Mindful Resolutions for a Happier New Year - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Jan 7, 2022

Mindful Resolutions for a Happier New Year

 


Many people set New Year’s resolutions for themselves in the hopes of improving their habits and self-esteem in the year to come. Setting mindful resolutions is a great starting point to provide yourself more structure and personal awareness in the new year, which can help lower stress, improve mental health, and allow you to be the best version of yourself that you can be!

 

Most New Year’s resolutions deal with things like weight loss, cutting out bad habits such as smoking or biting your nails, or reaching a goal you have strived towards but haven’t been able to reach. The idea of adding mindful resolutions might not occur to some, because it can be hard to measure progress like you would with losing weight or saving money. Making it a point to incorporate mindful habits into your daily routines might even seem silly. Studies say that stepping back and taking a mindful approach is beneficial to not only your well-being, but          the well-being of those around you.

 

The essence of mindfulness is to observe your thoughts instead of getting caught up in them. Doing so can help you see things more clearly and be more compassionate towards yourself and others, especially when things go poorly. Although simply stated, it can be difficult to just observe your mind without becoming entranced and following each thought down the rabbit hole. By incorporating a handful of mindfulness techniques into your everyday routine, you may see notable changes in your happiness, your level of stress, and your ability to respond to difficult situations in the year to come.

 

Breathing Techniques

 

Breathing is something so fundamental that we hardly ever think about it unless something is wrong. Even though breathing is necessary to stay alive, we seldom consider how we are breathing and its effects on our general well-being. There are a number of different breathing techniques you can incorporate to lower your heart rate, calm your mind, and reduce panic or stress.

 

       Box breathing: Box breathing is a popular technique endorsed by the U.S. Navy Seals to help improve mental focus and promote a feeling of calm. Sometimes referred to as the 4-4-4 method, in box breathing, you will inhale for a count of four seconds, hold your breath for a count of four seconds, and exhale for a count of four seconds. Repeat this for a few minutes at a time and you should notice a growing feeling of stillness.

       4-7-8: The 4-7-8 method is derived from an ancient technique of breath regulation called pranayama. In this method, you will inhale for a count of four, hold for a count of seven, and exhale slowly for a count of eight. This practice of breathing can also lower your blood pressure, reduce anxiety and depression, and improve sleeping.

 

Breathing exercises can be done basically anywhere, at any time. The general idea is to slow your breath down and to narrow your awareness to only the sensations associated with breathing. Adding this to your daily routine in 2022 can keep you more calm and change how you respond to stressful situations.

 

Meditation

 

People often interpret the idea of meditation as something otherworldly, or something they aspire to do one day, but aren’t capable of. Meditation is a technique used to train one’s awareness by focusing on one thing: usually the breath, a mantra, or an idea. It can be incredibly difficult to remain in one spot focusing on one thing for a set amount of time, but studies suggest the benefits of a regular meditation routine outweigh the tediousness.

 

There are countless different meditation techniques, but they all point towards the same objective: interrupting the endless thought-flow in the mind. Generally, in meditation, you will find a comfortable sitting position and bring your attention to your breath or an idea. Whatever your focal point is, the purpose of meditation is to stay focused there. Your mind will inevitably wander off, but the essence of meditation is to gently bring it back to your focal point, every time.

 

If you are having trouble staying focused, try finding a guided meditation to walk you through the process. Regularly practicing meditation can help your attention span, relieve your anxiety and depression, improve your self-esteem, and even help break longstanding addictions.

 

Gratitude

 

A more abstract mindful resolution you can make is to further incorporate gratitude into your life. Sometimes when we are in a rut, it can be easy to count all the ways we have been unlucky in life. But when things are going well, we often fail to count our blessings in the same way. Focusing on gratitude, whether our spirits are high or low, is a small change in perspective with substantial results.

 

Make it a point before you go to bed every night to count the things you are grateful for that day. Some days this will be easy, and other days this will be hard, but you will quickly learn that you can always find something to hold gratitude for, even on your worst days. By practicing gratitude, over time you will find yourself better appreciating the things that you previously took for granted: a glass of cold water, a birdsong outside your window, a friend.

 

By incorporating gratitude into your daily routine, you may feel a sense of fulfillment even if things aren’t going your way.

 

Forgiveness

 

Letting go of old baggage is a popular New Year’s resolution idea and for good reason. Many people spend a good percentage of their lives holding grudges against other people or harboring a strong sense of regret or guilt for themselves long after an incident takes place. The new year is a great opportunity for you to decide that past mistakes are in the past, and the slate can be wiped clean for the new year.


Incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine can have great benefits on your everyday life, but like all New Year’s resolutions, it can be hard to keep it up all year. Check out these tips on how to keep up with your New Year’s resolutions by clicking the button below!