It’s ironic, really. I’m sitting here, trying to focus on my breath and be in the present moment, and all around me, people are going about their day ahead without a second thought. Phones are ringing, cars are beeping, and people are talking—it’s all so loud and overwhelming. And yet here I am, completely lost in my own little world.
It’s not that I don’t appreciate the hustle and bustle of city life- I do. I love the energy and excitement that comes with it. But sometimes, it can be a bit too much for me. That’s why I’ve started practicing mindfulness, to find some peace during all the chaos.
At first, I have to admit. It was a bit difficult. I got frustrated when my mind wandered off, and I couldn’t seem to concentrate on anything. But with time and practice, it has gotten much more manageable. And now, I can say that mindfulness has played a positive impact on my daily routine.
Before we get into being more mindful, it’s essential to understand what mindfulness is. Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. It’s about being in the moment, not letting your thoughts wander off into the past or future. When you’re mindful, you’re fully engaged in whatever you’re doing, whether it’s taking a walk, eating dinner, or even just brushing your teeth.
The benefits of mindfulness are abundant. People who practice mindfulness regularly have reported decreased stress levels, improved mental health and clarity, concentration, and even better sleep quality.
So how can you start practicing mindfulness in your own life? Here are ten simple ways to practice mindfulness in an unmindful world.
Mindful Practices You Can Implement Throughout The Day
1. Body Scan (Progressive Relaxation)
The body scan is a mindful exercise that helps you devote yourself to each part of your own body, starting from your toes and working all the way up to your head. The aim is to focus on how each body part feels and any tension you might be holding in that area.
Slumped shoulders, clenched fists, and a furrowed brow are all common signs of stress!
On the other hand, when you’re feeling calm and at ease, your body will likely reflect that too. You’ll stand up straighter, have a more open posture, and maybe even smile.
When you’re practicing body scan, it’s essential to be completely present at the moment and feel your physical sensations. This means that you should avoid thinking about anything other than feeling your body’s sensations.
Start by lying down on your back with your eyes closed. Stay grounded, take a few deep belly breaths, and allow your body to relax. Once you feel relaxed, start focusing on your toes and notice how they feel.
Are they curled or clenched? Are they warm or cold? As you devote yourself to each toe individually, deliberately relax them one at a time. Slowly move up your body, noticing how each body part feels. Once you reach your head, take a few breaths and see how your entire body feels.
Once you’ve completed the scan, take a few deep breaths and notice how you feel. Do you feel any tension? Any pain? Are there any areas that feel incredibly tight or relaxed?
Chances are, you’ll feel more mindful and present in your body.
2. Active Listening
Active listening is all about being here and now and engaged when someone is speaking. You need to concentrate on what the person is saying and understand their point of view. It involves making eye contact, nodding, and giving feedback to show that you are paying attention. Active listening can help improve communication, problem-solving, awareness, and relationships.
If you want to start practicing active listening, here are a few tips:
- Make eye contact with the person who is speaking
- Nod your head to show that you are following along
- Repeat back what the person said to show that you were listening
- Avoid interrupting and wait until the person finish speaking before responding
- Ask questions if you need clarification
Listen to what they have to say, and let your heart feel what comes its way. Only by practicing mindful listening and observation skills will you create meaningful relationships in your life. Along with that, these practices can help you create a conscious lifestyle in an unmindful world.
Active listening can be a challenge, but it’s worth it in the long run. Not only will you learn more about the person you are speaking with, but you will also improve your communication skills.
3. Centering Exercise
The centering exercise is a mindfulness practice that helps you focus on your breath and center yourself. It’s a great way to start your day ahead or before you begin a challenging task.
To do the centering exercise:
Sit quietly in a comfortable position with your spine straight. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. As you inhale, engage in the feeling of the air entering your lungs. As you exhale, engage in the feeling of the air leaving your lungs.
