How do you incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life?
One of the great joys about mindfulness is that you can do it anywhere! You don’t have to sequester yourself away and sit in silence for hours, chant mantras, or even close your eyes.
Mindfulness means bringing your complete and total self (your attention) to the present moment, where you are right now, not distracted by memories of the past or anxieties about the future.
Right here, right now.
Below are a few mindfulness tricks/hacks that you can use to stay grounded and present no matter what time of day it is or where you are.
1. Breathe Deeply!
Our breath is our life. It’s really that important, but many of us don’t take the time to learn breathing techniques. One that’s really easy to learn is the Three Breaths Technique.
You can use the Three Breaths Technique to anchor your awareness firmly in the present. It’s so easy you can even do it right now as you’re reading this. Simply bring your attention to your breath – breathe in slowly and gently, following the path of your breath with your mind. Feel it deep in your belly. Then breathe out slowly and gently, again paying attention to the movement of your breath.
As you breathe, can you feel a subtle energy shift inside of yourself, a calm peacefulness? That’s how mindfulness feels.
This is an exercise that you can do anywhere at any time, and no one will know the difference.
2. Check in with your senses
If you’re a person whose mind is always going and therefore you find it a little difficult to access the peace that lies within you, try the 5 Senses Check-in.
To do this exercise, you make a conscious decision to disconnect from outside distractions and focus your awareness on what you can see, feel, hear, smell and taste. This simple exercise will ground you in the present moment anytime you feel stressed or overwhelmed.
3. Seize opportunities
If opportunity knocks, answer that door! Take advantage of the chances that come your way to practice mindfulness. The best times are those when you might feel frustrated and impatient, like waiting in a long line or while you’re stuck in traffic.
Use what you’ve learned about your breath from the previous paragraph and let your breath lead you—don’t try to control it. Over time, you should feel your frustration melt away.
4. Use mindfulness to create space
No matter how busy you are, you can use mindfulness as a way of building more space into your day. Before you send an email or head into a meeting, take a moment to breathe and notice your breath, then review your email or head into your meeting.
Another way to use mindfulness to create space can be looking up and really noticing the sky when you’re taking a walk. What do the clouds look like as they’re drifting by? Look at the leaves on the trees, are flowers budding or blooming? How does the temperature feel? Create moments of mindfulness like this in your day to day.
So now that you know how to integrate more mindfulness into your everyday life, let’s talk about how mindfulness helps you lift your mood and become a happier in life.
It’s easy to get stuck in a negative mindset and stay focused on the things that aren’t working in your life. Your self-talk can become all about your weaknesses or failures. So instead of talking that positive self-talk, negativity becomes your habitual way of thinking. Well, mindfulness can help you turn that around and get into a more positive thought pattern. Changing your thinking could even save your life as mindfulness also has positive health benefits by reducing stress and enhancing your resilience and mental capacity.
As a bonus, below you'll find three ways in which mindfulness can help you reach a happier state of mind.
1. Here And Now
A mindfulness practice helps you focus your attention on the here and now instead of being anxious because you’re worrying about what might happen in the future or brooding over mistakes in the past.
Mindfulness slows you down and helps put you into the now by reconnecting you with what’s happening at that very moment. Notice and appreciate the good things that are in your life right now. Being mindful can also help you stop being reactive and instead be more thoughtful in how you respond to people and situations.
2. We’re All Connected
Mindfulness brings you into a deeper connection with yourself and with others. It gives you the time and space to figure out what matters to you - your values and beliefs. You learn that happiness lies in knowing yourself and how to be comfortable with who you are not who others want you to be.
And when you are your authentic self, you connect honestly and openly with others. This allows you to go deeper into your relationships.
3. Enhance contentment and gratitude
As I stated earlier, mindfulness helps you focuses your attention on what is going on in your life (the good, the bad and the ugly 😊). Living your life in a way that’s authentic to you helps support your inner wellbeing.
One other thing that I think is so great about cultivating a mindfulness practice is that it opens you up to feeling gratitude for where you are and what you have right now.
Gratitude has helped me realize that ‘You are enough’ is not just a slogan, it’s an affirmation that helps you be your best self and live the life you want. It’s like a circle, gratitude helps you to remain focused on the present which is what mindfulness is all about!
Let’s talk, how do you intend to add more mindfulness to your day? Let me know in the comments section.
Cassandra Martin-Himmons is a trainer, wellness coach and consultant who believes in empowering her clients and providing the tools that they need to make positive changes in their lives to manage their stress and increase their self-care. In her spare time, she enjoys papercrafting, volunteering and travel. Connect with her on Instagram or LinkedIn