The term mindfulness isn’t new. And while there are many proven benefits, such as improved focus, improved physical health, and decreased anxiety; there is still quite a bit of skepticism and reluctance surrounding this practice.
Many may feel reluctant to incorporate mindful practices into their lives because of the common misconception that mindfulness is complicated and time-consuming. This belief hints at the overall lack of knowledge as to what mindfulness truly is.
Mindfulness can be simply defined as “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.” In other words, mindfulness is much easier to achieve than some may think.
Before the time when smartphones and computers claimed our attention, mindfulness seemed much less complex. Today we have to seek out those mindful moments in our days.
Studies show that just one minute of meditation a day can make us happier. Mindful practices don’t have to be complex or time-consuming. In fact, mindfulness can be achieved at any point during the day.
Curious about how to get started? Try one new mindful practice each day for one week and you’ll be on your way. Take note of what works best for you and consider making it a part of your daily routine or at least keep it in your “wellbeing toolkit” to utilize during stressful moments.
MONDAY: Mindful breathing.Take a few moments to breathe mindfully; both your mind and body will thank you. Start by grounding your feet to the floor while maintaining an acute awareness of your body, thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. Inhale through your nose for four counts, exhale slowly and repeat. Do this throughout the day or whenever you feel is necessary.
TUESDAY: Mindful eating. It can become easy to fall into the habit of multitasking during meals, but avoid doing so. Take a minute to pay attention to your meal; what do you notice about the shapes, colors, flavors, smells, and texture of what you are eating? What do you notice about your surroundings?
WEDNESDAY: Mindful commuting. These days our morning commutes usually consist of reading and listening to podcasts, the radio, or our favorite playlists. Challenge yourself to find a mindful moment during your commute by holding off on powering on those electronic devices and then by taking a few mindful breaths as you hit the road. Take note of your emotions and surroundings.
THURSDAY: Mindful cleaning. Yes, for most of us cleaning is already a part of our daily ritual and can often feel like a mundane task, but have you ever considered cleaning mindfully? During your daily chores, note as many details as possible. Tune into your breath when sweeping or vacuuming, feel the temperature of the water on your hands when rinsing off dishes, avoid watching television or listening to music when cleaning your room.
FRIDAY: Mindful transitioning. For some, ending our day can feel hectic. We often disassociate ourselves from the present moment by going over the day’s events in our heads. When you’re cleaning your desk or rearranging those papers before you head home for the day, take a minute to breathe in and out deeply and ground yourself in the present moment. Notice as many details as possible.
SATURDAY: Mindful seeing. Challenge yourself to turn the moments you spend outside into meaningful and mindful moments. The next time you’re walking to your car or train, into the grocery store, or even outside to simply take the trash and recycling out, take a short minute to connect with mother nature. Take a look around you and tap into your five senses, breathe deeply and then go about your day.
SUNDAY: Mindful gratitude. Begin your mornings with a little gratitude. A huge component of mindfulness includes accepting our reality with nonjudgmental awareness. When you awaken, avoid checking your phone for updates, texts, and emails. Take one minute to check-in with yourself and your surroundings and then identify 3 things you are grateful for in that very moment.
Finding mindful moments throughout the day doesn’t have to be difficult. In a time where we are constantly dividing our attention between our responsibilities, technology, our friends and loved ones, and our own self-care, mindfulness has become critical to our wellbeing. We need mindful moments throughout the day to keep ourselves grounded and mentally, emotionally, and socially strong.
“If you stay in the moment, you’ll have what is called spontaneous right action, which is intuitive, which is creative, which is visionary, which eavesdrops on the mind of the universe.”
– Dan Harris, Author of 10% Happier
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