and breathing since while it may look easy, meditation truly is far from that.  I have a wandering, over-thinking mind, so bringing myself back into each moment is challenging, but fulfilling.

2. Putting away my phone and computer by 8:00 p.m.

How I'm Incorporating Mindfulness into Each Day with the Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker | cleaneatingveggiegirl.com #ad #CG #inSpire @SpireioThis has been a game-changer for me.  Though this does not happen every night (especially when blogging deadlines are nearing), whenever possible I make the effort to be off of my phone and computer for at least an hour or two before I get into bed.  I set my alarm, browse through Instagram one last time, and walk my phone upstairs to our bedroom to charge overnight.

Taking the initiative to eliminate these two huge distractions truly helps me to be more mindful.  I am able to fully dedicate my attention towards time with Jeremy.  I can read a book or watch a TV show and be fully attentive to what is happening in the plot.  I have also found that doing so enables me to be more mindful of the way my body is feeling each night.  I have been spending more time stretching, doing self massage on my back and neck, and going to bed when I feel tired (even if that is before 9:00 p.m.).  An added bonus: being off of technology has made getting to sleep a whole lot easier, too!

3. Recognizing when I am tense, focused, or calm.

How I'm Incorporating Mindfulness into Each Day with the Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker | cleaneatingveggiegirl.com #ad #CG #inSpire @SpireioBecoming aware of when my body is feeling tense, focused, or calm has not been easy.  Luckily, over the past two weeks I have had a bit of help with this one.

How I'm Incorporating Mindfulness into Each Day with the Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker | cleaneatingveggiegirl.com #ad #CG #inSpire @SpireioSpire recently sent me their Mindfulness + Activity Tracker to try out.  Like most activity trackers, it calculates the numbers of steps taken each day (though often more accurately since it is worn on the waist), and activity goals can be set by each individual user.  But unlike other activity trackers, this beaut stands out because it also tracks breathing patterns to determine when I am feeling tense, focused, or calm.

How I'm Incorporating Mindfulness into Each Day with the Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker | cleaneatingveggiegirl.com #ad #CG #inSpire @SpireioWhenever Spire notices a breathing pattern, it notifies me by vibrating on my waist and sending a notification to my phone.  I changed my settings to have Spire notify me whenever I have been tense for a three-minute span.  Spire also helps me to be more mindful about remembering to take deep breaths throughout my day, which is something I often need to be more cognizant of.

How I'm Incorporating Mindfulness into Each Day with the Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker | cleaneatingveggiegirl.com #ad #CG #inSpire @SpireioThough it is important for me to be mindful of my tense moments, what I really love seeing are my calm streaks.  Whenever I am having a tense moment or am feeling stressed, I will challenge myself to get into a calm streak by taking deep breaths.  I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that having any excuse to breathe deeply is a great thing.

4. Going on walks without my phone.

Walking technology-free is amazing.  Seriously.  Try it.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love listening to podcasts during many of my walks.  But lately I have been venturing out on walks without my phone, podcasts, or music.  Talk about being forced to be more mindful!  Without some of these distractions, I find I pay a lot more attention to my surroundings, nature, the air, breathing, and the way my body is feeling.  If my joints or muscles are sore, I turn for home earlier than I might normally when I am sidetracked with a podcast.

And if you absolutely feel like you must have your phone with you (for safety reasons, etc.), try using it in a positive way by listening to mindfulness podcasts or using it to practice breathing exercises.

P.S. With Spire, you can be away from your phone for six hours while it continues to track your activity and breathing patterns.  Once you are back near your phone, the app fetches the data.

5. Exercising when and how I “feel like it.”  AKA quick tabatas, walks, and yoga!

How I'm Incorporating Mindfulness into Each Day with the Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker | cleaneatingveggiegirl.com #ad #CG #inSpire @SpireioI used to always think that exercising meant three to five mile runs, thirty minutes of strength training, or an hour-long group exercise class.  But when I started listening to what my body was telling me, it was saying, “please stop doing that!”  Now through mindfulness practice, I have been able to more easily recognize which types of exercise my body prefers and which ones leave me feeling like crap.

These days I am filling my days with four-minute tabatas a few times per week, walks that average anywhere from 20 to 50 minutes depending on how I feel, and yoga when I need some “mental exercise” as opposed to physical exercise (restorative and yin yoga are my favorites).  I have also come to realize that being “active” doesn’t have to mean running a marathon.  So many days, the only “exercise” that occurs in my day is walking to and from the bus stop, taking the stairs, and getting up out of my work chair more frequently.  On those particular days, that is what my body is telling me that it needs, and I have been enjoying listening to it!

6. Prepping my body and mind for each meal and snack.

A major thing that I have been working on recently is the practice of being a more mindful eater.  I have always been a notoriously speedy eater, and as you likely already know, deal with quite a few digestive issues (acid reflux, bloating, etc.).  It probably does not come as much of a surprise that I would like to slow down my eating for two main reasons: being in a more relaxed state while eating will help me to digest my food more efficiently; and slow, mindful eating will help me to better recognize when I am full.

