It is well documented that being mindful throughout the day can bring many health and wellbeing benefits, including stress relief and relaxation, as well an improvement in focus and memory.
Mindfulness is about bringing our full attention to the present moment, with openness and without making judgements, just observing. It can be practised every day and in many ways.
Want some examples?
- When hanging out with your children, be mindful of this special time. What exactly are they saying to you? Are you listening intently or has your mind wandered?
- When eating, focus on what you’re eating. Take a moment and savour the taste and the texture. Enjoy every mouthful as if you’re tasting for the first time.
- When chatting with a friend over the phone – give them your full attention. Listen intently and be mindful of the conversation you’re having. How are you feeling?
- When brushing your teeth, become aware of the toothpaste’s taste, sensation and texture on your teeth. How does it feel for the gums to be brushed?
- When drinking a cup of tea, be mindful of the taste, the sensations and heat in your belly. What’s this experience like for you?
- If you’re exercising, what can you feel? What can you hear? Your increasing heart rate? Are you feeling hot? Are your muscles sore?
- When washing the dishes, be mindful of the water and the soap, and how it feels on your skin. Can you smell the soap suds? Do your hands feel warm?
- When putting the washing out, be mindful of your surroundings – can you hear the birds chirping? Can you feel the sunshine’s warmth on your face? What exactly are you experiencing?
Our minds are busy, and we often think about the past or the future, or we switch to auto-pilot. Allow your thoughts and feelings to be, without judgement – let them come and go, like leaves floating down a stream.
By living your life more fully, in the present moment, you will reap many rewards – more calmness and clarity, as well as increased self-awareness and connection with others and the world around you.
Life gives us so many opportunities to be mindful and to embrace what’s going on around us. If you want to experience this for yourself, take the time to practice mindfulness today.
It takes practice
Like developing any skill, being more mindful throughout the day takes practice. Be patient with yourself and if you can, try and practice a little mindfulness every day.
If you’re not ready just yet, try to remind yourself throughout the day to stop, pause and focus on your breath. Breathe in and out, and observe what this experience is like for you in the present moment. If the mind wanders, that’s okay (it’s natural for the mind to wander), bring it back gently and focus on your breath.
Then proceed to the next part of your day, by bringing more mindfulness to it.