Mindful Living for Everyone

The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

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The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

Being mindful is about living in the present moment and being aware of your feelings and your surroundings. You must be fully present, meaning your thoughts, attention, and focus should be fixed on whatever task you are performing. In today’s fast-paced world, people feel the need to do multiple tasks at once in order to stay on top of things. This often leads to more chaos, impacting your overall wellness.

Contrary to popular belief, practicing mindfulness won’t make all your stress and negative emotions go away. Instead of encouraging you to turn away from those emotions, mindfulness will teach you to turn inwards to gently experience them, accept them, and make healthy decisions to cope with them. It can help you in finding joy in the little things and identifying the positives in the negative experiences.

Best of all, mindfulness techniques can be practiced anywhere and while doing the simplest things, like checking your mail, brushing your teeth, making food, and so on. Here are some tips to live more mindfully:

Pay Attention to Your Senses

Paying attention to what you are feeling can help you to connect with your senses and the sensations you are going through. This is, undoubtedly, easier said than done, especially if you are dealing with negative emotions.

Start small. Begin your journey of mindful living by noticing your breathing. Focus on the ebb and flow of the breath going in and out of your body. The way your stomach expands and contracts. You can easily practice this at any time of the day, no matter what you are doing.

Next, work on strengthening all your senses. Notice what you see – identify the shape and color. Close your eyes and focus on the sounds you hear. When you eat something, try identifying the different tastes of the ingredients and spices. When working with an object, notice how it feels in your hands and so on.

Your senses can help bring your drifting thoughts to the task at hand; whether you are at work or doing chores, etc.

Once you get used to this practice, take mindfulness to the next level by focusing on your feelings. What do you currently feel and why? The more you practice, the better you will be able to stay mindful and make informed decisions.

Savor what You Eat

Eating on the go has become the norm nowadays. But how can you truly enjoy and appreciate what you eat when you are simply stuffing food down your throat? Mindful living means slowing down and enjoying the present moment.

Avoid any distractions when you are eating, take your time with the meal and savor each and every bite. Mindful eating will not only ensure you enjoy every meal but also prevent you from overeating. When you slowly eat your food, your stomach has some time to send your brain a signal that it's full. It also leads to better digestion by improving the mind-gut connection.

Ditch Multitasking

For decades, people made multitasking their mantra. Many even boast about their multitasking skills, particularly in job interviews, among their family and friends. Many people believe it increases their productivity. However, in reality, it drains our energy faster.

When you try to divide your attention between multiple tasks and to balance them all simultaneously, you increase your chances of making mistakes and exhaust yourself, both physically and mentally.

Focus instead on one thing at a time. Complete one task by devoting all your attention to it. You will notice that performing tasks with full concentration results in improved efficiency and less time consumed without making you feel exhausted or stressed.

Do Nothing for Five Minutes

Schedule a five-minute break in your daily routine. Do absolutely nothing, and sit in silence. Turn your attention inward and become more aware of your thoughts. Too much? Just focus on what is around you, the sounds around you, the smells, your breathing, and more. It is the perfect way of getting comfortable with stillness and silence – something many dread. The ideal time to do this is in the morning when there are low chances of getting distracted.

Transform Chores into Mindful Practice

Even the most painfully mundane tasks can be transformed into mindful activities. Washing your hands, washing dishes, cleaning the house and other chores are a great means of focusing your attention on the moment. This refers to going with the flow.

Focus on how the water feels against your skin and how the dish you’re washing becomes cleaner with every scrub. Surrender to the moment and improve your concentration.

Cooking is another simple way to practice mindfulness. Whenever you are cooking a meal, activate all your senses. Notice the ingredients, the smells, the texture, the sound of chopping and sizzling, the aroma that fills your kitchen.

Leave Some Gaps in Your Daily Schedule

Many people live by their to-do lists. While it is a great way to manage your time and accomplish your tasks, it might leave you exhausted if you don’t take some breaks in between tasks. Why? Firstly, you might hit some hurdles that can prolong the task more than you anticipated, which could trigger your stress. When you leave some room in your schedule for delays and breaks, you can manage your stress more efficiently.

Moreover, taking a few minutes break gives you the time to relax and unwind before you jump into the next task. It allows you to eat, enjoy your coffee, socialize, or even meditate, which calms down the hyperactive mind and enhances your productivity throughout the day.

Notice the World around You

Mindful living is all about enjoying the present moment. Therefore, be mindful of your environment and appreciate the beauty around you that we often fail to notice. Take a few minutes to observe the people and things around you, let it all in and be grateful to be enjoying that moment.

The entire idea of living mindfully is to be more conscious of your inner state as well as your surroundings. Being mindful not only encourages you to live your life to the fullest, but also helps you get closer to your goals. It improves your overall wellness and health. If you have difficulty in processing your thoughts and implementing mindfulness in your life, then opting for mindfulness counseling can do wonders.

Remember, being consistent is the key. Be patient and you will start noticing the difference.