We often hear the phrase ‘be more mindful’, but what does this actually mean? Mindful derives itself from the word Mindfulness, and you can say that the phrase is an alternative to saying that we should ‘be more present’, and less on an auto-pilot mode (doing your usual routine without paying attention to what you are actually doing). If you are new to the concept of Mindfulness and are wanting to feel more present in each moment, here are 10 mindful ways to help you achieve this.
1) Allow your breathing to become your anchor to your present moment. This is something that can be achieved through a consistent practice of meditation.
2) Use your daily tasks and chores, as a way of staying present. Instead of letting your mind wander as you brush your teeth or comb your hair, make a choice to notice how you actually feel during those tasks which might be mundane but are actually a form of self care.
3) While listening to a song, pay close attention to your breathing, during those 3-4 minutes. The length of any song is the perfect amount of time to pause for a moment and listen to your breathing.
4) When sitting down in a chair, notice how you feel – allow yourself to feel the comfort of the chair. You will also recognise if you are feeling uncomfortable, this way!
5) Meditate. Choose a specific time of the day to sit down and clear your mind through meditation. For as little or as long as you can.
6) Being outside – Due to all of our current circumstances, we lost the freedom to be outside regularly. Now that some of these have gradually lifted, take the opportunity to notice your surroundings, and how your feet feel on the ground, as you go for a walk.
7) Sounds – pay attention to the sounds you hear in your everyday life.
8) Take a break – When you feel that you are losing concentration on a particular task, stop and take a 5 minute break. Notice how you feel when you return to the task.
9) Get creative. A creative outlet that takes you away from a screen/technology, will boost your ability to be more mindful and present.
10) Listen to how you feel. The more self-awareness you practice, the easier it will be to notice how you are truly feeling, during each moment of your day. This is always a work in progress, but it is never too late to start!
These are just some of the ways that you can become more mindful in your daily routine. You can try all 10 of them to work on, or simply select 3 or 5 from the list and slowly add them to your daily life. When you practice consistently, you will begin to feel more present and you will also begin to notice when you have shifted back into auto-pilot mode. We shouldn’t be afraid to notice how we feel, during each moment of life.