Welcome to The Midlife ToolBox, a very special series of guest posts written by Midlife Bloggers from all over the world. We are unique women, and even though we are all getting older, our perspective, challenges, and ways we see life are definitely unique! I hope you enjoy these wise words and gain some insight from them. I know I will.
Today’s guest is Lisa Storer of Midlife Pursuits.
Lisa is sharing the benefits of practicing mindfulness every day in midlife. She’s going to give us a snapshot of her ‘before’ life, and then her life as it is now, having learned to practice meditation and mindfulness regularly.
Let’s hear from Lisa!
When I was asked to write this post for the Inspire My Style Blog, I was so excited because I truly do have some fantastic tools and love sharing how they work for me in midlife.
Over the past few years, my life has changed, as does life for many of us in midlife. My mindset has really shifted FROM – this is my life and I try to make the most of it – TO – this is my life and I have the ability to change it however I want.
The biggest change that I’ve made is in my habits. And my habits are now focused on my new mindset. To explain this – let’s look at a typical week about 5-6 years ago.
A Change in Mindset
Every morning I felt anxious about getting the kids up and around to be to school on time. I would be feeling irritated that my son wouldn’t get up on his own. (I had to go turn on his light and then go back numerous times before he actually got up.) We were usually late (starting the day on a negative note for all of us).
The evening was always rushed as well, with kids’ activities and getting ready for the next day. After work, I’d make dinner and try to tackle the prep for tomorrow as well as any light cleanup that needed to be done, plus laundry, of course, and attend the kids’ sporting events/practices.
On the weekend, I would stress out and worry about things that needed to be done around the house and not having enough money to have it done, let alone save for any of it, because I really didn’t have much left over after paying the bills.
That stress lead to a cycle of overwhelm and guilt: overwhelm because I knew there was so much to do but didn’t know where to start; and guilt for not starting, which would just increase the overwhelm – you get the picture.
Needless to say, I wasn’t a very calm/relaxed (or dare I say happy) person.
Fast forward to about 2 years ago when I took a class online called Mindfulness for Wellbeing Peak Performance. Well, I learned SO MUCH – most importantly, I learned about myself.
I learned that I was unhappy much of the time because I believed that things in my life needed fixing and I wasn’t doing enough to fix it all. I was fighting against my circumstances, rather than accepting things in my life and working with them instead of resisting.
When I realized everything that mindfulness can do to create that calm within, and how absolutely possible it is to change our outlook, I wanted to know more. I started reading blogs and books and listening to podcasts with a focus on mindfulness and meditation.
I regularly began meditating. I think one of the biggest things that I learned by practicing meditation was to gently bring myself back to the present when I found that I was ruminating over something that happened or worrying about something that “might happen” in the future.
Read more posts from the Midlife Tool Box Series
Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness Every Day
Some other benefits I’ve found include:
- Paying attention to my body and my posture (sitting up straighter, dropping my shoulders and not holding tension).
- Paying attention to my hunger/cravings (even though it doesn’t mean I always control the munching).
- Accepting life’s challenges and when things don’t turn out the way I had hoped (like when my son quit college).
- Not being tied to a specific outcome (like wanting only sunny days on vacation).
Today, when I feel the overwhelm come on, I can pull out the tools in my mindful toolbox and immediately feel better. I am a happier person and more at peace with my life.
And, although I still worry about my kids (even though they are older and out of school), I don’t let the worry take over. I’m accepting of things the way they are and work with what is. And, I’m actually pretty grateful for “what is.”
Mindfulness is about being curious and accepting rather than judgmental. I attribute my new mindset to this practice, which includes meditation, journaling, yoga, and gratitude. It is the #1 tool in my Midlife Toolbox and I highly recommend it!
Note: here are some really helpful basic yoga poses for relaxation
Lisa Storer, founder of Midlife Pursuits
On her blog, Lisa explores the step-by-step formulas she has learned for success while traveling through midlife, including ways to get ‘unstuck’, realize your potential, and take one step at a time, whatever you want to accomplish.
Be sure to visit Lisa:
Are you interested in submitting a guest post for this series? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and include your blog or website URL. We’ll have a chat! Thanks.
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26 thoughts on “Benefits of Practicing Mindfulness Every Day in Midlife”
Thank you, Candi! I love this series and was thrilled that you asked me to write for it AND to join you and all the other fantastic blogger contributors!
