Healthy Ideas for New Year’s Resolution: Mindfulness Practice

By Summer Banks FNS, SPT on Dec 17, 2020

The new year is right around the corner, and many people are thinking about making their resolution list. When it comes to ideas for New Year’s resolutions, many people are thinking about mindfulness practice. Mindfulness practice is an excellent way for people to calm their minds, focus on their priorities, and deal with stress. Of course, some people are thinking about getting involved in mindfulness for the first time. There are some essential tips to note for those looking for a few great ideas to get more engaged with this helpful practice; there are some key tips to note! Check out a few of our examples!

Start by Practicing Deep Breathing on a Daily Basis

If you have never given mindfulness a try before, then it’s important to start slowly. Similar to starting a new workout routine or giving a new activity a try, it’s a good idea to ease into this activity. The goal of deep breathing is to get you to focus on exactly where your thoughts are located. Instead of letting your mind wander during this activity, the goal is to focus on your breathing pattern. Think about positive thoughts when you inhale and then exhale the negative emotions away. By focusing on your breathing pattern, your mind won’t wander.

Even though daily deep breathing is undoubtedly an attainable goal, there’s no need for you to sit there for a half-hour, wondering what you are supposed to do. Instead, start with five minutes in the morning or five minutes in the evening. Then, as deep breathing becomes a part of your daily routine, increase the length of time.

For example, if you are having a rough time at work, you might find a quiet place where you can go and practice your deep breathing for a few minutes. When you first start deep breathing, it’s possible that you might not feel very mindful or calm.

You might even wonder what you are doing. That’s okay! The goal is to force yourself to take five minutes to be alone with your thoughts. This is an excellent way for you to control your stress and deal with negative emotions that you might be experiencing.

There are a few significant benefits you’re going to enjoy if you practice deep breathing. One is stress reduction. For example, a medical study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that deep breathing and meditation can help people reduce their stress.

Usually, stress is highlighted by the release of cortisol. There are many adverse effects of stress people might experience. For example, there are cytokines released by the immune system that can lead to chronic inflammation. If you experience stress, this can lead to issues with your sleeping patterns, mood problems and can even cause you to feel anxious. This can promote further medical complications, particularly those involving the cardiovascular system. One other specific study indicated that mindfulness helps people reduce their inflammatory response caused by stress, according to Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

To prevent these issues, consider using deep breathing as a form of mindfulness practice. This is one of the top ideas for New Year’s resolutions!

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Take a Mindfulness Walk with a Friend

Another great way to practice mindfulness is to go on a mindfulness walk with a friend or family member. During this walk, the idea is to live in the moment and not focus on any specific goals or intentions. For example, you may want to point out the colors you see as you walk mindfully. The good news is you can use this form of mindfulness anywhere. You can take a walk in the neighborhood and look at the beautiful flowers and bushes in people’s yards. You can also take a mindfulness walk in a crowded city and note some of the changes that might have happened recently. You can practice your deep breathing as you go on your mindfulness walk. There’s no need to be in a rush, no appointments to keep, and no need to be in a hurry. Instead, you can release your sorrows, get rid of your worries, and try to bring peace to your mind and body.

Even though it’s certainly possible for you to go on a mindfulness walk on your own, it’s better to walk with another person. That way, you won’t be focused on your to-do list, stresses, or responsibilities during the walk. It will be easier for you to live in the moment if you walk with someone else.

Furthermore, walking on its own can help you improve your mood. One medical study from the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry showed that walking could help people feel happier and deal with their stress. Mindfulness walks are also a great way for you to increase your self-esteem and self-confidence while also reducing signs of social withdrawal. In addition to the physical benefits, walking is one of the top ideas for New Year’s resolutions because of the mental health benefits it provides.

When you are going on your mindfulness walk, it’s easy to get distracted by some of the colors, buildings, and people playing. Therefore, you must make sure that you prioritize your safety. Some of the key tips to keep in mind include:

  • Always make sure that you are walking against traffic.
  • Try to go on mindfulness walks in a lighted area or when the sun is shining to make it easier for others to see you.
  • Make sure that you wear brightly colored clothing so that drivers can spot you.

