Mindfulness is one of the greatest buzzwords these days. You’re probably hearing it everywhere around you (that and meditation) and it seems to be the solution for just about anything.Before I go into the ways of how you can be more mindful during the day, just a couple of words on what mindfulness is and what the benefits are.
Mindfullness: a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
Why practice mindfulness?
Over the years, many benefits of mindfulness have been scientifically proven. For example, being mindful improves your mood and enhances your creativity and it also helps to reduce stress and anxiety. It also makes you more focused as you train your brain to remove distractions and concentrate on one task.
But mindfulness also helps you to slow down and stop rushing, to stop dwelling on the past but focusing on the present. You’ll notice that you’re enjoying the little moments and appreciating life more, because you’re actively concentrating on being in the moment.
8 easy ways to be more mindful during the day
Knowing the benefits of being mindful isn’t so difficult. It gets trickier to remember to actually be mindful! No one is ever going to be 100% present all the time, but there are many opportunities throughout the day that you can use to be more mindful.
Start your day with meditation
This is an obvious one, but if you would like to be more mindful it always helps to start your day right. Spending just five minutes meditating in the morning helps me to start my day more calm and focused. I use the Headspace app for this.
Eat without distractions
We’ve all been there – mindlessly eating in front of the TV and suddenly you’ve finished your food without even noticing that you were eating, let alone enjoying!
To avoid this and actually enjoy your meal mindfully, turn off all distractions around you. Properly sit down, set the table, eat from a plate (rather than a plastic container – even if you’ve meal prepped!) and pay attention to how your food look, smells, feels and tastes. Don’t rush but take the time to enjoy.
The same goes for drinking. I’ve significantly cut down the amount of alcohol that I’m drinking. Not that I was a heavy drinker, but I could easily drink too much too quickly without actually enjoying. So now when I do take a glass of wine, I drink slowly and savour every sip.
And besides that you’re enjoying your food so much more, mindful eating can also contribute to weight loss and a healthy digestion.
Re-purpose your chores
Turn the boring household chores that you need to do anyway into a mindfulness ritual. I love to do this especially with cooking – being really aware of the vegetables I’m slicing, the sizzling oil in the pan, the smells, etcetera, I think you get the point! Be present in the moment and not just try to rush through the task to complete it as fast as possible.
You can do the same with for example laundry or cleaning.
Enjoy the power of your body
Exercise with a feeling of appreciation of what your body can do rather than just wanting for your exercise to be over so you can feel super good afterwards. Focus your attention on your moves and how your muscles are feeling. And enjoy the stretching afterwards – don’t rush through that. Take your time and be aware of your whole body.
Get on your bike or take a walk in nature
Being in nature is one of the easiest ways for me to be mindful in my daily life. I commute to work on my bike and always take the route that goes through the forest. When I’m there, I take deep breaths, taking in the fresh air. I listen to the sounds, try to spot a rabbit or a bird, and I enjoy the smells. Depending on what weather it is, the forest always smells differently.
If you don’t have the luxury of commuting to your work by bike or walking, take a walking break during the day and try to go to a park or forest. Notice everything around you and enjoy. You’ll return to the office recharged and with a fresh mind.
Genuinely listen to others
Actively and genuinely listening to someone with your full attention is not only mindful. It’s also respectful and will help you build long term relationships. Furthermore, it’s a highly rated, valuable asset in your working life. So the next time you’re chatting to your colleague or loved one, try to listen without your own mind interfering with what you’re hearing and just focus on what they have to say.
Observe your mind
The moment you notice that your mind is wondering, you’re not being present in the moment and you pull your mind back to the present is when you’re being mindful! Train yourself in noticing this and watch yourself throughout the day, so you can pull yourself back into the here and now.
Do one thing at the time
Quit multitasking. You can never be fully present in the moment if you’re doing multiple things at the same time. So stop doing five things all at once and instead concentrate on the one task at hand.
I hope you enjoyed these tips. For me, they are some of the easiest ways to incorporate more mindfulness in your daily life without the hassle of needing to find a quiet space for meditation. On top of that, they’re also very down to earth which fits my personality and my lifestyle.
Are you practicing mindfulness? If you do, how are you doing that? Let me know in the comments!