Continue to engage in your breath for a couple of minutes, noticing how it changes with each inhalation and exhalation. When you’re finished, sit for a moment and notice how you feel. Do you feel more focused throughout the day? More relaxed throughout the day?
The centering exercise is a great way to connect with your body and the here and now moment.
4. Keying into your senses
When was the last time you stopped to pay attention to how something smelled, tasted, felt, or looked? If you can’t remember, then it’s been too long!
When we’re caught up in our thoughts, it’s easy to forget about the world around us. We might be walking but not seeing anything. Or we might be eating but not tasting the food.
One way to stay mindful is to concentrate on your senses and pay full attention to everything around you. For example, when you’re out for a walk, take time to notice the different colors and textures of the leaves. Listen to the sound of the wind rustling through the trees. And feel the warmth of the sun on your skin.
Once you start focusing on the small things in life, you will never miss a beat!
5. Find a mantra
I remember the day my mindfulness teacher introduced me to the concept of mantras. I was skeptical at first, but I decided to try it. And I’m so glad I did!
A mantra is a word or phrase that you repeat to yourself when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed. It helps you focus on the present moment and tune out all distractions.
There are no right or wrong mantras – you can use whatever word or phrase feels right for you. Some popular mantras include “I am enough,” “I am here now,” and “All is well.”
When you find yourself getting lost in your thoughts, recite your chosen mantra to yourself and concentrate on how it makes you feel. Over time, you will start to associate the mantra with peace and relaxation, and it will be easier to focus on your breath.
6. Connect with a Friend
One of the best ways to practice mindfulness is to connect with others. When we’re around other people, our minds are usually too busy planning what we’re going to say next or worrying about how we’re coming across. But when we’re mindful, we give others our undivided attention and connect on a deeper level.
There are many ways to connect with others mindfully. You can have a conversation over coffee, go for a walk together, or sit in silence and enjoy each other’s company. The important thing is that you focus on the present moment and listen openly without judgment.
7. Mindful Eating (Eating with intention)
Mindless eating is one of the easiest ways to sabotage your health and well-being. How many times have you eaten a meal without even really tasting it? Or how often do you eat while working, watching TV, or scrolling through social media? If you find yourself doing any of the above, it’s time to start eating mindfully.
Eating mindfully is all about knowing what you are putting into your body and how it makes you feel. It involves being present during meal times and savoring each bite. When you eat mindfully, you are more likely to make healthier food choices, enjoy your meals more, and be able to listen to your body’s hunger cues.
If you want to start eating mindfully, here are a few tips to get you started:
- Sit down at a table with no distractions (no TV, phone, or work)
- Take a few deep breaths before starting your meal
- Focus on your food and the taste
Along with that, you can focus on ingesting at the right pace, chewing your food enough, staying hydrated, how the food tastes, and so on. By keeping your thoughts food-related, you can enjoy the 10 to 15 minutes of bliss, allowing your body and mind to refresh.
8. Gratitude Journaling
Gratitude journaling is all about being thankful for the good things in your life. It can be something as small as having a roof over your head or something as big as landing your dream job. Whenever you feel like you need a pick-me-up, take out your gratitude journal and start writing down everything you are grateful for in life.
Not only will this help shift your focus from the negative to the positive, but it can also have some pretty fantastic health benefits. Studies show that people who journal about their gratitude experience less stress, have improved mental health, and are more optimistic about the future.
If you want to start gratitude journaling, here are a few tips to get you started:
- Keep your journal somewhere easily accessible, like your bedside table or desk
- Write in your journal everyday life, even if it’s just for a few minutes
- Be specific when writing down what you are grateful for
- Try not to dwell on negative thoughts; instead, focus on the good things in your life
Gratitude journaling is a great way to increase happiness and well-being. Not only does it help you focus on the positive, but it also has some pretty remarkable health benefits.
9. Mindful Walking
When we walk, our minds are usually busy planning the next thing we’re going to do or thinking about something that happened in the past. We rarely pay attention to how we’re walking or what’s happening around us.
