You’ve probably already heard of the word mindfulness a million times before, I know. First, I’d like to get a few things straight. Mindfulness means different things to everybody. I think that one of the biggest misunderstandings of mindfulness is that there are many types of mindful practices you can perform. A huge amount of people believe that you have to go to yoga classes, meditate for several hours a day and be very zen.
And that’s great if it’s what you like doing, but it isn’t just about that. Engaging with mindfulness can be as simple as you make it. For instance, washing the dishes slower, or having a slower shower rather than rushing it. It could be going for a walk in nature or even eating your food slower to indulge and enjoy every bite rather than scoffing it down like there is no tomorrow.
A lot of people also feel like they don’t have much time to be mindful in their busy lives. However, taking as little as one extra minute to do a task slower will help you reach the benefits of living a simpler life. A minute extra is nothing right? We can spend hours a day on our phone but don’t seem to have time for anything else. But that can change; try coming off of your phone a minute or two earlier in the evening after scrolling through Instagram and try to engage in something that slows your mind and body down. This is also very beneficial for a good wind down routine.
Connect to your breath
You can slowly do this at any time is best for you. This could be in the morning, before an appointment or before you go to bed to reset for the next day. The great thing about slow breathing, is that it can be done anywhere without people noticing.
Have a technology break
Sometimes social media and our technology devices can swallow us up. We live in a world today where everything is done through our smartphones and the internet. In society, we cannot possibly live without our phones because of how dependant we have become of them. When we do feel overwhelmed by social media, it’s a good idea to have a little break from our phones. You might be thinking, ‘How on earth am I going to do that?’, but it doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as you make it. Just simply turn your phone off for 30 minutes in the evening whilst you wind down. If that seems too difficult at this stage, leave your phone on but put it in another room for the time being.
Listen to your body
Whether it be listening to your mind or your body physically, your body always knows best. Your body may be telling you to have a rest day, eat your greens or go see a friend. Do what feels best for you.
Acknowledge your senses
This may sound a bit cliché, but it’s true that listening to your senses really does impact your mental state. You could encourage yourself to take a slow walk through the forest, really tasting your morning coffee without distractions or simply do nothing and observing your body’s sensations and emotions.
Do tasks slowly
Wind down by during tasks slowly is one of the most effective mindful practices and you can apply it to anything. Simply just do whatever you need to do but just take a few minutes extra to really slow it down. You will feel more relaxed and that nothing is rushed.
Incorporate a gratitude journal
This is something I have down for a while on and off. It isn’t until I stop doing it that I realise how helpful it is to write what you are grateful for. At the end of each day, write down three things you are grateful for. Again this can be the little things in life. Such as, ‘I am grateful for having a good nights sleep,’ ‘I am grateful for catching up with a good friend’ or ‘I am grateful for the kindness I received from the shop assistant today’. It can be anything that has made you smile and has impacted your day.