These tips will help you live in the moment while also prioritizing your safety.

Listen To Music and Focus on the Voices and Instruments

Another great tip for mindfulness practice is to listen to music. It’s challenging to find someone who doesn’t like music; however, many people focus on other things while listening to music in the background. If you are looking for great ideas for New Year’s resolutions, resolve to listen to a few songs every day without doing anything else. Instead of playing music in the background while working or doing house chores, pay attention to the music.

Listen to the sounds of the people’s voices. Focus on the sounds of the instruments. Live in the moment instead of trying to multitask.

Medical studies have shown listening to music can help people remain balanced mentally and emotionally. The more attention you pay to your music, the better the benefits of this mindfulness practice. For example, one medical study in Trends in Cognitive Sciences showed that listening to music will:

  • Increase the release of dopamine, which is a hormone that makes people happy.
  • Increase serotonin release, which can improve mood and plays a critical role in the immune system.
  • Increase the release of oxytocin, which makes it easier for people to connect to others.

Listening to music is one of the top ways for people to be more mindful. On the other hand, different types of music are going to have different effects on different people. Therefore, it might be helpful for people trying this form of mindfulness practice for the first time to think about listening to different types of music. For example, classical music will probably have other impacts on someone’s mood than rock and roll. Depending on what someone is feeling or experiencing that day, it might be useful to switch up the type of music being played. That way, everyone will experience the benefits of all forms of music. Incorporate music into your mindfulness practice. This is one of the most creative ideas for New Year’s resolutions.

Sign Up for Guided Meditation Practice

If you are looking for a direct form of mindfulness practice, think about signing up for guided meditation. Many people are trying to find ways to meditate for the first time. It can be difficult for someone to clear their mind and focus on meditation because it’s easy for people to continue to focus on what they have to do or other sources of stress in their life. As a way to tackle this issue, people should think about signing up for guided meditation instead.

There’s a good chance that local organizations can help you with guided meditation practice using in-person sessions. Or, there are also applications that you can use to meditate with other people online. Many of these are even free!

Medical studies have also shown that guided meditation can help people reduce their feelings of anxiousness. For example, a meta-analysis that was completed took a closer look at close to 1300 adults. The study, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that adults who meditate experienced significant decreases in their levels. Those who suffered from higher levels of anxiousness before the experiments started experienced more benefit than others.

Another medical study that took place over two months showed similar benefits. Specifically, individuals who had trouble controlling their anxious feelings in the past experienced improved stress management and coping skills, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

If you are thinking about getting involved in meditation for the first time, you need to meditate at the right time. If you try to force reflection into your daily schedule, you will end up feeling frustrated. You may also struggle to find the motivation to continue. Therefore, try meditating at different times. See what works best for you. Some people like to meditate first thing in the morning, while other people prefer to meditate right before bed. You may even find that meditating during a break at work helps you even more. Regardless of the time you decide to meditate, try to incorporate it into your daily routine. Then, stick to it. This form of mindfulness practice is one of the top ideas for New Year’s resolutions.

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Consider Sketching or Coloring

When kids are growing up, one of their favorite classes is usually art. This is the chance for people to step away from their other academic rigors and enter the creative world for a short time. Unfortunately, when people get older, they tend to lose touch with their creative side. They may not sketch or color. As a result, if you are looking to get more involved with mindfulness practice, think about sketching and coloring.

Every day, try to set aside just a few minutes so you can doodle or draw. This is an excellent way for you to get your creative juices flowing. You will also work a different part of your brain, allowing your mind to take a break. Because you are using a different part of your mind, you may also realize that many of your negative emotions dissipate as you draw on the page. You can even invest in a coloring book so that you can work your way through daily. Maybe set a goal for yourself to color one page per day. You will feel like you are accomplishing something without dealing with the stress of staring at a blank page.

