If you struggle to stay present, try these 28 simple mindfulness practices to help you train your brain for better focus and present moment awareness.
1) Wake Up Better
Start the day with deep breaths to clear your mind and ready yourself for the day ahead. Don’t check your phone and don’t let thoughts creep in before you have gotten out of bed.
2) Get Out of Bed Right Away
Don’t allow yourself to linger too long in bed because you could lose the momentum to get up and start the day. Enjoy the warmth of the blankets and then jump out and get moving.
3) Make Your Bed
Many experts agree that accomplishing something right away sets you up for success, so make your bed as a way to set the path for your day and pay attention to the details of folding down the blankets and fluffing the pillows.
4) Cleanse Your Body
Most people start their day with a shower, so when you are participating in this ritual, remind yourself of how you are cleansing your body for the day ahead.
5) Dress the Part
Put your favorite clothes on and allow yourself to feel good in them. If you find yourself tugging at a dress or pair of pants, change them.
6) Watch the Kettle Boil
Instead of running around the house in the morning trying to organize your day, sit and listen to the kettle boiling your water for tea or coffee.
7) Sip Something Hot in the Morning
Drinking something hot can help you focus on the here and now. Because you are avoiding being burned by the hot liquids, you carefully sit tea or coffee and can enjoy it more than if you slug back a bottle of cold water and keep rushing through life.
8) Brush Your Teeth with Intention
This 2 minutes of private time in the bathroom can make all the difference in your day. Pay attention to how the bristles feel on your teeth and be grateful that you have access to tools to keep your teeth clean and healthy.
9) Play Music
Pay attention to the different sounds and pay attention to how they make you feel.
10) Write Your Task List for the Day Using Pen and Paper
Be present and feel the weight of the pen and the texture of the paper as you write your list for the day.
Runners have to focus on their strides and the feel of their feet on the ground. Try running to give yourself up to your brain and let it clear out on the go.
12) Play with Your Hair
Feel the softness between your fingers and marvel at something so simple and beautiful.
13) Watch for the Red Lights
When you are stopped at a red light, take a moment to breathe deep and be thankful for the car you drive. Don’t let the negativity related to traffic jams take hold.
14) Take a Walk
Walking can help you stay present and aware of your thoughts in a new way.
15) Give Someone a Hug
Don’t hug someone out of obligation. Give big bear hugs and mean it.
One way to stay present is to engage in vigorous exercise. You can’t check out of a workout otherwise you’ll get hurt, so add exercise to your routine to stay present.
17) Enjoy Lunch
Don’t just woof down your food, enjoy it. Whether you are eating a cheeseburger or a salad, take the time to feel the texture of the food and enjoy the smells and sights of your dish.
18) Enjoy a Conversation
Paying attention is hard these days, but if you are working on being present, pay attention to someone when they talk. Don’t look at your phone, don’t engage in other activities while you listen, just listen.
19) Sit Back and Relax
Push your bottom to the back of the chair and take a deep breathe to clear your mind and feel better about the here and now.
20) Use Timers to Keep You Focused on the Task at Hand
If you struggle with focus, set 15 minute timers to plug away at your work.
21) Pay Attention to the Life Around You
If you see a bug on the ground, follow the path is makes and pay attention to how it moves, where it’s going and how cool it is that we share this planet with such a variety of creatures.
22) Let Your Feet Breathe
Take your shoes off and feel the air on your toes.
23) Cook a Meal
Take your time as you cut vegetables and prepare sauces for your favorite dish.
24) Get into the Characters in Your Favorite Television Show
Don’t passively watch television, get into it.
Cleaning takes your focus away from whatever is bothering you and helps you pay attention to how you are feeling.
26) Track Your Meal in Your Mind
Start taking part in mindful eating. Think about where your food has come from and the journey it took to make its way to you.
27) Do Nothing
It’s hard, we know, but doing nothing is a good way to refocus your brain and help you pay attention to the present time.
28) Clear Your Mind Before Bed
Don’t look at your phone or watch television before bed. Just be with your thoughts and let them slip away as you fall deeper into sleep.
A quick message from Lachlan Brown, the founder of Hack Spirit
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