Mindfulness. It's a buzz word, and we're all after it, even if we aren't totally sure what it is. But, the benefits are obvious — the ability to be wholly present, cognizant of where you are and what you’re doing, and not being concerned or overwhelmed by what’s going on around you, seems, well, kinda the whole point of life, right?
Good news. This is something we are all capable of achieving, and like any craft or skill, we'll become better when we practice daily. Here's how to start:
First, the thing you already know: it’s easy to get bogged down in the daily grind of everyday life when you are constantly connected to work emails, social media and your smartphone. So, when you're done reading this, put it down.
There is more and more information out there proving that when you direct your head to be mindful, you are reorganizing the physical structure of your brain. This is a real thing you can do.
So, try these five simple approaches to become more mindful and achieve more happiness in your daily life.
1. Practice mindfulness during regular activities. Instead of being a robot during your routine daily activities, try introducing awareness to those activities. For example, pay close attention to the process of showering, getting dressed, eating breakfast, or driving to work. Focus on the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and feel of all these activities. It’s likely that find those routines can offer more than just being the time between waking up and starting work.
2. Practice immediately after you wake up. By becoming more aware of yourself and your surrounding right away in the morning, you set the stage for more mindfulness throughout the day. Instead of checking Twitter, turning on SportCcenter, or looking at your new emails, set aside time to simply sit and focus on what is happening around you.
3. Don’t take long. Start with three minutes of mindfulness a day and work your way up to 20 minutes. Because our brains typically respond better to short spurts of mindfulness, using your mindful awareness for a few minutes one to three times a day can be more beneficial than prolonged periods of mindfulness for beginners.
4. Perform your mindfulness while you wait. When we're always on the go and in our hurried lifestyle, waiting can cause serious frustration. Instead of getting angry while you wait in lobby of the dentist office, when stuck in traffic, or waiting for that meeting to start, take that opportunity to practice your mindfulness. Using our mind to rethink and reshape any frustrating situation is the best way to achieve an outcome that is more favorable for you.
5. Use a reminder to help you be more mindful. Sound weird? It's not. Set an alarm on your phone so you can practice your mindfulness at a specific time every day. Or use a specific thing, such as drinking your morning coffee, as a reminder to practice your daily mindfulness.
If you’re having trouble using these steps to help achieve your daily mindfulness, there are an abundance of mindfulness channels on YouTube or smartphone apps to help you with your practice. In my house, Mooji is the go-to channel on YouTube and Calm is the preferred app.
Incorporating these tools into your daily routine can help reduce stress in your everyday life. Practice can help your brain can become more efficient and more aware. Practice your mindfulness and become a better person!