Thanks, Lisa, I am thrilled that you agreed to participate! Your thoughts have been very well received.
Nice post, I need to practice this more. #MLSTL visitor
Hi Donna, thanks so much for stopping by. Yes, Lisa makes some very good points about daily mindfulness. I need to heed them a bit more myself. 🙂
Learning to be more mindful and living more in the moment have been really helpful skills for me too. Letting go of worrying about stuff (the past and the future) and just trying to be present in the present is my goal these days – definitely a lot less stressful. I don’t think I’ll ever be a meditator but I’m learning to calm my mind when it starts getting ahead of itself – so that’s a good start.
Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂
Thanks Leanne, for sharing! It’s always a good choice to let the worrying go. We can’t change the past or know what the future holds, so staying in today is best. I try to do the same1
Visiting via #MLSTL. So interesting to hear about another person’s specifics on mindfulness. The idea of fighting circumstances versus accepting them is very interesting. I spend too much time (still) crafting scenarios in my head about circumstances – both past (what If I had done this….) and future (what if this happens….). Accepting them – they happened, they will happen. Thanks for that nudge. While I have tried (unsuccessfully) to do meditation, the gentle mantra of “come back to the present” is something I think I can do!
I agree with you Patricia, that creating scenarios in our head (I do it, too!) doesn’t change anything or help us. For me, it’s prayer for the most part, not sure how well I’d do with meditation. But there are definitely similarities and it is very helpful for me. Thanks so much for stopping by.
Hi Patricia. I use the Insight Timer App for guided meditations and it has helped me so much with remembering to bring myself back to the present when I find myself crafting those scenarios you mention. Thanks so much for sharing your own experiences. : ) I’m so appreciative that Candi has put this toolbox together for us!
Thank you Candi and Lisa. Mindfulness is something I’ve been working on for the last couple of years. I have been meditating every morning (well, nearly) and have noticed a difference in my overall mindfulness. In addition, I have been working on mindful eating, which helps me enjoy my food more and eat less, but also reminds me to be aware of the present moment in general. Mindfulness is definitely a practice (not a perfection), but it is an important tool in my Midlife Toolbox. Thank you for sharing your insight on the subject.
Christie – you make such a great point – it’s not perfection – always a practice. I’d love to learn more about mindful eating…or intuitive eating even! Thanks for reading and taking the time to share!
Hi Christie, thanks for sharing what you’ve been working on with mindfulness. I need to pay more attention to mindful eating. 🙂
Interestingly enough, I began meditating this summer. It has made such a change in my life. I can now bring myself to the present when I’m having a conversation with someone, rather than letting my mind drift off. My 20-30 minutes of meditating each day is something I look forward to and I can totally relate to your post. Thanks for sharing! #MSTL
Hi Theresa! I was totally amazed at how a meditation practice has changed my life. I am a huge advocate and really try to get my son on board (he’s 19 so….you can imagine how that goes over)! I love hearing from others who have benefited like I have! Thanks!!
Hi Theresa, thanks so much for stopping by! It sounds like you’ve had good success practicing mindfulness.
Hi Leanne! Yes, being present and not dwelling on what could be or what has happened is really key!
Mindfulness is a very important practice which I KNOW I need to do more…and it is out in nature and through art I become mindful. I do these every day. Getting there!!
HI Denyse. I sometimes forget that art and nature are also good ways to be mindful and stay present. I appreciate that reminder. : )
I agree, Denyse, it is a process that I need to work on regularly. Thanks so much for stopping by this week!
Hi Lisa. I’ve have had anxiety all my life, but never really addressed it until I reached the age of fifty and began a meditation process through journaling. It all started for me with the book by Julia Cameron, called The Artist’s Way. I enjoyed your post and plan to visit your blog. Thank you for sharing this great midlife tool box series, Candi.
Hey Christina! Thank you for sharing your experience with anxiety and journaling. I was curious about the book you mentioned so I googled it and now I’m even more interested! Would love to see you over at Midlife Pursuits! (Thanks again, Candi.)
Hi Christina, Thank you as always, for stopping by and also for sharing on SM. I’m glad you found a book and meditation process that has been beneficial for you!
Hi Candi. I forgot to say, I’ll be sharing to FB.
Great post Candi and Lisa. Mindfulness is one of the best things I’ve incorporated into my lifestyle and see it works for both of you as well. Visiting from #MLSTL and will pin this post.
Hi Nancy, thanks so much for stopping by and for sharing!