Mindfulness isn’t just a practice—it’s an art.
Today, millions of people throughout the world are understanding the hidden secrets behind mindfulness, and using its philosophies to improve their daily lives.
If you’re someone who wants to start practicing mindfulness, there are ways to slowly get accustomed to it without needing to meditate everyday.
In fact, activities that are already part of your life like walking, reading, and even eating, can be configured to help you achieve that state of mindfulness.
Don’t know where to start? Here’s how:
1) Noticing The Lack of Mindfulness
One of the best ways to start becoming mindful is by realizing when you’re not.
Understanding the difference between mindfulness and the lack thereof allows you to check yourself and say, “Hey buddy, we’re losing our attention right now”.
Throughout the day, our brains go on autopilot. When we’re doing something repetitive or boring, it’s easy to just go along what’s happening and space out completely.
Having the ability to notice it when you’re starting to tip over the other side of consciousness is a great way to jumpstart your journey to mindfulness.
All you have to do is realize when you are not being mindful, and zap yourself back to reality.
2) Paying Attention to Your Thoughts
Mindfulness isn’t limited to when you’re meditating. You can be as reflective even when you are doing mundane, day-to-day tasks.
A simple way to do this is by checking in your thoughts from time to time. See what you feel about things, and try to find a reason as to why you feel this way.
Getting in this habit will come in handy, especially during times of conflict. As you train your brain to focus on everyday things, reflection will become an automatic response, allowing you to find the best solution for your problems, on the spot.
Instead of waiting for the golden opportunity, or a time where you’re so removed from the world that you can actually pay attention to your thoughts, make it a habit that you don’t need to treat meditation as a separate activity.
Inject it into your life and turn it into something that you just do just because.
3) Listening Intently
Mindfulness isn’t limited to the self. In fact, this becomes clearer, more effective when you are practicing it with others.
Everyday we have opportunities for social interaction, some of which are less memorable than others. No matter how insignificant these encounters are to you, it helps if you treat each conversation as if your life depended on it.
Really listen to the people you are talking to. Become aware of their emotions, their body language, and their responses.
Paying attention and listening intently to the people around you will result in more meaningful interactions.
4) Being Thoughtful About Your Breathing
Breathing is one of those things that just happen—we don’t have to think about whether or not we are breathing enough.
In reality, being mindful of one’s breath is one of the best ways to practice meditation. It’s easy to get into it because you don’t need to set time for it.
It’s important to note that juggling meditative breathing and another task isn’t mindfulness at all. To really succeed, you must do this when you are not surrounded by social stimuli.
For example, if you’re eating lunch alone, or waiting for the traffic signal to turn green, or waiting to be called at the Doctor’s office, you can use these instances to become thoughtful about your breathing. Doing this will help regulate balance and peace of mind in your life.
5) Turning Repetitive Tasks Into Something Memorable
Tasks such as driving home from work, shopping for groceries, or paying the bills become automatic over time. We don’t need to think about them because we already know what’s going to happen next.
Instead of letting yourself float through these moments in your life, take a good look at what you’re doing and start appreciating them for what they are. When we take these things for granted, there is a less chance of us finding them remarkable and potentially enlightening.
Take for instance emailing. You’ve probably emailed hundreds of clients in your lifetime. When you switch your brain off and let your fingers do the typing for you, you’re guaranteed to have more mistakes in your email.
Save your professionalism by paying attention to repetitive tasks. If you do, you’ll realize that there is a nuance that makes it a little different every time.
6) Noticing Something New Everyday
We don’t live in a fairytale where something novel happens everyday. It can be hard to look forward to your day when you know every part of it. However, if you step back and give your routine a chance, you’re bound to realize things for the first time ever.
A detail on your car that you never noticed, a co-worker who always smiled at you, or a great lunch menu that you’ve always ignored. We tend to chase the exciting without even realizing that new things are in front of us.
No single day is the same. Every day we are meeting and interacting with a different version of the world; all we have to do is look closer.