10 Ways To Be Mindful Throughout A Busy Day
People the world over are discovering more about the wonderful benefits of mindfulness, the practice of bringing your awareness to what is currently going on. Simply put, it is being aware of what you are doing while you are doing it, even when you are busy.
When you begin to analyse what you actually think about, you may be very surprised to realise that you spend a great deal of time reflecting and ruminating over past events as well as planning, anticipating, and worrying about future ones. You are probably all too familiar with the never-ending internal mental chatter of self-talk that can lead you to doubt yourself or even diminish your self-esteem. That’s a great starting point because, one of the keys to recognising the need for mindfulness in your life is to realise how mindless you actually are.
When you practice mindfulness to still the thoughts in your mind, you will be able to listen to your inner voice, become more focussed, and make better decisions. The process of stilling the busy, thinking mind promotes peace, gratitude, happiness, and more positive relationships with others. Practicing being aware in the present moment daily can break the vicious cycle of anxiety, stress, conflict, and fatigue.
The word practice is synonymous with effort and work. However, in the case of practicing mindfulness, it couldn’t be easier or more enjoyable – you simply need to pause, pay attention to your breath and, whenever your attention wanders, bring your awareness back to the present moment using your breath.
Here are some simple suggestions on how to be mindful in easy everyday ways:
- 1. Awaken Mindfully
Breathe easily, peacefully, and effortlessly. Use the simple art of breathing to bring your awareness to the present moment. Focus your attention on the in-breath and the out-breath. When you breathe in and out mindfully, you bring your mind and body together to be truly present. Spend as little as two minutes after you awaken every day to be mindful.
- 2. Shower Mindfully
Be aware of the sound of the water washing over your body. Feel the sensation of the water touching your body and smell the fragrance of the scents present.
- 3. Travel Mindfully
When you are travelling either by car, train, bike or foot, notice everything about your journey through your senses – notice touch, sights, sounds, smells, and tastes.
- 4. Sense Mindfully
Use your senses to see, hear, touch, taste, and smell as though you are doing it for the very first time. Look at your hands as though you were seeing them for the very first time. Be aware of how they feel and the sounds they make as you rub your fingers and thumbs together.
- 5. Walk Mindfully
Focus your attention on the feeling of your feet in your footwear, the touch of your feet on the ground, the texture of the ground, the soles of your feet, and on how they feel as each in turn touches the ground. Simply notice and focus on your steps so that you can bring awareness to your walking.
- 6. Wait Mindfully
Rather than being annoyed and frustrated at having to wait, use this ideal opportunity to be mindful. Bring your awareness to your breathing, to your feet on the ground, and also to the surrounding sounds.
- 7. Pause Mindfully
STOP. Stop what you are doing. Take a breath, Observe what you are doing. Proceed positively. While you are being mindful, not only do you stop talking on the outside, but also on the inside.
- 8. Eat Mindfully
Have you every eaten a meal without really stopping to enjoy and appreciate your food? Eating is a great opportunity to practice mindfulness. Look at your food, notice the colours and shapes, take a bite, and notice the texture in your mouth before chewing. Chew your food slowly, taste all the flavours and then swallow. Pause to put your cutlery or food down before proceeding to ensure that you continue to eat slowly and mindfully.
- 9. Listen Mindfully
Pause at any given time and bring your attention to the sounds at work or at home. Notice the distant hum of traffic, the ticking of a clock, or the chirping of birds. When you are listening to someone, avoid thinking about what to add to the conversation – just be fully present in the moment.
- 10. Care Mindfully
When you care for someone, be fully present with them. Give them your full awareness, seeing them, listening intently to their words and gently touching them with love and care.
Practicing mindfulness throughout your day can help you life a more meaningful, grateful and harmonious life. Mindfulness is not a special state of meditation that only a select few can achieve. It is achievable by all and it will help you live your life in a way that really matters. It is not just a one-time process. It is a way of living!
Enjoy your mindful moments!
Quotes on Mindfulness
“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.”
“Everyday we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child – our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh, The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation
“Mindfulness won’t interfere with your busyness, but it will give you a welcome and valuable sense of calm and self-possession in the middle of it.”
– Padraid O’Morain, Mindfulness on the Go: Inner Peace in Your Pocket