Stress Less, How to Include Mindfulness in Your Every Day
Mindfulness is a bit of a buzzword these days, but the principles and benefits of mindfulness are timeless. In short, mindfulness is all about allowing yourself to experience the present moment. This might sound like an obvious and easy thing for us to do, but unfortunately, it is something that doesn’t happen naturally and if we don’t find ways to practice and implement mindfulness into our everyday lives, it won’t happen.
To make it as easy as possible for you to bring more mindfulness into your day-to-day, here are a few of my top tips:
Start with Awareness:
Mindfulness is born out of awareness. Therefore, looking at ways to develop our awareness first and foremost makes perfect sense as a starting place. To do this, consider beginning your day by taking a minute or two to set an intention for the day ahead. This could be anything from trying to be as present as possible throughout your day. Then, take a few more minutes to observe your surroundings, feel your breath, and become aware of ‘where your head is at’, and consider how you are feeling. This gentle awakening sets the stage for a mindful day.
Transform mundane activities into mindful moments. Engage your senses as you sip your morning tea or coffee, feeling the warmth of the cup in your hands and savoring each sip. While showering or brushing your teeth, bring your attention to the different sensations these simple tasks invoke. By infusing mindfulness into these routine acts, you create a sanctuary of tranquility within your day.
Pause and Breathe:
Create moments of pause throughout your day. When you feel overwhelmed or stressed, take a deep, conscious breath. Feel the air entering in through your nose, bringing vitality and clarity to your being. Allow this flow of your breath to ground you, bringing you back to the present moment and releasing tension in the process.
In a fast-paced world, we often consume meals in a hurried manner, disconnected from the experience of nourishment. Practice mindful eating by engaging all your senses while having a meal. Observe the colors, textures, and aromas of your food. Chew slowly and savor each bite, appreciating the nourishment it provides. Cultivating this awareness during meals fosters gratitude for the sustenance we receive.
Engage Fully in Activities:
Whether you are just going for a walk, doing a hobby, or spending time with loved ones, try to see how present you can be. Avoid multitasking and give your undivided attention to each activity. By immersing yourself in the task at hand, you deepen your connection with the present moment. When we do this, it has a wonderful impact on our mood and wellbeing which can help to support lowering stress levels.
Mindful communication lies at the heart of meaningful relationships. If you know you are catching up with a friend or colleague, take a few moments to foster a present state of mind. This way, you can be fully present with the person you are meeting with and listen attentively, offering your undivided attention. Respond consciously, speaking with kindness and compassion. Mindful communication fosters deeper connections and understanding.
Spend time in nature regularly, for it has a profound ability to awaken our innate sense of mindfulness. Simple activities such as walking in the woods, feeling the earth beneath your feet, or simply sitting under a tree and observing the beauty around you are all ways to embrace nature. Nature acts as a mirror, reminding us of the interconnectedness of all life and inviting us to embrace the present moment.
Develop a gratitude practice to anchor your awareness in the blessings of life. At the end of each day, reflect on moments, experiences, and people for which you are grateful. This practice shifts our focus from scarcity to abundance and deepens our appreciation for the present moment.
Embracing the present moment invites us to discover the richness and beauty that exists within and around us at every moment. We have to make time to do this, otherwise our minds can take control of our days and our stress levels can continue to compound until we are forced to take a break and restore our energy levels. By incorporating these mindfulness practices into your everyday life, it will make it easier for you to further cultivate a life filled with serenity, purpose, and joy.