People often think that they need to invest a lot of time to create a mindset shift in order to live more mindfully. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Practicing mindfulness can be done in a split second. Literally, a split second. As long as it takes your brain to notice and process what you’re doing, that’s your mind being triggered to focus and take a break.
So here are 5 simple ways you can incorporate mindful living into your life with barely any effort. All you have to do is notice what you’re doing and be present. The golden rule of meditation is to begin again. If you’re being mindful and your mind starts to wander, no problem. Refocus and begin again. That’s all it takes. There’s no right or wrong way to practice mindfulness. So let’s get to it!
1. Focus on your breath
Feeling stressed? Stop, sit down, and count your breath up to 10. If you need more time, start over and do it again. Notice your breath and where you feel it most in your body. Do you feel the cool air flowing in through your nostrils, your lungs expanding, or the warm air flowing back out of your body?
2. Focus on your 5 senses
Take a moment to focus in on your 5 senses and do what we call an environmental scan. What do you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel? Some of the less obvious ones like taste, if you’re not eating, could include how your mouth feels. Is it dry and now you’re noticing you’re thirsty? Any of these feelings or sensations count. Just take a quick second to notice your surroundings. It’ll help disconnect your brain from the stress of the day.
3. Notice your surroundings while walking
You don’t have to be on a nature walk to stop and smell the roses. Whether you’re walking around your house, from the parking lot into work, around the grocery store, or in your neighborhood. Notice where you’re walking, what you’re doing, and what you see. Are there things that catch your attention that you would have missed if you hadn’t stopped to pay attention? Noticing things in the present instead of ignoring them is the simple trick to being mindful.
4. Mindful eating — no distractions
Yep. No distractions. Put down your phone or turn off the tv. Think about what you’re eating. Where did it come from, how is the texture, how does it taste? If you’re eating a meal, how do the different foods on your plate compliment each other? When you eat mindfully and pay attention to your food, you’re more likely to enjoy it and therefore feel more satisfied. End result? You’re happy and full. It’s win-win!
5. Active listening
How often does your mind wander when you’re talking to someone. My bet is that you don’t even realize your mind is wandering half the time. Raise your hand if you often find yourself thinking about your response, or your next words, while someone is talking to you instead of fully paying attention to them? Or if you’re a parent, you only hear key words of the conversation while half paying attention to you kids. Double-duty, it’s hard, mom. I hear you! — So practice active listening. Give the person your full attention while they’re talking and just let your response or reaction flow. Don’t pre-plan what you’re going to say. To be your most mindful self, let your ears/mind listen fully and respond authentically.
Mindfulness is noticing your actions and your thoughts. It’s welcoming your emotions instead of pushing them away. It’s a process to better understand how your mind and body work. Mindfulness is stepping into your power and being YOU. It creates a safe space for you to be authentic and feel confident with your own thoughts.
So go ahead and begin incorporating these into your every day life. No experience or extra time required. Just do it.
Peace – Love – Om