There is so much noise in the world today. Noise on your way to work, noise at home, noise from the media. In it all, sometimes the noise blanks out the important things, and we are unable to be truly mindful. Maybe you are just flooded with work.
No doubt, you will not be functioning at 100%, since you need to get as much done in the least amount of time. You are not really thinking about what you’re doing, but you’re just doing it for the sake of it.
Not surprisingly, many people do not take the time to be mindful of anything around them. Surely, you’ve had an occurrence when you just found yourself lost looking at the clouds, and feeling a great sense of joy.
This, is mindfulness.
The best way to enjoy more of these spontaneous sessions of joy and appreciation? Integrate mindfulness into things you do every day. Consider these 5 as great starting points for your mindfulness journey.
1. Focus On Your Breathing. Really Focus On It.
Focusing on your rhythmic breathing pattern is one of the most basic forms of mindfulness, but amazing nevertheless. Mindful breathing is excellent for calming mental cloud or overwhelm, and helps you focus on the immediate present. Focused deep breathing relieves anxiety from the future and past and can realign you towards your goals.
2. Eating Your Food.
Each meal is a masterpiece. It took a highly concerted effort of preparation, cooking and presentation to deliver the finished meal. Eating should be treated as such. Do not rush through your meal for the sake of it; instead savor each and every bite you put into your mouth. Feel the texture on your tongue, the aroma and tastes. The brain is also better able to process the meal, and you are less likely to overeat.
3. Upon Waking.
Is waking up a stressful time for you? Does it include hitting the alarm off on your phone or clock and hurriedly dashing to the bathroom? If so, your day has just encountered the worst possible start. A little bit of mindful waking could pave the way for a great day and it just entails waking up 10 minutes or so earlier.
Upon waking from your alarm, take a few minutes to stretch and get the muscle activated. Feel the deliberate expansion and contraction of each muscle group as it is stretched and visualize them from under your skin.
But hold on we’re not going anywhere yet. The next few minutes involve mentally going through what needs to be done for the day, but in an organized manner that “calms” your brain from the likely stress you are to encounter when doing said tasks.
Walking can be one of the most relaxing exercises you can do, both mentally and physically, but sadly it’s just another way of hurriedly getting from one place to another for most people. However, walking outside could be a surreal experience for the senses, from the feel of a cool breeze on your skin, to the serene rustling of leaves on trees or the fresh smell of spring or crispy tinge of autumn. There are so many things to experience when walking, all it takes is some mindful focus.
5. Having Deep Conversation.
When last can you honestly say that you had a real conversation eye to eye, visualizing the movement of lips as the person speaks, and free from distraction of a smart phone, PC or Television? A very long time if you’re telling the truth.
However, having a real conversation is an example of mindful listening. You are able to understand what that person is trying to convey without them finishing a conversation, because you are being mindful of cues they may be giving off. This is an excellent exercise for strengthening relationships.
You can include mindfulness in any number of daily tasks. The key is to truly put your attention into it, and understand the moment. With a greater appreciation for things, you become more mindful of the world around you and mindfulness helps reduce stress, keeps you in the moment, and gets rid of that awful worry that is generated that focusing on the future.