The daily chaos of life can leave us feeling scattered, distracted, and detached from our bodies and emotions, often creating a negative chain reaction that affects everything in our lives—professionally, personally, emotionally, and physically. The concept of mindfulness is centered on living in the moment and being aware of our mind-body connection. Lack of mindfulness can lead to forgetfulness and absent-mindedness, which triggers negative patterns that can manifest differently for each of us.
For me, when I’m not being mindful, I tend to make silly mistakes, react before thinking, and make decisions directly tied to my emotions. I tend to notice a pattern of poor decisions when I’m feeling tired, overwhelmed, or stressed, but being conscious of my triggers helps me change the pattern. However, this is a daily practice, and much like any other form of self-care, some days are better than others.
Here are some quick tips on how I practice mindfulness in my daily life.
Self-care is essential to a calm, clear mind. For me, daily self-care means starting my day with deep breathing and stretches. It also means getting plenty of sleep, organizing my personal space, spending time with my dog, writing in my journal, making lists for short and long-term tasks and goals, drinking lots of water, walking, and swimming. Other things I do for myself regularly include getting pedicures, listening to my favorite music, and having solo spa days. Everyone’s version of self-care is different but what is most important is that what you are doing makes you feel good.
Setting Intentions and Crystal Healing
For the past few years, I have been studying crystals and stones, learning how to incorporate them into my everyday life, and building my personal collection. Using crystals has helped me focus on goals, set intentions, think positively, and be mindful. Crystals are nature’s gift to us, each one with unique properties, and how we use them is personal to everyone. I charge my crystals with a positive affirmation tied specifically to what I want to focus on that day. I hold the crystal to my heart and say my intentions out loud to the universe. Then, I carry them with me in my pocket or write down my intentions and place the note in a small bowl of crystals around my home. This practice allows me to use crystals as a physical tool to manifest my intentions. Setting a specific goal or intention and saying it out loud or writing it down helps me stay mindful of what is important. The crystals are simply a physical tool I use to remind myself of what matters, and that tool can differ from person to person depending on what inspires you.
Staying Quiet and Deep Breathing
The quieter we are, the more we can hear. This concept seems simple, but it can be challenging to hold your tongue, especially in heated conversations. I find that when I take a moment (or two or three) to really digest what is being said to me, I can react more rationally, and with less emotion. Deep breathing is a great way to reset your emotions and allow some oxygen to the brain, which instantly makes me feel more grounded, present, and calm.
A big part of staying quiet also means turning off the radio, TV, computer, putting down my phone, silencing all notifications, and allowing myself to hear my thoughts and live in the moment. I think this is why I get some of my best ideas when I am in the shower or doing the dishes!
As a stylist and influencer, being online and using social media is an important part of my everyday life. Often times, I get lost in a trance and before I know it, hours have gone by with my nose stuck in front of my phone or glued to my computer screen. All of the sudden, it feels like the life has been sucked out of me physically and emotionally. Finding the right balance of screen time is a struggle, but allowing myself some distance from screens gives my brain the space it needs to be creative.
I know I have spent too much time on social media when I find myself feeling icky. My brain gets cloudy, and my heart sinks, and my self-esteem goes down from seeing everyone living their best lives while I am sitting on my couch wearing yoga pants. I know that most of what I see has been specifically curated for the “gram,” and is not, in fact, real—but it can instantly play with my emotions. It’s important to remember that social media isn’t for comparing our lives to those of the users presenting their best photos. Though it can be hard to remember that the girl in the photo might also be sitting on her couch wearing her yoga pants, it’s crucial that while we celebrate one another online, we also need to be celebrating ourselves in our current state. I challenge myself to keep it real on my social media so that what I am putting out there for my @StyledbyReah audience is authentic to me and my lifestyle. Taking time away from a world full of perfect images and spending time with loved ones that love you for more than your Instagram helps remind us that we are worth more than the images on our feed.
Practicing mindfulness allows us to find joy and happiness in the moment and allows us to stay away from the distraction of constant comparison. It allows us to stay focused on our goals and feel grounded. Most importantly, it’s a tool that makes me feel more in control of myself on those overwhelmingly hectic days when I am in need of slowing down.
Dia Style Adviser Reah Norman is a dog mom and professional stylist based in Los Angeles.