We all know that mindfulness is great for reducing stress and anxiety, improving our focus, memory and reducing our blood pressure. But it can be so hard sometimes to fit it in. Well you don’t have to practice for a long time every day. Even a few minutes can make a difference. Read on to find out how to fit mindful moments into your busy day 🙂 …
Mindfulness is about being present in the present moment with awareness of what is happening.
“Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention:
in the present moment,
to things as they are.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn
As well as formal meditation practice there are many different ways you can be more mindful. We’re often in automatic pilot where we’re performing tasks and doing things without being aware of it. This is great for certain things like brushing our teeth or getting dressed but not so useful when we want to be present, e.g. when we realise we haven’t really been paying attention in a meeting and we’re expected to give our opinion (oops!).
Here are some ways to fit some mindful moments into your busy day:
- When you wake up take some slow deep breaths. Feel your whole body on the bed and really connect with it. This is a great way to start your day.
- Whenever you make a drink do some mindful stretches. Raise your arms slowly above your head and feel the effect of the stretch on your arms, shoulders, back and neck. Rotate your shoulders or stretch your legs – whatever feels good to your body.
- Pause whenever the phone rings. Drop your shoulders, adjust your posture and then answer.
- Before emailing, take a couple of deep breaths. Let go of any tension. Ask yourself if you really need to do this now or can it wait until later?
- When you get home from work, spend a few minutes doing a short mindful meditation. It can be as simple as just watching your breath for a few minutes. Noticing the inhalation and your belly inflating, noticing your exhalation and your belly deflating. Just focus on your breath and let everything else go.
- Mindfully prepare your meal. Notice the colours, shapes, textures and smells of your food. Notice how your body feels as you prepare and cook your meal.
- Mindfully do the dishes or stack the dishwasher. Notice the feel of the water, the bubbles and texture of the cloth. Or if you’re stacking the dishwasher, be mindful about where you’re placing the dishes, glasses etc.
There are lots of ways you can slip in these mindful moments to your day. I suggest that you try just one or two a day and practice them for a few days or a week and see how you get on. Then try a different couple and practice those. Mix and match the ones you find most useful and the ones you find most challenging.
I hope that you’ve found these suggestions useful. Let me know your favourite ways of being more mindful.
Here’s a short mindful meditation I created last year. It is only 6 minutes long and takes you on a mindful forest walk. I hope you enjoy 🙂