You’ve likely heard all about the benefits of incorporating mindfulness into your daily life by now. This idea of trying to be fully present in your experiences and as you go about your day has been shown to reduce stress, boost mood, improve sleep, and more. And the good news is that you don’t need to spend an hour a day meditating to get the benefits! Here are eight small, simple ways to live more mindfully daily.
One of the first things any mindfulness or meditation teacher will tell you to do is focus on your breathing. While sitting still and breathing deeply for a few minutes a day, focusing on the air filling your lungs and leaving them will have huge perks. Trying to breathe more slowly and deeply as you go about your day will too.
Identify Your Senses
We learn all about our senses in preschool and kindergarten, but it seems as if we forget about them as we get older. We know they are how we interact with the world around us, but it looks as if we never stop to think about them. So, one easy way to practice being fully present is to identify the things you are sensing at any given moment—what you see, hear, smell, feel and taste.
While this is probably advice you’ve received before, in terms of mindfulness, it applies more to the little things, like household chores. Instead of rushing through washing the dishes or folding the laundry to get to the next task that needs doing, take your time and be fully present in the activity.
No doubt establishing a daily meditation practice will help you live more mindfully. To get you started, there are apps like Headspace and Calm that will lead you through guided meditations of all different lengths so you can choose what fits best into your day.
Go For a Walk
Moving your body and spending time outside—breathing in the fresh air, listening to the birds chirping, feeling the muscles in your legs engage with each step—will allow you to forget about all your to-dos and live in the moment while helping you destress.
Have Morning “Me Time”
Taking a few minutes to yourself in the morning to drink a cup of coffee or tea, read a book or write in your planner sets the tone for a mindful day. Even if it means waking up 15 minutes earlier, it’s worth it.
Savor Your Food
Food is fuel but is also meant to be enjoyed. Instead of shoveling it down your throat, try to slow down and savor your food’s flavors, textures, and smells. You’ll be more mindful of the length of time you spend eating, plus you’ll enjoy the meal more.
Write in a Journal
If you’re struggling to live in the moment when your day is filled with tasks, work, and chores that need completing, try taking some time at the end of the day (or first thing the following day) to write in a journal reflecting on how you felt during the day. The more you do this, the more you’ll be able to recognize these things as you go about your daily life.
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