I have read so many articles about Mindfulness and while I found that meditation was not for me, there are other ways to be mindful in your daily life. Below, are some interesting ways that I practice mindfulness that work for me!
1. Go Outside
One of the simplest ways to connect with your mindful self is by taking a short walk without any distractions. This means consciously pressing pause on any podcasts, playlists, or phone calls, and maybe even leaving your phone behind. During this walk, be fully present in your surroundings. Feel the connection between your feet and the earth, listen to the gentle sound of your steps or the natural melodies around you, and observe the sensations in your body as it moves or the warmth that touches your skin. While I can’t get outside as often as I want these days, I can go out in my own backyard!
2. Intentional Self-Care
The next time you clean your face, take a bath or shower, or even brush your teeth, pause for a moment and actively engage in the experience. Take in the sensation of the soap against your skin, the aroma it emits, and the temperature of the water. Similarly, when brushing your teeth, focus on the feel of the toothbrush held in your hand, savour the taste of the toothpaste, and acknowledge the gentle bristles against your gums. By mindfully observing how your body reacts, you cultivate a slower pace, increase your gratitude for the ability to care for yourself, and appreciate the privilege of having access to clean water.
Meta-awareness refers to the ability to be aware of one’s own awareness or cognitive processes. It involves being able to consciously observe and monitor one’s thoughts, emotions, sensations, and actions without getting caught up in them or being identified with them. Meta-awareness allows individuals to have a more objective and detached perspective on their own inner experiences, which can lead to better self-regulation, insight, and mindfulness.
4. Mindful Listening
Most likely, there was a time when you engaged in a conversation while your mind was preoccupied with something else or rushing to complete an email, only to realize later that you couldn’t recall a single word the person said. To prevent this from happening again, it’s essential to genuinely focus, listening carefully and attentively, devoid of any distractions such as your phone. Moreover, while you listen, try to avoid interrupting, judging, or criticizing the speaker. It’s important to be mindful of your own thoughts and observe your physical and emotional reactions, as this can enable you to respond with purpose and intention.
5. Paper and Pen
Take a few moments to engage in doodling using a traditional pen and paper. Focus on the audible sound of the ink meeting the page, the tactile sensation of the pen in your fingers, and the freedom of your hand gliding across the surface. It is crucial to allow yourself to experience this without passing judgment. Previously, doodling was viewed as a form of distraction, but studies reveal its potential to enhance concentration, and memory, and alleviate stress and anxiety by reducing activity in the amygdala region of the brain.
6. Change Your Perspective
Take your time while capturing a photo with your phone. Instead of hastily snapping a picture and instantly sharing it on social media, she suggests focusing on the specific elements you want to capture and experimenting with different angles. Additionally, zooming in on certain details can offer a fresh perspective. By gradually adjusting the camera’s position, even by a few degrees at a time, you can gain a better understanding of how your surroundings appear from various viewpoints, illuminating the diversity of your world.
7. Play Games
The next time you find yourself trapped in an endlessly long line while going through the process of renewing your driver’s license, or when you’re ensnared in frustratingly immobile traffic, try observing your surroundings as if you were going to provide testimony as an eyewitness. Take note of everything around you, one thing at a time, turning it into a game on what you can recognize to help pass the time and stay mindful.
When it comes to housework, mindfulness can be incredibly beneficial. Instead of rushing through chores and viewing them as a tedious burden, practicing mindfulness allows us to approach these tasks with a sense of calm and intention. We can focus on the sensations of cleaning and organizing, fully engage our senses, and cultivate gratitude for the ability to maintain a clean and comfortable living environment. By integrating mindfulness into our housekeeping routine, we not only accomplish the chores more efficiently but also find peace and fulfillment in the process.
It is important to emphasize that incorporating mindfulness into your daily life doesn’t have to be time-consuming or burdensome, nor is it hard to do. The benefits of mindfulness arise from simply being aware of your present experience without passing judgment. It can be a playful and enjoyable activity, something that you do just for yourself. Engaging in this inner activity can cultivate your own personal enthusiasm for life and the world around you, just as it has done for me.