Many people are becoming more aware of the importance of mindfulness. But remembering to be mindful is a challenge. Those of us who are too busy getting caught up in the whirlwind of the day’s tasks are precisely those who can benefit from mindfulness the most.
If you’re looking to become more mindful but aren’t sure how, then here are 5 ways to practice mindfulness each day.
1. Start Your Day in the Present
It has been said that how you start your day will set the tone for the rest of it. That’s why many experts recommend beginning the day in silent meditation. Sitting quietly in the early morning can help ground you for the day.
What morning meditation does is prevents you from jumping straight into “to-do” mode. It helps you bring intention and awareness to your day instead of causing stress. A 10-20 minute meditation session as soon as you wake up can help keep you stay focused on your goals throughout the day.
According to experts, another benefit of starting the day with mindfulness is that it helps you to be more mindful throughout the day. By prioritizing meditation at the start of your day, you can increase your chances of having more mindful moments later.
2. Equate a Simple Daily Task to Mindfulness
If you’re looking to make mindfulness a positive daily habit, it’s important to set up mental triggers for yourself. A trigger is a behavior or event that reminds you to do the activity you’re trying to establish as a habit.
With a mindfulness trigger, you’ll want to zero in on a daily, routine task. These are familiar tasks that you don’t consciously think about it. These can be activities like doing the dishes, taking a shower or brushing your teeth. Instead of doing these tasks while thinking of other things, keep your mind in the present and observe how all of your senses react.
You may need help from trigger reminders like a sign on your mirror or a phone alert. There are more and more apps available for this very purpose. Here are 5 free ones you can explore to find the one that best suits you and at no cost.
3. Meditate in Short, Frequent Time Slots
If you’re looking to add more mindfulness to your day to calm your nerves, center your thoughts and generally defeat irritability and indecision, then meditation can certainly help. Meditating in short bursts multiple times throughout the day can keep you focused on what you need to achieve for the day. It also helps you fend off distractions or better handle unplanned tasks as they come up.
Don’t get caught up in wondering if your meditation practice is good enough. What matters is that you try. Meditating for shorter, 10-20 minute sessions, 2-3 times per day, will help you see results faster than meditating for an hour or two every few days.
Here are some recommendations for quick ways to practice mindfulness throughout the day:
- Add 10 minutes to your morning routine. Meditate before you leave the house for work. It can help put you in a calm, relaxed mindset when you greet your coworkers and customers.
- Arrive at meetings and appointments early. Meditate in your car or at your desk for 5 minutes before meeting someone. This is helpful whether it’s a client or a lunch date or before picking up your kids.
- Meditate after exercising. After you’ve done your cool down, take 5-10 minutes to meditate and thank yourself for your workout.
- Take 5 minutes to yourself before you head home to calm yourself down and acknowledge a successful workday. Then take a breather when you get home. After a stressful workday, it’s vital to unwind. A brief meditation is a great way to create some separation between the cares of the workplace and the sanctuary of your home.
4. Use Waiting Time to Your Advantage
We’re all guilty of using the time we spend waiting in lineups to check our emails or Facebook feeds. Instead of spending this time with our minds elsewhere, we can use it to be more mindful or grateful.
Take the time you spend waiting every day to bring attention to your breath or to relax your muscles. You can also use this time to bring awareness to your energy vibration and make mental and emotional adjustments.
5. Know Your Flow
We’ve all experienced the state of total present-mindedness and creativity called “flow”—a term coined by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Flow is a heightened state of consciousness. It puts us directly in the moment so that time is no longer relevant. You may know flow as those times when you were in the zone, laser-focused and totally undistracted, doing insanely productive work. Many people call this “deep work”.
When you snapped out of flow, you probably felt like time just flew by. Or maybe you felt like it had slowed down entirely. Regardless of how it felt for you, in flow you weren’t even aware of the existence of time.
Think back to the times when you’ve experienced flow. Was it during creative work? Was it during exercise? There may be multiple activities that can send you into flow. Whatever they are, make sure you’re incorporating flow-inducing work and activities into your daily life. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, it really is one of the best ways to practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a Journey
No matter how you practice mindfulness, it’s important to realize that it’s an infinite skill—there’s always room to keep practicing. You can always discover more ways to practice mindfulness. If you treat mindfulness like a beautiful journey that has milestones and setbacks, you can learn to embrace it in new ways.
Mindfulness produces creativity, awareness, appreciation and happiness. The more you practice mindfulness, the more you find yourself becoming more satisfied in life. That’s because when you’re present, you’re aware that you’re actually alive. As a virtuous cycle, mindfulness leads to awareness, which leads to an “attitude of gratitude”. Or put another way, greater mindfulness.
At Aquarius Wellness, we believe in giving you the gift of mindfulness. Our massage therapy services give you back that sense of calm, relaxation, and present time awareness that you can carry with you into the rest of your day and week. Book a signature massage with Andrew today. Or try any of our other luxurious spa and wellness services for an experience unique to St. Louis, and beyond!
Emily Rodgers is a freelance health and wellness writer and editor. Dedicated to covering topics about natural alternatives, Emily strives to educate readers how to live healthier, more balanced lives. Emily believes that information empowers people to take charge of their wellbeing so they can become the best versions of themselves.