As you color, take note of how the different colors impact you. For example, you may find that the colors you tend to use vary depending on the weather. You may also note that some colors are more beneficial for you than others. Some people prefer warm colors such as orange, yellow, and red. Other people prefer cool colors such as green, blue, and purple. Instead of focusing on what you have to do when you finish coloring, concentrate on the colors as they hit the page. The goal is to leave your stresses behind for just a short time as you color. As one of the top ideas for New Year’s resolutions, think about incorporating coloring and drawing into your mindfulness practice.

Take a Few Minutes Daily To Practice Gratitude

One of the biggest problems that people experience today is that they focus on everything going wrong. Life is going to present its challenges to everyone. It’s not the nature of the challenges that define us but how we deal with them. Therefore, if you are looking for ideas for New Year’s resolutions that involve mindfulness practice, take a few minutes to practice gratitude every day.

For example, if you practice deep breathing or meditation, try to spend a few minutes thinking about what you have to be grateful for. This type of meditation can help you improve your emotional health. For example, one study showed that more than 3,500 adults who performed this form of meditation experienced significant improvements in their mood. Another medical review that took a look at the results of 18 studies showed that individuals who practiced this form of mindfulness experienced more significant increases in their emotional health than individuals who took prescription medications.

Therefore, think about practicing gratitude daily. Start by letting yourself know what you have to be thankful for. This could include your friends, family members, physical health, and emotional health.

Then, think about expanding this to other people. As you go throughout your day, take a few seconds, and randomly wish that someone will be happy. While you can certainly tell the person, you can also wish them gratitude in your mind. The goal is to use this for mindfulness practice to generate positive energy. That way, you may not worry your negative stress is overcoming you – at least for a few minutes during meditation. Instead, choose to focus on the positive parts of your life by practicing gratitude. Take a few minutes every day and share this with other people. Practicing gratitude is one of the top ideas for New Year’s resolutions this year.

Sign Up For (and try) A Yoga Class

One great way for you to get more involved with mindfulness practice is to give yoga a try. Many people think about yoga as a physical activity that can help them get in shape. Even though it’s true that yoga will help you burn calories, improve flexibility, and improve lean muscle mass, yoga is also an important part of mindfulness practice. Therefore, if you are looking for ways to become more mindful, consider using yoga as one of your ideas for New Year’s resolutions.

Medical studies support the mindfulness benefits of yoga. For example, one specific study in the Journal of Affective Disorders showed that performing yoga will help your body reduce its secretions of hormones tied to stress.

This study’s results were echoed by another study that followed more than 130 people for 10 weeks. It showed that individuals who performed yoga had an easier time managing their stress, improved their overall health, and led to significant quality of life benefits.

The good news is that there are many different forms of yoga. If you are thinking about doing yoga for the first time, you need to start slow. Yoga is a workout. Therefore, you don’t want to jump into an intense class where you might hurt yourself. Many local gyms will offer a trial class where you can give yoga a try for free. Then, you can decide whether or not you want to continue with your yoga classes. If you would prefer to perform yoga in the comfort of your own home, you can also sign up for online yoga classes. All you need to perform yoga is a yoga mat and an instructor. Usually, there will be music playing in the background.

As you get better at the practice, you can try different forms of yoga. For example, there are intense forms of yoga, such as hot yoga and cardiac yoga, designed to be physical workouts. There are also quiet, more emotional varieties of yoga. If you want to get involved with yoga is one of your New Year’s resolutions, consider trying out multiple forms of yoga. That way, you can figure out what type of yoga works best for you. This gentle exercise is one of the best ways to experience mindfulness practice during the coming year.

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Turn the Entire House Into a Mental Break by Turning Off Electronics

One of the biggest reasons people have trouble dealing with stress today is that they are always connected. For example, many people never truly get to leave work because they are still reachable by phone or email. Many students experience the same thing when it comes to school. They are always able to connect to their schoolwork, teachers, or group partners using the internet. Therefore, they have a hard time genuinely disconnecting.

