Our world can be fast-paced and overwhelmingly hectic. We are bombarded with stimuli. Technology is an omnipresent entity in our lives. When you’re living in a state of hyperactivity you can’t help but wonder, what effects does this have on your health and state of mind? Are your mental and emotional health affected by potential stress caused by a busy life? When can we find the time to appreciate what is in front of us, be immersed in the moment, and breathe? One answer is in breaking down the little pieces of things you already do daily to make it easy to incorporate mindfulness into your life with routine.
Meditation is our number one tool in the quest for greater mindfulness. When we are mindful, we are simply noticing, and we rarely get wrapped up in the drama within ourselves. It is true that no matter how much we meditate or how mindful we are, there will be times when we lose ourselves. But, with consistent meditation practice we have the ability to bring ourselves back to center. With practice, it becomes a path we have walked many times. It’s well worn, and we know how to get back home within ourselves. So, use the following techniques to find your own internal home—one filled with calm, quiet, and mindfulness.
Below, you can explore five steps to experience mindful meditation in your everyday life:
- Make Your Daily Life a Meditation
- If you are practicing mindful meditation, it will likely be used in your day to day life and will revolve around the activities you do and places you visit. The goal in a making life a meditation is to be present wherever you are, whether it’s at a restaurant, or in the office, or outside on a noisy street that you walk everyday. You want to stay in the moment and not push through the moment in a blur. Stay aware of where you are.
- Open Your Mind to Experiences
- Notice the details in front of you. If you’re eating, what are you tasting? If you’re walking, what does the ground feel like beneath your shoes? Focus on different sensations and images that are all a part of the moment that you are in. Notice all of the colors, the different smells, and maybe even the feelings that you have associated to all these things you experience.
- Mindful breathing
- When we breathe mindfully, we anchor our mind. This practice is a basic one and can be performed anywhere, at any time of day. For beginners, it’s important to be aware of your breath as a starting point for more complex mindfulness practices, including meditation. To begin, close your eyes if possible, and breath in gently through your nose. Make sure you can feel the breath all the way into your lungs. Straighten your core and lift your chin to guarantee a breath from deep within your lungs. When you’re ready, exhale slowly through your mouth and relax your body. Repeat until your breaths are consistent and your focus is centered on the in and out motion.
- Watch Your Thoughts
- When we give ourselves the opportunity to digest our experiences, we often produce a lot of thoughts. We are all generally expressive and opinionated within ourselves, so thoughts will inevitably rise. Let these thoughts formulate and float around in your head. Given them a chance to develop, without trying to force them. Observe them.
- Practice as Often as You can
- Continue these practices. If possible, practice daily for twenty-one days. Many yogis and mindfulness practitioners and leading experts believe it takes this long to form new habits. The more you practice mindfulness in daily activities such as walking and eating, the more naturally it will occur. Mindfulness will be present. You will find yourself slowing down your mind to truly experience your life. Use these tips to connect with your body and realize the subtle messages your body is giving that you often miss in your daily life.
A mindful moment can be as simple as taking time to pause. Even brief, momentary check-ins with yourself will allow you to experience the benefits of mindfulness. Take a minute in between chores, destinations, and travel to observe the world around you, and reflect on what’s going on in your own mind. We can get so caught up in checking activities off a list, that our days become filled with rote actions. Something as simple as setting your phone down before responding to a message, or stopping for a moment before answering the door can make a huge difference in your awareness. Mini pauses help re-center us throughout the day.