The idea of being mindful may seem odd to those who are used to sacrificing living in pursuit of their goals. But, cultivating mindfulness will help you achieve your goals and enjoy life even more.
Not only are you more productive when you’re mindful, but you reap numerous benefits in all aspects of your life. Research has shown that people who practice mindfulness have lower amounts of stress, and improved focus and memory
Being present helps you enjoy life to the fullest. By being mindful, you enjoy your food more, you enjoy friends and family more, you enjoy anything you’re doing more. You can practice mindfulness while doing something as simple as brushing your teeth or checking the mailbox.
Here are 11 Ways to include mindfulness in your lives
Single-task, don’t multitask. When you’re eating, just eat. When you’re bathing, just bathe. Don’try to knock off a few tasks while eating or bathing.
Even though multitasking makes us feel more productive, studies show that we make more errors when juggling tasks.
Taking on one task at a time helps you go more deeply into the task at hand; allowing us to think creatively and utilize problem-solving skills.
When you do multiple tasks at a time, you may be rushing that task. Instead, take your time, and move slowly. Make your actions deliberate, not rushed and random. When we rush, rush, rush we don’t truly see what we’re doing.
Try this trick. Tape a note on your door that reminds you to take a moment and breath. Slowing down helps bring all of your focus back to the present moment.
You'll be on track to mindfulness in no time!
If you do less, you can do those things slower, with more completion, and with more concentration. If you fill your day loads of tasks, you’ll be rushing from one thing to the next without thinking about what you’re doing.
When we do fewer things, we can focus more on the ones we keep, offering them the attention we want to give.
The key? Figuring out what’s important and letting go of what’s not.
Give yourself breathing room to allow for mindfulness. A stressed, hyper-driven mind and body keep us from being our most productive and creative selves. Try setting a time in between tasks to celebrate the work you've done along the way.
Just sit in silence. Become aware of your thoughts. Focus on your breathing. Notice the world around you. Become comfortable with the silence and stillness. It’ll do you a world of good—and it just takes a few minutes.
Try doing this in the morning when you'll be alone and without distractions. Warning: If you try this at night, there's no guarantee you won't fall asleep.
Become more aware of your thinking. Are you constantly worrying about the future? Learn to recognize when you’re doing this and practice bringing yourself back to the present. Of course, that may be easier said than done.
Instead of being hard on yourself when nagging thoughts seep into your brain, try creating distance from the thought. One simple technique is to add the phrase, ‘My mind is saying…’ in front of each worrisome thought. This small shift reminds us these worries are a creation of the mind and they do not control us. The content of our thoughts are less important than our relationship to them.
How many conversations have you had where you’re not listening but actually thinking of what you want to say next? This not only detracts from your enjoyment of the moment but also hurts the quality of your relationships.
When we give someone our undivided attention, we can mirror them and provide reassurance. This is what makes people feel heard and understood, and ultimately, leads to deeper, more fulfilling relationships.
Food can be crammed down our throats in a rush, but where’s the joy in that? Savor each bite, slowly, and get the most out of your food. Interestingly, you’ll eat less this way, and digest your food better as well.
Research shows that mindful eating allows people to make healthier decisions about food. Sitting down and paying attention to each bite gives us time to reflect whether our body is hungry or full, and to deal with feelings of anxiety about mealtime.
Just as you would savour your food by eating it more slowly, do everything this way. Slow down and savour each and every moment. Tune into the sights and sounds and awaken your senses to the world around you. Make sure that you’re doing this by checking in with yourself regularly.
When you get in the car before starting it, sit for a moment to breathe and notice. Before putting your key in the door to come home, ask yourself how you can take the best care of yourself that night.
Cooking and cleaning are often seen as drudgery, but they can both provide great ways to practice mindfulness each day. Try doing them as a form of meditation by putting your entire concentration into those tasks. Notice the smell of each ingredient, feel the metal of a spoon or the texture of a sponge on your hand and so on.
Practicing being mindful can be extremely simple. Sometimes life is about the simple parts that we tend to miss or ignore while on autopilot.
Practice mindfulness is no different. Just like everything, the more you do, the better it gets. Now that you’ve discovered these easy ways to be more mindful, will you give them a try?