If you are looking for a simple form of mindfulness practice that you can enjoy with the whole family, consider turning the entire house into a mental break. You can do this by encouraging everyone to turn off their electronic devices for a set amount of time. For example, you may want to consider asking everyone to turn off their phones, TVs, computers, tablets, and other smart devices for 30 minutes during the evening. Even though this might not sound like a long time, you will quickly realize just how connected you are because the household will immediately grind to a halt.

Then, you can figure out what you would like to do during this time. The entire house may walk outside together. In other situations, you may want to sit down and play a board game. Or, you can sit down in a quiet place and enjoy the company of other people. The good news is that you can even switch up what you do with this time, depending on how everyone feels during the day.

Today, one of the most significant sources of stress is electronic devices. If you are never able to disconnect from your obligations truly, it’s easy to feel stressed out. Your phone is continuously buzzing with text messages and emails. You may even forget that your phone can handle phone calls until it rings. This ringing noise may be enough on its own to cause you to feel stressed out. If you are looking for outstanding ideas for New Year’s resolutions that involve mindfulness practice, consider convincing the house to disconnect from their electronic devices for a few minutes every day. This is a great way for you to leave your obligations behind for a short while.

Start a Mindfulness Journal

Another great way that you can get involved in mindfulness practice is by starting a mindfulness journal. Many people practice keeping a diary when they are younger. Usually, this is designed to help people learn how to write. In addition to improving your writing skills, keeping a journal will also help you improve your mindfulness. You might be wondering how you can start keeping a journal. The answer is that this journal is meant for you and nobody else unless you decide to share it with someone. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what you put in this journal as long as you write.

One of the biggest reasons people feel stressed is that they have many thoughts running through their minds and don’t know how to keep them organized. Keeping a journal is a great way for you to organize your thoughts. Even if you aren’t exactly sure how you will manage everything going through your head, your brain and hand will force you to organize your thoughts as you write on the page. Then, as you write in your mindfulness journal, feel the sources of your stress leave your brain, pass through your hand, and land on the page.

Eventually, this is going to feel like second nature to you. You need to take a few minutes every day and write. It doesn’t matter what you write about; let your mind control your thoughts and your hands.

If you are trying to find the perfect journal at the local store, don’t worry about that! You can start a journal with just about anything; you don’t even need a book! You can grab a piece of scrap paper and worry about putting everything back together in the form of a journal later. Keeping a journal is a great way to soothe your mind and tame thoughts that swirl around in your head. If you are looking for ideas regarding what to write,  pick the three best things that happened to you today. Then, put them down on the page! This is one of the top ideas for New Year’s resolutions.

Log Out of All Social Media Accounts Once per Week

No, this doesn’t mean deleting your social media accounts. Some people are required to maintain social media accounts for work or school purposes. On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with logging out of them once per week. Even if you do not have your social media accounts actively open on your phone or computer, you probably get push notifications to let you know when something is happening. And, even if you don’t get push notifications, there’s a good chance that your fingers subconsciously wander to those social media icons that sit on the front page of your phone.

The reality is that social media is a source of stress for many people. Even though social media was initially designed as a way for family members and friends to keep in touch with each other, the reality is that it may cause more harm than good. In addition to documentaries that have been published exploring the ramifications of regular social media use, there are also controlled, medical, academic studies, like one published in the American Journal of Health Behavior, that have pointed out that social anxiety can have a negative effect on people’s mood. It can lead to symptoms of sadness and other mental health problems.

Even though many people use social media to stay up to date on what other people are doing, social media can also have a negative impact on someone’s emotional health. For example, some people might see something on social media that makes them sad. Other people might see pictures of someone’s vacation and feel like they are missing out on something. Social media can cause someone to feel like they are falling behind when it comes to their everyday life.

