Tips To Bring More Mindfulness To Your Day
Mindfulness is about living more fully in the present moment. If you’re able to incorporate more mindfulness into your daily life, the benefits are profound from lowering your stress, improving your focus to boosting your immune system and more. The amazing thing about mindfulness is that you can practice it anywhere - while you wait for the bus, turn on your computer, or brush your teeth at night. Here are 3 mindful tips we currently practice. Perhaps try one out this week!
Mindful Tip #1: Pick a mindful activity! If you’ve attended an 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course this is one of your first assignments. The idea here is that you can bring curiosity, openness, and a beginner’s mindset (attitudes of mindful living) to even the most mundane, every day things. It’s through looking at these things with mindful awareness that your perspective will shift and you’ll bring more mindfulness to these activities. All you do is pick an activity you do every day, such as brushing your teeth, doing the dishes, or walking your dog. Then try to stay present throughout. So, if you pick washing the dishes, really notice the temperature of the water, the smell of the soap, and the sound of the running water. We bet you’ve never really paid so much attention to this before. If your mind starts to wander, bring it back to your mindful activity. Practicing this everyday will strengthen your mindfulness muscle.
Mindful Tip #2: Pause between actions. One of the benefits of practicing mindfulness is that it teaches you to be more aware of your actions and thoughts. You’ll find that you won’t immediately react to a situation. You’ll have a moment to pause and come up with the best response. So, practice this more by intentionally creating more pauses between actions in your day. For example, before picking up the phone to answer, pause and listen to the sound of the phone ringing. Before starting your work day, pause and notice your computer turning on. These little pauses can really help keep you focused and bring you back to the present moment in your day.
Mindful Tip #3: Notice your mental time travel. As mentioned above, mindfulness teaches you to become more aware of your thoughts. This can lead you to not take them as seriously. To better gauge your thought patterns, another practice is to notice your mental time travel. Perhaps once or twice a day, when you notice when you are lost in thought (when in practicing mindfulness, the practice is in catching yourself when you’re not in the present), notice if you’re reminiscing about the past or worrying about the future. Gently bring yourself back to the present. Overtime, you’ll notice a pattern and can get better at bringing yourself back to the now. The present moment is a gift, which is why we should enjoy it!
For more formal mindfulness practices, check out our InsightTimer page.
Resources and Additional Tips:
Positive Psychology Program (2019). 22 Mindful Exercises.
Mindful (2019). Getting Started With Mindfulness: https://www.mindful.org/meditation/mindfulness-getting-started/
Mind Body Green (2019). 24 Ways To Be Mindful All Day, Every Day: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-15442/24-ways-to-be-mindful-all-day-every-day.html