Now let’s face it. Mindfulness is becoming a bit of a buzz word – right now, but actually practicing what we preach is much harder than it looks and takes effort, time and for some a life style change to master.
We are pulled away from the present at every oppoortunity, access to emails 24/7, the lure of social media timeless, technology, work, DIY and now wedding planning.
The one day where you are almost forced to be mindful is on your wedding day and boy oh boy, if you let go of control and simply allow it to happen, it is glorious!
Mindfulness is a state of awareness, it means paying attention to the present moment, on purpose.
Mindfulness it allows us to be aware of and gain more control of our thoughts and feelings so we are better able to manage them, without becoming overwhelmed by them.
Mindfulness isn’t a new concept. It has been around for centuries and forms a strong basis of cultures including Buddhism. More recently it is used widely in the NHS to help manage stress, anxiety, depression and even chronic pain (and is becoming more and more popular to taught in schools and it is brilliant at helping us improve our focus). What I love about teaching mindfulness, is that it forces us to slow down and to simply notice what is going on in our bodies and in our environment around us. Things we take for granted, things we miss and things that can overwhelm us.
Weddings are notoriously known for inducing stress, so rather than focusing on the intricate details, let’s simplify things. Let’s make your wedding planning more mindful, less stressful and see how you can incorporate mindfulness into your every day going forward to live with less stress and more peace of mind.
What actually happened vs what did I make it mean
This is my favourite! Our mind can play tricks on us. We can play out chapter and verse of a full one wo(man) show. We start hallucinating, and winding ourselves up about things that actually DID NOT and may not happen.
Stop ruminating, stop winding yourself and ask yourself is this a thought or a fact? Most of the time it’s a thought, thoughts aren’t real. Preserve your energy.
Let it go!
In the words of Elsa – let it go!
Planning a wedding can force us to face challenges, to hear waves of opinions, so family spats and guest list politics can feel magnified – its no surprise since so many aspects of planning a wedding involves making a decision. It can leave you with low-level anxiety or uncertainty about if you’ve made the right decision and hard to let things go. As above, get perspective. Be confident that the decision you are making is right. If something is lingering and bothering you, If it is not serving you, let it go or delegate. The world will not end.
So simple. But just breath. Seriously.
Breathing is such a simple and powerful tool to instantly relieve anxiety, worry or stress – yet we so often forget to use the power of the breath!
Here’s a quick exercise to try:
- Take a moment to quieten your mind.
- Inhale deeply – (focus on inhaling air to your diaphragm and filling your belly up with air – not your chest and shoulders)
- Breathe in for 3 seconds
- Hold your breath for 6 seconds (you can do it!!)
- Breathe out for 8 seconds, slowly releasing the air from your belly. And repeat!
Shut out the white noise
Everybody and their dog has an opinion about weddings. Yawn.
How much they should cost, what you should be wearing, the food you should have, the type of ceremony you should have, the clothing you should wear, the colours, hell, people even want to have their say about your music choices! Shut out the white noise. Shut it out. We can quickly become overwhelmed and triggered by people and their multitude of opinions. They are entitled to their opinion, but you don’t need to take them on. Thank them for their thoughts and move on. You are in control of what you absorb and take on and what you don’t. Liberating isn’t it.
Have a digital detox – go a day without your phone. Leave your phone out of your bedroom so you can avoid the temptation of scrolling through your phone looking at wedding pretty first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Make a mindful cup of tea. Be present. Have snuggles with your loved one instead. You don’t need to plan 24/7.
Research already shows us that practicing gratitude is something that works wonders for our wellbeing, it makes us happier, reduces stress, encourages sleep and increases life satisfaction, yet it is something we do so little. Amazing things happen to us all the time and we rarely notice or acknowledge them. Start today.
Let me tell you, I have Dear friends, who want nothing more than a soul mate. A life partner to share their lives with. Finding someone, someone who loves all of your imperfections is a miracle. Digest that for a moment. This is a wonderful moment to celebrate, to acknowledged, the start of the rest of your lives together. Breath it in. Perhaps start a gratitude diary and each day ask yourself, what am I grateful for today? Even on the toughest of days there is always something to be grateful for, first we have to notice it and not take it for granted. You are here and you are loved. Start there.
The core of the very meaning of what mindfulness is: Being present! For most – we get married once (or at least that is what our heart desires) there are rare opportunities where so many friends and family are genuinely so enthusiastic about our life, there are rare opportunities where we are all together in life.
Carve out dedicated time to be present with the people who are showing up on your life right now. Make time for them, make time you and your beau and make time for yourself. Be present in these moments. Allow yourself to simply just “be’ without worrying about what is next to do on the do list. Trust me, if you blink, you will miss it!
Remember your why
An oldie but goodie and one I talk about a-lot on here. It is so easy to become distracted with the myriad of decisions and things to do and financial burdens during your wedding planning. When you are feeling discombobulated, bring yourself back to centre. Remember your why. Which is simply to make a declaration in front of friends and family (or not for some!) to dedicate your lives to each other. Out of all the billions and billions of people in the world, you have found each other at the right time and the right place and this is your moment. How incredible is that.
Let me know how you get on! Want to bring more peace and to practice mindfulness on a regular 1-2-1 basis? Don’t hesitate to reach out!!