mindful living

5 Strategies to Learn How to Live in the Moment and Tap into your Intuition

Flip Your Mindset and Flip Your Life by Learning How to Live in the Moment

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Being stuck in blah-mode is like living your life on autopilot. You know, just getting through the day to day in a fog, not paying attention to the world around you, not getting out there and slaying your goals, not being in touch with your body and feelings. It’s just blah. I spend a huge chunk of my adult life living without intention, and stuck in my head instead of in the moment, all day, every day. And then I learned how to live in the moment and with intention, every day. And now, I look back on those lost days and realize how much I regret living years in blah mode.

Read More About Blah Mode Here: Why Living and Eating With Intention Will Change Your Life for the Better



How did I flip from floating through life, numbing out on food and social media, thinking that I'll get to my to-do list tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow and never, to learning how to live in the moment? 



By living with intention and learning how to live in the moment using these 5 tools:



1. Stay mindful: It is important to notice the small details of life and environment around you—this is the basics of learning to live in the moment. Observing more of the world around you nourishes your mental state, and mental well being is imperative for an intuitive soul. Check in with yourself throughout the day and ask yourself if you are actually living in the moment. When you walk, feel your feet pressing into the ground, hear the sounds around you, feel the temperature of the air. Just be where you are and let all your 5 senses work for you. When you feel disconnected, a good trick is implement the 5 Sense Flip: check in with your senses and ask yourself--What do I see? hear? smell? feel? taste? This is a great little flip to pull you out of the blah-zone and into living in the moment. Try it!



Ideal Times to Try Out the 5 Sense Flip to Living in the Moment:

  • When you are out walking the dog, or just out walking yourself (even if it’s just to the mailbox.)

  • When you are eating! Try to avoid eating at your desk, in front of the TV, or while doing anything other than eating and socializing. Eating should be something you focus on and enjoy—savor those meals! And it’s a communal time, a time to check in on the people in your life. Try to have family dinners around the table as often as possible.

  • When you find yourself driving on autopilot (You know what I’m talking about; you decide to stop at the store on the way home from work, and only realize that you didn't turn left to go to the grocery store once you’re in your own driveway.)

  • When you are with family and friends. It can be so easy to drift back into your own head when your teenager is telling you all the latest gossip about a fight that broke out between YouTube “stars,” whom you’ve never heard of, and start daydreaming of the next vacation you’re planning to take. (Can you all tell I’m using a real life example here?) But, this is the time to deploy the 5 Sense Flip, and be present mentally with the people you are present with physically. Yes, even teenagers! lol



2. Check in with your body: Intuition is often dismissed as random emotions or an insignificant, random thought inside your head that is often ignored. This is because you haven’t learned to live in the moment, and so you are out of tune with your body. Intuition could present itself as a warning sign such as unexpected goosebumps or an uneasy feeling in your gut, or it could be a fluttering of your heart with excitement. Pay close attention to these feelings and see if you can connect what your body and mind are trying to tell you. Trust your gut a little more than usual this week and see if you discover something about yourself.

3. Avoid overeating, especially out of boredom or for a food high: Did you know that overeating is detrimental to not only your physical health, but to your mental health as well? Eating too much makes you feel bloated and depresses your mental abilities, such as concentrating. And, we all know the terrible feeling of coming down from a sugar high or food high and regretting the poor choices we've made. When we aren’t living in the moment, we tend to eat zoned out or based on emotional needs rather and physical needs.

A healthy body and a healthy mind go together. That's why here at the 40yearflip, we aren't concerned as much with weight loss for attaining a "perfect body," as we are with wellness--body, mind, and spirit. Our goal is to always eat mindfully and, if we do so, weight loss will be just an added bonus! Once you learn to eat with intention, your relationship with food changes, and you no longer have to “diet.”

Read More: Flip from Emotional Eating to Mindful Eating



4. Boost your psychological immune system: Just like with physical health, you need to boost your mental health immunity. That way, things that used to get you down won't anymore. Develop a positive outlook towards life and your environment. Staying optimistic, forgiving others, being more easy going, managing stress and avoiding mental trauma all add up and can enhance your psychological well being. This doesn't mean be blindly positive and ignoring when things go wrong. There's a huge difference between being positive and being blissfully ignorant! A person with a positive attitude is living in the moment, and is able to recognize when something is wrong, but they've just learned to proactively take on the challenge of a bad situation instead of wallowing in it. 




5. Learn to trust your intuition: Intuition is that small voice inside us--the one that guides us through the dos and don’ts of life. Your brain and body tell you when you need to exercise, when you need to eat a salad instead of a pizza (or the opposite, sometimes, you just need to eat the pizza--the important word here is SOMETIMES), when you need a self-care day, but often, we just aren't listening. Try to tune into your intuition by living in the moment and listing to that little voice inside your head, and by using these flips and strategies, and see if you can get more in-tune with yourself and living in the moment this week! 


