What comes to your mind when you think about “mindfulness”? Probably passive, seated meditation as we know it? But mindfulness, i.e. this special form of attention where you notice what is without judging, can also be practiced in different situations throughout the day. Why should you even care about mindfulness? Well, living a more mindful leads to less stress, more happiness and gratefulness and can even help with anxiety, depression and pain. Sounds good, right?
Here are 6 easy ways to practice mindfulness every day.
1. Mindful listening
Next time you talk to someone, try to give your fullest attention to the person you have the conversation with – without your phone and without thinking of something else. Be in the here and now and don’t just passively receive information. Actively put yourself in the other person’s shoes and treat her or him as the most important person in the world for that moment. Not only will she or he feel more appreciated but you will also strengthen your relationship and have the possibility to take the conversation to a deeper level.
2. Mindful eating
How often do you eat while scrolling on your phone, watching tv or reading? (Yep, guilty!) Next time you have a meal, try to pay close attention to the plate in front of you. Look at the ingredients, feel the different textures and taste the different tastes in your mouth and enjoy consciously. You can also eat mindfully when you’re with other people. It requires a bit of practice but you can try and come back to yourself every few minutes, taste mindfully and check in if you’re satiated.
3. Mindful walking
You can also practice being in the present moment when you go for a walk. Leave your phone and headphones at home and consciously observe your surroundings: The ground beneath you, the fresh air around you, the sound of birds chirping and cars driving by. You’ll see what a wonderful event a simple walk can be!
4. Mindful scrolling
This exercise requires a bit of practice but it is extremely rewarding. When scrolling through you social media, try to pay attention to your feelings and thoughts. Maybe you wont be able to notice them the first few times you do this exercise but over time you might realize that you tense up when you look at certain pictures or read certain captions, feel jealousy or maybe even sadness and anger. Try to find out which pictures and accounts make you feel god and which ones don’t. Then you can take conscious action and create your own “feel good – feed”.
5. Mindfully enjoying the silence
Doing nothing and enjoying the silence, observing our surroundings and just being grateful for it is something we don’t do often enough. Maybe you know the feeling that comes up when you enjoy a sunset on vacation, for example. Without distractions. You’re just present, in awe and enjoy. You can also take those little time outs in your everyday life, letting your gaze wander and your thoughts settle.
6. Mindful working
Are you a multitasker? I sure am. And it has become a very normal thing nowadays. When we pay attention to many different things in the same time, however, we deplete our mental capacity and our energy much quicker, which in turn makes us more tired and less productive. Challenge yourself to consciously focus on only one task at a time, paying full attention to it and eliminating any distractions. You’ll see how much more time saving this strategy is in order to effectively reach a goal.
I hope you’ll try some of these 6 tips! Do you have more suggestions for more mindfulness in our everyday life?