4 Simple Daily Mindfulness Practices
Would you like to feel more emotionally balanced? Mindfulness practices can really help to remain balanced through the ups and downs of life.
Mindfulness can be defined as being present in the moment right now. It is an awareness of where one is, what one is doing, and what is going on around us. It involves paying attention to the situation at hand right now, in a non-judgmental way.
Benefits of mindfulness are manifold and include improved focus, better emotion regulation, reduced stress, increased empathy and compassion, better resilience and higher levels of overall well-being among many others.
So how can we practice Mindfulness? Here are some practices that can help you:
1. Meditation – Yes. Meditation is the number one go to practice to develop mindfulness and to make it a way of life. Meditating daily, even for a few weeks can bring great shifts in our awareness and being in the present moment. There are several meditation practices that are available and can be easily researched. Mindfulness meditation could be as simple as focusing on our breath, which is constantly changing, moving. Or one could choose to focus on the sensations that we feel in our body. Both these practices will naturally bring our attention to the present moment. It can be easy to start with a 5 minute daily practice and slowly work up the time to 30 minutes or 1 hour over a period of time.
2. Mindful Eating – This sounds simple and yet, we so often start eating a packet of chips and don’t realize how and when the packet got empty. Or we have a meal while on the mobile or while watching television and do not even register what we ate, how tasty or fresh it was. This is mindless eating. Diametrical opposed is mindful eating, where we are intensely aware of what we are eating – how the food looks, its aroma, how it feels in our mouth as we deliberately chew the food and even how the taste changes as we chew it to a pulp before swallowing it. Ideally mindful eating is done in silence with complete attention focused on the food and the process of eating. It can be challenging initially, so one can start with one mindful meal a day.
3. Mindful Walking – As we move about through the day, we could take a moment to walk mindfully from a short stretch, really paying attention to and feeling how the heel comes in contact with the floor first and then the whole foot comes down before the other foot goes off the ground and so on, feeling the pressure and the sensations on the soles of our feet. If we have the opportunity, we could take 5 minutes to walk on fresh grass or the sand on a beach barefoot. This gives the added bonus of being with nature for a few minutes of our day.
4. Mindful listening – Listening without judgement, without planning our own response, simply listening to the other person or even to ourselves or our body, can be a deep mindfulness practice. This can really build trust between people and therefore wonderful human connections.
These are 4 ways we can practice mindfulness in our daily lives, 3 of which only require slight adjustments to activities we do anyway.
Happy Mindful Living!