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Why Living With Intention Will Change Your Life for the Better

Flip from Living in Blah Mode to Living With Intention

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How often are you actively participating in your own life, in the moment? How much time do you spend either locked up in your own head, or zoned out, staring at a screen, letting time pass you by? Living with intention is the secret to living a balanced and fulfilling life.


So many of us just go through life in blah mode. And we don’t even realize that we aren’t living with intention.


Why? Because it’s easy. It’s easy to just move through life without intention and just live your day to day. It’s easy to get through the day and veg out on the couch at the end of it and wait for it all to start over again tomorrow.


Sure it seems easy, but what it’s not is fulfilling, challenging, exciting, or vibrant. And, it’ll keep you stuck and not moving forward. It’s blah. It’s being stuck in the blahs.


It sounds cliché, but honestly, how often do you connect with yourself and the world around you? How often to you propel yourself though your life, slaying goals and making progress? What intentions have you laid out for your life, your year, your week, your day? Hell, what intentions do you have for this minute (hopefully, by now, I’ve convinced you to make your current intention to learn how to live with intention!)


When you flip the switch on blah mode and start living with intention, you open yourself up to living a life of design, but you also open yourself up to feeling more deeply, making more mistakes, and realizing that you are in charge of your own life.


Scary shit, right?

Yes. 


But, it’s worth the scary shit. Because once you flip out of blah mode, and start living with intention, you can live a life by design. You can bust out of floating through life and start living each day with intention. And these single days of living with intention, build on each other, one by one, until they create a well-designed life.


By living with intention, you can build, day by day, an entirely new life, whatever that looks like for you. For someone, it could be as simple as learning to live with more gratitude, so that they could be happier on a daily basis. For others, it could be totally starting over, in midlife, with a new career, relationship, new life.


And, while you are on this journey to flipping your life, by being actively present in yourself and living with intention, you will manifest joy. You will begin to love each day. You will feel your body move. You will taste every bite of food. You will feel balanced. You will feel grounded. You’ll feel some bad stuff, too, but you’ll be more equipped to face these things, with intention.


And you will make progress in your life. You will set goals and reach them. Whatever those goals may be.



How to flip from the blah mode to living with intention:

 

1.     Living with intention requires making thoughtful and informed decisions. You can start with what you want to get out of today. Or, if you are a think-big kind of girl, start thinking long-term. What do you want to accomplish? What do you want to own? What kind of life do you want to live? What hobby should you be enjoying? Where do you want to travel to? What do you want to learn? Make some choices and then choose your actions each day in accordance with those objectives.



2.     Every time you do something ask yourself why. Why is it you everything you do. You should be able to recognize why you choose to do certain things. 

 

To live with intention, you must evaluate and understand yourself. Why do you do the things you do? Why do you fail to do the things you don’t do?

 

·     What motivates your actions each day? Are you moving toward short-term pleasure or avoiding short-term pain? Or are your actions directed toward an intentional purpose?




·     Before taking any action, ask yourself what your intention is. Is spending 2 hours on Facebook helping you reach your goals for today? For the week, month, year, life? Then don’t do it. However, if you are feeling like you haven’t been in touch with family and friends lately because you’ve been too busy at work, spending 2 hours on Facebook might be what you need to do in order to feel reconnected.  




·     Evaluate all of your chosen and avoided behaviors. Learn what make you tick. And, what actions do you avoid taking because it’s just easier not do? Should you have cleaned your garage out like months ago? Is there a doctor’s appointment you’ve been putting off? Putting things off seems easier than doing them, but in reality, it’s not. They will still need to be done, eventually, and your brain will nag you until you do it. This, in the end, will just make you feel bad about yourself. So, flip out of procrastination and get shit done.

3.     Try to choose what’s productive and important over what is easy. Living with intention involves taking effective action over choosing the easy way. Continuously ask yourself, “Is this the most effective action I could be taking?”




4.     Flip your habits. Evaluate your bad habits and flip them! When do you tend to waste time? Do you get enough sleep? Are you in tune with your body? Do you eat with intention? Do you take time for self care? Do you take time to create a pleasant environment? 

 

Evaluate your habits and flip the ones that are not contributing to your daily and long-term goals.




5.     Lay out your intentions for each day. Carve out 5-10 minutes a day to decide on your daily goals and what you intend to do each day. I find that my Bullet Journal is invaluable for this. I don’t know about you all, but the older I get, the more I forget. I need to write down anything that I need to remember.




6.     Be proactive. Don’t leave everything to the last minute. The feeling of getting ahead of your goals and getting shit done is amazing! It feels way better than eating a plate of cookies (which, let’s not lie, sometimes feels pretty darn good, too.) Celebrate every victory. Congratulate yourself for every goal met. And, it’s 100% true that when your to-do list is all neatly crossed off, you sleep better and feel happier.




7.     The key to intentional living is mindfulness in all parts of life. Be mindful of your intentions, thoughts, eating, actions, goals, and of living in the moment.

