If you read personal development blogs and books, you are bound to have heard about Mindfulness before. In this blog post, I’ll give you tips and tricks on practicing mindfulness and turning your everyday activities into mindful activities.
What Is Mindfulness?
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 you should practice being mindful
Modern day life is very fast paced which means we often neglect taking care of ourselves. Mindfulness encourages us to focus on our emotions and thoughts in order to understand how we are feeling. Mindfulness is a useful practice if you suffer with anxiety or high levels of stress.
Over the years, mindfulness has been scientifically proven to improve your mood and creativity. Mindfulness also helps to reduce stress and anxiety and improves your focus as it removes distractions.
Ways To Practice Mindfulness
Below are 8 simple, daily activities that encourage mindfulness. You’ll find that you already do most of these activities everyday however, changing them up slightly will turn them into mindful practices.
How you choose to spend your morning will determined the rest of your day. Your thoughts, feelings and actions can all be tied back to the first few hours after you wake up. So, start your day right!
Meditation means taking the time to be silent, mindful and relaxed. There are no hard and fast rules in meditation. You don’t have to sit cross-legged for hours or light candles. Meditation is simply a method of relaxing your body and mind.
So instead of waking up and snoozing your alarm, sit up and get comfortable. Slow down your breathing and focus on each breath. In and out. When you feel your mind wondering, re-focus on your breath. Your mind will wander a lot but that’s okay. I do this for between 10-20 minutes, depending on how much stress I am feeling.
Spend Time Outside
As children, we spent so much time outside. I can remember rushing outside after school finished to play on my bike, climb trees and spend time in the garden.
As we get older we tend to spend less time outside and more time indoors. We forget what it feels like to be outside and enjoying nature. I’m not telling you to go and climb a tree like when you were 9, hell I don’t think I could do it anymore. However, spending more time outside and in the fresh air has been proven to increase happiness.
If you have access to your own garden or a public area, take some time everyday to sit outside with a good book and a cup of tea, no phones. If you don’t have access to a garden, open the windows in your house when you wake up and sit beside an open window for awhile.
Listen To Others
Listening to others is a great way to practice mindfulness. Why? Because your concentration is solely on the person speaking.
Often when speaking to others, we’re consumed with our own thoughts. We’re only partially listening to the person in front of us. Instead, try giving your whole, undivided attention to the person talking to you.
It’s easy to get caught up in what others have and you are lacking. We’re all human and jealousy is a natural emotion. However, practicing gratitude for what you do have will increase your mindfulness and ultimately your happiness.
For example, if your always thinking they’re so much happier than me or they’ve got a better life than I do then you are focusing on the negatives. If you switch your prospective and instead think I’m so grateful to have… then you are encouraging a positive mindset switch.
Focusing on the good in your life and within yourself will bring about more joy into your life. By practicing gratitude, you will begin to look at the world differently.
My daily gratitude practice consists of writing down three things I am grateful for every morning. If you repeat this tiny action you will notice big changes in yourself.
“Whoever gossips to you, will gossip about you.”Spanish Proverb
Gossip is everywhere. I was walking behind two ladies yesterday who had a whole conversation gossiping about one of their friends.
I hate gossiping. Want to know why?
I’m a huge believer in the law of attraction. I believe that the energy you put out in the world is the energy you receive. Therefore, if you’re gossiping negatively about someone, that negative energy is going to come right back at you.
However, that is not my only reason to stop gossiping. When you’re gossiping your mind is focused on finding negativity in others and in turn, your mindset becomes negative. Instead of gossiping, try focusing on the positive actions yourself and others are doing.
Staying present is one of my favorite mindful practices because it encourages you to live in the moment instead of in the future or past.
If you struggle with stress, anxiety or depression then practicing mindfulness through staying present will help you. Whenever you find your thoughts wondering into your past or the future, bring your attention to whats around you. Shift your focus back to the present moment and your emotions right now.
Multitasking is great until you constantly feel as if you have a million and one things to do. We’ve become accustomed to such a fast-paced lifestyle that it feels wrong to take a break.
Instead of rushing all the time, practice mindfulness and slow down. Focus on one task at a time, practice time blocking and being productive. This will enable you to develop your focus and relax more.
Most of us consume content via social media, news apps or tv. It is so easy to scroll through short, brief snippets of content however, it isn’t healthy.
Due to the ease of social media and its quick way of consuming content, our attention span is significantly shrinking. Practicing mindfulness in the form of reading can help improve your focus and concentration.
Before you go to sleep on a night, read for 30 minutes or more. Not only are you increasing your focus but you will have a better night’s sleep because you’re not scrolling through your phone.
If you’re not a huge fan of reading, I recommend trying Audible. Audible is the largest provider of audiobooks and they have genres ranging from personal development, fantasy to business. Whatever you’re into, they’ll have it!
I love listening to Audible before I go to sleep and on my way to work. My favorite is the personal development books (obviously) but I love to listen to Young Adult Fiction from time to time.
Click here to sign up for your 30-day Audible trial and try your first two audiobooks for free!