In today's fast-paced and often chaotic world, finding moments of peace and clarity can seem like an impossible task. However, incorporating mindfulness practice into our daily lives offers a powerful solution.
Mindfulness, the act of deliberately paying attention to the present moment without judgment, has been proven to reduce stress, enhance well-being, and cultivate a greater sense of self-awareness. In this article, we will explore various mindfulness exercises and activities that can be easily integrated into our everyday routines, allowing us to reap the numerous benefits of this transformative practice.
Whether you are new to mindfulness or seeking to deepen your practice, these techniques will help you cultivate a greater sense of calm, focus, and inner peace amidst the busyness of life.
When you go into your day being present, everything changes. If we find ourselves in a frustrating or stressful situation, we can pass through it with much ease and acknowledgment. We can stop for a moment and really understand what we are feeling to have a less exhausting reaction. That is what Mindfulness is all about!
Now, you are probably wondering how you can start to practice being present in your day-to-day life. Let's explore some simple Mindfulness exercises that can change your life!
Start The Morning With Gratitude
Waking up and going straight into your work clothes, just grabbing a quick cup of coffee and running to the car to get to work or school as soon as possible. Does that sound like a normal morning to you?
When you run through your morning like that, you are skipping what could be the first true moment to yourself in the day. And that makes a huge difference. Taking some time to reflect and contemplate before the day starts is essential to being more present.
When you awaken in the morning, you can take a moment to feel gratitude for everything that you are thankful for. Yourself, your family, your job, your pets, your friends, your health, or even that amazing cup of coffee you just made yourself. Just write it in a journal, a notes app or a sticky note on your fridge!
But if you are more of a night person and need to really appreciate the day you had and deal with your feelings at night, try this. Before going to bed, write everything you were grateful for that day, even the bad stuff, just pour everything on a paper or journal. Doing this can help you have a profound and restful sleep!
You could also carry a gratitude stone with you. Throughout the day, hold the stone while expressing whatever you feel grateful for in that moment. This is a wonderful practice and is believed to aid in manifesting more of the things you're thankful for and more abundance.
Set a Daily Intention
It can be on the night before or while you're taking that shower in the morning, but always set an intention for the day. Think about everything you need to do that day, all your tasks and appointments, and don’t put any pressure on it, you know you can do it. Try to think about what you didn’t do on the day before that you would like to implement in your daily life from now on, one day at a time.
It can be really simple or something huge. Like saying “good morning” to the doorman in your building, letting that thing go just for the day, or doing something for yourself like a hobby or activity. You can write it on a sticky note or even on your hand, just make it visible, so that you can remember to do it!
The Sacred Pause
Have you ever reacted to something without even thinking about it first and regretted it? Did you ever notice how many times you look at your phone and scroll endlessly for hours just to avoid being with yourself? And most importantly, don’t you ever feel the fault that a good pause can have?
The worst part of it is that, when you try, you just can’t seem to relax or rest. You are so tired and yet you can’t sleep. Your mind feels like it is going non-stop, and you tend to look at your phone to not deal with it. So this can be one of the hardest Mindfulness activities to practice, but once you start doing it, can truly change your life forever!
Taking a pause is to appreciate your surroundings, to let your mind be at peace, and to learn to rest. And there are a few ways you can start doing it!
Make a Cup of Coffee or Tea
This is always a process that takes little time and effort, and yet you can fully emerge into it. Boiling the water, watching it flow through the filter or be infused by the leaves… This is a moment to breathe and take your mind off of anything you were doing or feeling before. And don’t stop there! Don't sit down and grab your phone right away. Just enjoy that warm cup sitting on your balcony or watching the city through the window, playing with your pets or reading a few pages of a book. Let the rest of the world go and pause!
Take Pictures Of Things You Find Beautiful
Moments, people, the sky, a quote in a book… There are so many beautiful things in our lives to enjoy! We pass through those moments so fast that we never see each other changing and growing. When we look back, it is all in the past. So take a moment to take some pictures, treasure your loved ones and even that moment when the sky looked amazingly pretty. Take it and leave your phone right after, so when you come back to it, you’ll find just a smile on your face watching and reliving that memory again!
Take a Moment to Breath
Pause and take a deep breath to restart your thoughts, your emotions and your feelings. Breath before making a decision, breath during a walk, breath before picking up your phone, pause and think to be present. Before you do something, take yourself out of the autopilot and breathe, think and then act, talk or do whatever you were going to do.
That way, you will be more present in each moment of your life. You will truly mean what you do or say, because you thought and felt it before doing it.
Mindful Self-Care Activity
Talking about doing something for yourself, try to remember the last time you put yourself first? Did you recently do your hair, meditate, exercise or have spent some time on your favorite hobby?
Try this today: take one hour to do something for yourself and by yourself. Put your phone away, on silent mode, and just be with your mind for a moment. You will learn to love yourself more and enjoy your own company, you will know what it is to want to take care of yourself again.
We all know about fast food, how unhealthy it is and how it can be just a comfort food on those days when you don’t want to cook or don’t have time. But let’s forget about the health issue for a moment. Let’s think about the experience!
When you go to a nice restaurant, a special dinner or even order something different, you do something called “slow food”. Which is all about enjoying the food, the moment, the company and the experience in itself. You feel more full and truly satisfied.
Why not feel that way in each meal you have? Take your time, really savor the moment, even if your company is just you! Be grateful for your food and enjoy it, even if you didn’t make it. Although cooking can create a big connection between you and your food, it can be stressful and take a lot of time and planning.
Are you the type of person who seems to be always in a hurry? You walk faster than your friends and family and rush everywhere even if there is no need. Passing by the landscapes, the city, the people and the beauty of life. Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to not rush through everything?
A great way to start to see life in other ways is to start walking slowly! Take literally one step at a time, enjoy the day, the weather, the sound of the city and walk in your own time, even if that means you need to leave your house a few minutes early. Listen to music, or just take that time to think about your day or your life! Take a slow walk today and feel the difference.
Figure Out Your Own Mindfulness Rituals
All of these tips were just suggestions to make your first step. Maybe meditation is not for you yet, so you enjoy cooking more. Or perhaps you don’t walk everywhere, and you are always in your car. Doesn’t matter what your day looks like, there is always time to take a step back and be Mindful about your actions and yourself.
Mindfulness practices and activities are just a way to start to take real time for yourself. Not just an hour or two a week, but treat and take care of yourself every day. You will start to feel every day, to live intentionally and make those daily decisions with calm and patience. Don’t rush through life, enjoy it and live!