What is mindfulness? How do you practice mindfulness? Below we discuss three easy ways to incorporate mindfulness into you daily life.
There is a lot going on in the world. Add to that long work days, family duties, and community events and you have no time left for much else. This may cause you to feel stressed and overwhelmed. You may even feel irritable or have anxious thoughts, causing you to be anywhere but the present moment. What if you could find something to help? Mindfulness may be the answer you've been looking for.
What is Mindfulness?
According to Mindful, mindfulness is the ability to be fully present and aware of your surroundings. It also means not being overly reactive to or overwhelmed by the things that are happening around you.
There are several benefits that can come from practicing mindfulness. A 2019 study found that mindfulness helped increase overall well-being, and even helped reduce stress. Now let's look at ways you can incorporate mindfulness into your daily life.
Daily Mindfulness Practices
1) Set an intention when you wake up.
Far too often do we wake up and immediately jump to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. By taking a quick pause to meditate, you can set an intention and maybe even make your day more enjoyable. Try doing the following:
- Sit up straight in a relaxed position. Close your eyes and identify the sensations you feel.
- Take a few deep breaths. In through your nose and out through your mouth, pay attention to how your belly moves when you breathe deeply.
- Think about what your intention might be today. Maybe ask yourself, "How do I want my day to look at the end of the day?" or "What might help me to feel fulfilled today?" Then find something that you want to be intentional about. Maybe you need time to socialize and unwind, so your intention could look like: "Today I'm spending time with friends to help me feel more fulfilled."
2) Go for a walking meditation.
Walking, in general, has great health benefits. By adding meditation, your mind can also benefit from the experience. Next time you go walking, put away the headphones and pay attention to your surroundings. Identify the feeling of the ground under your feet, the wind through your hair, the noises you hear around you. Take deep breaths when needed and check in with your body's sensations every now and then. When possible, walk in nature for added benefits.
3) Try mindful eating.
Mealtime can be where you're the most out-of-touch with the present, as many people tend to eat while watching tv, scrolling their phones, or even while working. Before eating, take a deep breath and analyze how hungry you are. Is your stomach growling? Do you feel full? Identify what your body tells you, not your mind. Then, when you sit down to eat, don't get distracted. Pay full attention to your food and how it feels, how it smells, and if your stomach starts getting full. By slowing down, you'll notice your hunger cues better.
Mindful Every Day
Mindfulness means bringing back your focus to the present, and not being judgmental when your focus drifts. Rather, it means gently centering back to awareness of your body, your feelings, and your surroundings. This can be done anywhere, anytime. Whenever you need to take a pause in your every day, find a way to practice mindfulness. Deep breathing and meditation are just some of the ways you can begin to practice mindfulness for a healthy, fulfilling life.