The reality is that nobody’s life is ever as good or as bad as it seems on social media. Social media forces people to gravitate to the extremes, emotionally. Therefore, it’s easy to see how social media can be a source of stress in your life. Therefore, as a form of mindfulness practice, forcibly log yourself out of your social media accounts once per week and remain logged out for the day. This is a great way for you to completely disconnect from the innate drive to compare yourself to what other people are doing on social media. As one of the top ideas for New Year’s resolutions, disconnecting from social media is a great form of mindfulness practice.

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Go Outside and Experience the Weather Once Per Day

When people think about the weather, they usually are only looking at the forecast to decide what they need to wear that day. Should they wear long clothes or short clothes? Do they need to grab an umbrella? What about sunscreen? Do I need to get my sunglasses before I walk out the door?

Instead of thinking about how it affects you, go outside and experience the weather for precisely what it is: another way that you can experience life. You don’t even have to move when you go out! You can step outside your front door and have a seat. You can sit at your patio, in your yard, or even sit Indian-style on your driveway! Then, experience everything the weather provides. You can think about:

  • Feel the rays of the sun as they strike your skin.
  • If it’s raining outside, place an umbrella over your head and listen to the rain hit the ground.
  • If you are someone who likes getting wet, let the rain strike your skin and think about the emotions this triggers.
  • If it happens to be snowing outside, sit outside and listen to the silence.
  • If you can hear birds chattering away, sit down and enjoy them.

The goal of sitting outside and experiencing the weather is to remind yourself that there’s more to this world than the sources of stress you deal with daily. In reality, the world is a big place, and the pressures that seem like they are taking your life are small compared to the rest of the world. By no means is this supposed to minimize the sources of stress in your life. This is supposed to help you disconnect from them for a short time. Then, you will face your stresses with a different, improved perspective.

Become an Active Listener

If you are looking for a way to improve your mindfulness practice as one of your ideas for New Year’s resolutions, then consider becoming an active listener. There are two types of listening that people often refer to. Passive listening refers to engaging in a conversation without trying to participate in it. This is not a great way to communicate with other people. Instead, try to become an active listener. You can think about becoming an active listener as being curious about what is happening in the conversation. According to the United States Institute of Peace, active listening is a way of responding to someone else, improving mutual understanding.

The goal of active listening is to help you connect with others. By listening to what people are going through, you can change your perspective on your own life. That way, you can become more mindful about what you are going through, how you will deal with it, and how you might be able to help other people along the way. If you would like to become a better active listener, some of the critical tips that you should keep in mind include:

  • Try to remain curious and interested in what the other person is saying.
  • Try not to jump into a conversation too quickly; wait for them to finish their sentence before trying to jump in.
  • Remember to ask good questions when the opportunities arise.
  • Do not make up stories or embellish to try to make yourself more interesting.
  • Be ready to admit if you are wrong, or do you not understand something.

When you practice these active listening skills, you will become more in tune with what is happening in your own life. This is one of the top ways that you can practice mindfulness this year.

Start a Mindfulness Garden

Finally, you can also consider starting a mindfulness garden. When you are focused on raising flowers, fruits, or vegetables, you focus on building something from the ground up. This is the chance for you to disconnect from everything else that you do during your day and focus on the well-being of other living things. Furthermore, this will also improve the perspective you have on any of the challenges you might face.

When you garden, leave all of your other stresses behind. Focus on where you are planting your plants, how far apart you are placing them, and how often you have to tend to them. Then, find fulfillment in watching your plants grow from the ground up. This will help you become more mindful. Use this as one of your ideas for New Year’s resolutions!

Put These Mindfulness Ideas To Use

If you are looking for ideas for New Year’s resolutions for mindfulness practice, consider putting some of these ideas to use! This is an excellent way for you to deal with stress and live in the moment!

Start the year out putting yourself first this time around. Check out Noom’s free trial offer and learn how mindfulness practices can change your entire perspective on losing weight and keeping it off. Check out Noom today!

About the Author:

Summer Banks has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with professionals in the weight loss industry and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University.

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