 

Related: 5 Strategies to Learn How to Live in the Moment

8.    Be a mindful eater. Eating is vital to live and is a pleasure. But so many people eat mindlessly and without intention. It is vital to your health to be a mindful eater. Just as with goals and intention, when you eat, you ask yourself why. Why are you eating what you’ve chosen to eat. Most of the time, the answer should be because you are hungry, and you’ve chosen to eat something that is nutritious, and delicious. Sometimes, however, it will be, well, I really want a piece of cake today. I haven’t had cake in a while. It’s a nice treat, and I trust myself to make healthy choices after this yummy indulgence. And, I’m going to enjoy the hell out of this piece of cake.

 

You must make conscious decisions and question your thoughts and actions.Seek to be more aware of your desires and choose your behaviors accordingly. Habits can be the bane of intentional living unless you chose your habits intentionally.

 

Be mindful and take responsibility for your results, and you’ll find that more of your results please you.

 

So, set an intention for today and then get out there and slay it! Write in the comments (scroll down passed the contest form) one small goal you hope to check off your list this week so that we can all send you productive and positive vibes. I’ll go first!

Self Care Activities to Flip a Bad Day Into a Good Day

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Bad days, we’ve all had them. We will all, inevitably, have more of them. But, my 40yearflip friends, it’s how we deal with these bad days that separates the old us from the new us. When you have a bad day, you might find yourself popping a bottle of Cabernet, and ordering a pizza to numb yourself out on alcohol and carbs. I’ve been totally guilty of that a hundred times (ok, maybe more like a thousand.) But, over time, I’ve flipped the carb-stuff and booze-binge for a better option—self care activities.


Don’t get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a good glass of wine or a good slice of pizza every now and then. In fact, I indulge in both regularly. It’s only bad if you are using these things to numb-out. When you indulge in the things you like to eat and drink, it should be done for the simple pleasure of it.


Self Care Activity 1: Read a Good Book

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My number-one, go-to, most-favorite way to banish the blahs of a bad day is to dive into a good book. Books are magical; they transport you out of your everyday life and plop you into someone else’s. When you immerse yourself in a story, the thoughts that give you stress, kind of lay low for a while.


In fact, if the negative thoughts that were bringing you down, were actually not as bad as you let yourself believe, there’s a good chance that by the time you stop reading, those negative thoughts will have faded away.


Self Care Activity 2: Netflix and Giggle


Comedy is a powerful tool for mood lifting, and I’m not joking. Don’t underestimate the power of laughing! If you are having a terrible day, tune in to a funny movie or TV show. Re-watching an old favorite comedy can make you and laugh and bring back good memories as well.


You know the old saying, “laughter is the best medicine?” That’s because laughter releases endorphins, your body’s happy chemicals, making you feel instantly happier. This, in turn, decreases stress and boosts immunity! So laugh yourself silly, happy, and healthy.


Related: Flip Your Mornings from Frantic to Fantastic


Self Care Activity 3: Get Out of the House


If you feel like the walls are coming in on you, or if you feel like you are beginning to cocoon yourself into your house, it’s time to get out and see some different scenery and some actual humans. If this is you, then getting out to socialize and meet up with friends might be your best bet.


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When you find yourself doing nothing but working and going home, you may simply need another outlet. Try meeting co-workers for drinks after work or calling up a friend to have a girls’ night out. I suggest downloading the meetup app, and finding a group-based activity to partake in. Get a little bit out of your comfort zone and it can be very good for you.

Self Care Activity 4: Spend More Time with Friends and Family

I know I tend to cocoon myself into my own little world when I’m not feeling 100% emotionally. I tend to cut myself off a bit. But that’s no bueno! Whenever you notice this happening to you, you’ve got to flip that behavior and reach out to the people who make you happy. This was a hard flip for me to make in my life, and even though it sounds simple, like all things, sometimes it’s not. 

Related: How to Declutter Your Mind So You Can Get Happy

Spending more time with your loved ones can be great for self care. Many people think being alone is the only way to take care of themselves and relieve stress, but sometimes the best thing for you is being around others. Think about your daily lifestyle and what tends to stress you out. You might find that you feel worse when you are constantly alone, but your mood seems to lift on happy hour night or when visiting your best friend. This is a good sign that what you really need is to get out and spend more time with others.

Self Care Activity 5: Get Social Online

We are more connected now, by more devices and apps than we have ever been. There is literally no reason to ever feel alone and disconnected. Get active on social media with like-minded people. Hit me and other 40yearflip friends up on Facebook or Instagram.

Find other Facebook pages and Instagrams to interact with based on your interests. There are pages for everything from specific TV show fandoms to reading clubs to gardening, you name it, there’s a Facebook page for it. And don’t be afraid to jump in and post and participate. Social media is SOCIAL, that’s the damn point. And these pages thrive on activity and couldn’t exist without interaction.

Ok, ladies, tuck these self-care activity ideas into the folds of your brain and pull them out next time you are feeling down in the doldrums. Comment below on what self-care activities work for you, and/or, just for fun, what you like on your pizza when you AREN’T eating it to numb-out.