What is Mindfulness
Mindfulness is about embracing the beauty of mono-tasking and being aware in the present moment. With constant distraction, over stimulation and mounting levels of demands and stress in our society today - the science of mindfulness is growing and proving to be one of the most powerful exercises to improve overall health and wellness.
Mindfulness Activities in Daily Life
Such practices are not meant to be revolutionary or time consuming but continuous effort to be in the present moment can have a profound effect on your overall quality of life. If we don’t remind ourselves to unwind and disconnect from the demands of life and racing thoughts - incredible amounts of stress can often result. The examples below offer methods to incorporate more mindfulness into your daily routine and start you on the path to improving your mindful practice:
Disconnect from your device - our smartphones and devices follow us everywhere we go and often work follows us home with emails and unrealistic deadlines. This becomes a constant distraction and doesn’t allow your mind the time it needs to recover. Turn off notifications whenever and wherever is feasible. Close latops and leave phone on silent for an extended period of time and learn to cherish that time by spending time with friends/family or doing something that brings you joy.
Take the time to sit down and eat your meals - Too many people eat in a rushed manner, on the run, in front of their computer or don’t eat at all. Give yourself the time and permission to relax, chew your food slowly and enjoy your meal in peace. This will give you a breather and help activate your parasympathetic nervous system necessary to promote healthy digestion.
Take a breather - Whenever you feel overwhelmed, take a few deep breaths to reset and calm your nervous system. Tuning into your breath relaxes your body and mind. This can help to break the vicious cycle of mounting stress and often give you the time to think more clearly.
Connect with Nature - Playing with an animal or spending time in nature is shown to be a very therapeutic activity to help with decreasing stress and improving relaxation, happiness and clarity.
Take the scenic route - Whenever you have the opportunity, break out of the tendency to rush everywhere. Give yourself time. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Hold the door for someone. Park as far away from the entrance as possible. Choose the longest line at the grocery store. These strategies seem counter-intuitive but will help decrease stress and promote being relaxed throughout your day.
Going for a run/walk without your device or listening to music - without your device you are unplugged from work and forced to take in your surroundings. Notice things in your environment you otherwise would have overlooked.
Take a warm bath - Had a stressful or strenuous day? Having difficulty unwinding? Treat yourself to a warm relaxing bath with epsom salts to help your body and mind relax and recover.
Do something artistic or creative - Playing an instrument, sketching, colouring, knitting, dancing or simply listening to music are all examples. Such activities can provide a balancing force to our long list of responsibilities and help to de-stress and bring happiness into our lives.
Did reading this list spark any ideas for you? There are an infinite number of individual strategies to promote mindfulness. Brainstorm ways that you can fit mindfulness into your lifestyle and get started today!