6 Easy Ways to Practice Mindfulness Everyday
- Created: 02 May 2019 02 May 2019
We all know the many powerful benefits of mindfulness to our mental and physical health. But, when we think about it and the process of becoming self-aware of our emotions, thoughts, feelings and senses, most of us envision a method of passive mediation. Although meditation is a form of mindfulness activity, truth is, we do not need to be physically still and shut away from the world to find our inner calmness. In today’s fast-paced society where finding a spare hour is nigh on impossible, this is most certainly a good thing! Mindfulness can also mean maintaining an introspective state of consciousness whilst engaging in everyday activities.
Still a bit confused? This #MindfulInMay, we share some key tips on how to practice and apply mindfulness even without meditating!
Silence Is Golden
In the age of communications, the power of silence is wholly underestimated, underused and often even feared. Dedicating time for solitude, even if it’s just five minutes on the train with your eyes shut and earplugs in, can be immensely beneficial to your mental health. It encourages self-reflection, and nourishes and heals the mind. Research has also shown silence to relieve stress and amplify sensitivity to sensations, sounds, emotions and thoughts; an essential principle of mindfulness.
Challenge Core Beliefs
Often our barriers to success, whether personal or business related, are due to a (sometimes unconscious) stubbornness to challenge our beliefs. Using a ‘thought diary’ identifies destructive thoughts by allowing you to be mindful and aware of how you would feel if these were in-fact not your beliefs. This technique is especially helpful in challenging how we perceive ourselves, others and the world around us.
Create a 'thought diary' to help you be more self-aware.
Mind(ful) What You Eat
No, this does not mean starving yourself! Take a delicious fresh orange. Eat it slowly and deliberately, paying attention to the sweet citrus taste. Notice how the segment bursts with flavour and spreads over your taste buds, and how your jaw moves as it masticates. Mindful eating not only helps us enjoy what we are consuming optimally, but also recognizes our emotional and non-hunger related triggers which inevitably cause us to overeat and feel guilty.
Working on acceptance helps with patience and trust that life will unfold as it’s meant to. It also supports an innate tolerance of life’s rollercoaster, allowing us to remain at peace despite emotional turbulence. Practice by naming emotions: ‘anger’, ‘elation’, ‘sadness’, feeling them and letting them pass without judgement. Understanding that our emotions are fleeting, helps limit the anxiety and worry that tends to pull us out of our present.
Listen to be Heard
We have all been in that situation where, no matter what you say, you are just not being understood. Next time you feel this way, take a step back, don’t just focus on the words being said. Pay attention to the tone, examine facial expressions and body language, and no matter what, remain present in the conversation. Mindful listening exists on the premise that listening is the key to real communication.
"Listen to be heard"
Be Mindful when Exercising
Combining the tranquillity of mindfulness with the increased cognitive and physical activity of exercise seems counterproductive, yet they are inextricably linked by the associations of health and wellbeing. Pay attention to the positioning and feel of your body and its individual muscles, notice the environment, your posture and breath with each movement and physical advances will follow suit. Being mindful during exercise will aid proprioception and help you find your form.