Mindful walking is a practice that involves slowing down and paying attention to everything that’s happening in the present moment. When you’re mindful, you’ll be aware of your surroundings, the sounds you hear, and how your body perceives as you walk.
You can even carry out mindfulness while walking in crowded places like malls or city streets. Just be sure to focus on your breath and tune out all distractions.
To get started:
Find a quiet place to walk, like a park or nature trail. Start by walking at a slow and deliberate pace. As you walk, please pay attention to your breath and how your feet feel as they hit the ground. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to the present moment.
It’s a fantastic approach to connect with nature and savor the present moment. Give it a try today for 10 to 20 minutes!
10. Set an intention for the day
Before you start your day, take a few minutes to set an intention for how you want to feel that day. It could be something as simple as “I intend to be calm and relaxed today” or “I intend to stay positive and upbeat.”
When you have an intention in mind, you’ll be less likely to get wrapped up in negative thoughts or situations throughout the day. Plus, it’s a great way to motivate yourself and focus on what’s important.
I hope this article has given you some ideas on how to practice more mindfulness in your daily lives. Remember, mindfulness practice is about being aware of your thoughts and feelings and about being aware of your surroundings. Training mindfulness can help you appreciate the here and now moment, focus on your goals and reduce stress and anxiety.
If you find yourself struggling to be mindful, don’t worry! It takes time and works out to develop this skill. Just keep at it, and eventually, it will become second nature. Not only does it help you concentrate on the positive, but it also has some pretty remarkable health benefits.
Mindfulness is a skill that takes time and practice to develop, but it’s worth the effort. Not only can mindfulness help you appreciate the present moment, but it also has some pretty remarkable health benefits. Mindfulness practice can help you live a more peaceful and productive life, so try to incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life routine. There are many mindful ways to practice mindfulness, and the ten tips listed above are a great place to start.
There are many mindful ways to practice mindfulness, and the ten tips listed above are a great place to start. If you’re looking to increase your mindfulness, there are many things you can do to get started.
Try out some of the tips above and see how you feel. With a little bit of practice, you’ll be well on your way to a more mindful life.
Looking for more mindfulness techniques? I recommend the book Mindfulness Cards: Simple Practices for Everyday Life (Daily Mindfulness, Daily Gratitude, Mindful Meditation) where you can find 50+ Prompts and Exercises for the Mind and Body to cultivate mindful moments–anytime and anywhere.
2 Bonus mindfulness practices
Bonus mindfulness exercises 1: Mindful Breathing
Mindful breathing is a simple but powerful mindfulness technique that can be done anywhere and at any time. Just take a few moments of a deep breath and focus on how your body feels as you breathe deeply in and out.
If your mind starts to wander, bring it back to your breath. You can practice this for a minute or two or even longer if you have the time.
Deep, mindful breathing has proven to have numerous health benefits, including reducing stress, improving sleep quality, and boosting immunity. So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, try to focus on your breathing and see.
Breathing is an essential contribution to our emotions and feelings, and you might find yourself with much lesser stress!
Bonus mindfulness exercises 2: Practice mindful meditation.
Meditation is basically structured mindfulness practice, and there are tons of free guided meditations online for beginners to help you build this habit. Getting into meditation, especially when you’re starting, can feel challenging, but it will get easier with practice and awareness!
Start with a short 5-10 minute practice and work your way up from there. There are many benefits of meditation, such as reducing stress, improving concentration, and promoting creativity.
We live in a world that’s full of distractions. From our phones to our work demands, it’s hard to find time to be present. However, mindfulness can help us appreciate the here and now and focus on what’s important.
If you’re looking to increase your mindfulness practices, there are many things you can do to get started. Try out some of the tips above and see how you feel.
You might be surprised at how much better you feel after even just a few minutes of practice to regulate your stress management.