How I'm Incorporating Mindfulness into Each Day with the Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker | cleaneatingveggiegirl.com #ad #CG #inSpire @SpireioIn an effort to get both my body and mind prepared for each meal, I have been taking a couple of minutes before each eating experience to get my body into a calm state.  This generally involves taking slow, deep breaths for a period of one to two minutes.  I like to look at the Spire app on my phone to see when my body has entered into that calm state.  I will often also incorporate one of the Spire boosts into this practice in order to assist me in getting into my calm mode.

I love that they specifically have boosts centered around the practice of eating, too!  One particular boost encouraged me to set my fork down in between each bite.  I have been really enjoying this challenge because it is definitely forcing me to slow down instead of shoveling the food into my mouth.

Clearly mindfulness is not easy, but practice makes progress!

What practices help you to be more mindful in your daily life?

Six Ways to Incorporate Mindfulness into Each Day with @Spire_Inc #ad #CG #inSpire #mindfulness Click To Tweet

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Mary August 18, 2016, 9:28 am
    This is the first I've heard of the Spire tracker. Love the idea of it reminding you to breathe and relax. I need one in my life!
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 18, 2016, 3:44 pm
      I highly recommend it for anyone who is actively trying to respond in a more positive way towards stress!
  • Erin @ Her Heartland Soul August 18, 2016, 9:40 am
    I've heard about this mindfulness tracker! So awesome to hear you like it! Erin @ Her Heartland Soul recently posted...Comfortable Navy WedgesMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 18, 2016, 1:58 pm
      It is such a cool concept! I can actually tell that it is helping me to be more mindful about breathing, relaxing, etc.... which I so need!
  • Myra August 18, 2016, 11:30 am
    These are great tips!! I reallly need to start meditating again. Thanks for the reminder :) The Spire sounds cool! I have a Leaf and it has similar features and built in meditation exercises....which I obviously need to use more! Myra recently posted...Chocolate Cherry Crumble ~ Gluten-FreeMy Profile
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 18, 2016, 2:03 pm
      Technology can sure be a distraction at times, but I love that it is now being used in positive ways. We could ALL benefit from practicing meditation more frequently and from the tools that help us do so!
  • Michelle August 23, 2016, 5:59 am
    I have been working on many of these things as well! I find that putting my phone away at 8pm helps me so so much. I am also on a 30 day meditation "challenge" to meditate each morning. https://thedogtribe.com/2016/08/22/wedding-dress-shopping/
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 23, 2016, 8:22 pm
      That is amazing! I think I need to do a similar challenge, because some days it is just NOT EASY.
  • Brittany @ a.healthier.happy August 24, 2016, 8:40 pm
    I was just curious if you've ever tried digestive enzymes? Enymedica Digest Gold is, well, pure gold! Many people suffering from chronic indigestion and resultant issues with acid reflux are actually low in digestive enzymes. The more food sits there undigested, that results in excess amounts of acid produced. It also can contribute to leaky gut syndrome, which it sounds like you may have a few symptoms of. For real, try out those enzymes! (My only word of warning is of you think you have any active stomach ulcers, as sometimes the enzymes can go after exposed sores.)
    • ClnEatingVegGrl August 25, 2016, 8:25 am
      Oh gosh, if you only knew how many different types/brands of digestive enzymes I have tried... I've never really noticed a for sure difference, but I keep taking them. Thanks for trying to help! ;)
      • Brittany @ a.healthier.happy August 25, 2016, 9:09 am
        Aww I'm sorry to hear that! I apologize, I probably shouldn't have asked the question if you'd ever tried enzymes - I had a feeling you probably had. I probably should've led with the better question if you'd ever tried Enzymedica Digest Gold LOL. I can say this though, all digestive enzymes are *not* created equal, and I know that I remember reading in the reviews for Digest Gold that others who've been in your spot finally found their fit with D.G. For example, I tried to back down off of which version I was using, bc D.G. *is* their most potent and therefore most expensive version, and I tried their Digest Basic. No dice. Nowhere near as perfect for me. Back to Gold I went. Whatever you've been using, maybe just take a moment to compare its list of active units of each type of enzyme to see how close it comes to the list of D.G.'s. If it's close, then, hey, maybe it wouldn't be much different. But if you notice a big disparity, that D.G. has way more units than what you've been using (and/or more types of enzymes too), you may stand to benefit. I swear I'm done now haha. If you end up interested, I'm sure Enzymedica would send you a few samples at your request. Good luck!
        • ClnEatingVegGrl August 25, 2016, 9:55 am
          Thanks so much for your suggestions! I have tried one of their varieties, but I do not think it was the Digest Gold. I will absolutely look into that :)

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