Mindfulness is defined as “a technique in which one focuses one’s full attention only on the present, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations but not judging them.” Anyone who has ever had the experience of arriving at their destination only to realize they don’t remember any of the trip knows mindfulness can be a challenge.
If you could benefit from being more present and reducing judgment, practicing mindfulness can help. Here are 8 ways you can practice mindfulness everyday:
- Breathe. Our bodies intuitively know how to do this life affirming practice. Allowing yourself to actually experience your breath. Notice the feeling of the air coming into your nostrils and the sensation on your upper lip as you exhale. You can simply start by doing this for 10 breaths. Restroom breaks are a good reminder to focus on your breath.
- Be present. Pick one task you do daily and commit to being fully present for it. Allow yourself to really hear the water run as you wash your dishes. Feel the suds on your hands. Listen to the sound of the clean plate when you move your finger across it.
- Practice Acceptance. Accepting life on life’s terms can ease stress and tension. Your car is broken, try accepting it. Rejecting the notion that your car is broken doesn’t magically make it work. Accepting it and then taking action from that place can lead to mindfulness.
- Eat mindfully. Eat when you are hungry. Sit at the table free from distractions like phones, books, or TV. Notice the sensation of chewing your food. Notice the subtle flavors.
- Write a gratitude list. Each day make a list of 5 things you have to be grateful for. This helps you focus on the present day.
- Slow down. Challenge yourself to slow your pace down. If you usually open your eyes and start checking email, try setting a timer for 10 minutes before you pick up your phone. If you tend to ignore traffic laws, try driving the speed limit for an entire week.
- Have fun. Laugh. Play. Enjoy.
- Put Your Phone Down. Take a break from technology. This might be an entire day or if you are just starting just 60 minutes.
Mindfulness has many benefits. Try practicing these simple steps. Mindfulness can become a habit. It just takes practice.
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