Can you be more mindful without it being a "chore"? Some times people are resistant to the idea of being mindful because they think it is going to take time out of their already-busy day. But the beauty of mindfulness is that you can practice it in little spurts, and these spurts help spur you making you feel calmer and more in control.
Here are five easy ways to introduce more mindfulness into your daily routine.
1. Focus on your breathing
Focusing on your breathing is a key aspect of mindfulness. But it can be done whenever you have a few minutes. Let’s say you are on a bus, or stuck in traffic. Instead of getting annoyed, pay attention to your breathe. Feel the air travel through your nose, down your windpipe and into your lungs and out again. Pay attention to the way your body shifts as your lungs fill up. If your busy mind intrudes, don’t worry. Let your thoughts pass and refocus on your breathing.
2. Take a walk
Walking is not only great exercise, it can be a form of meditation. Pay attention to the movement of your body as you walk. Feel the wind on your skin, and listen to the sounds of birds, leaves, or even the cars. Don’t judge any of these — just experience them.
3. Focus to your body
You don’t need to do anything special for this, simply pay attention to what your body is doing and feeling in the now. Let’s say you’re at work — feel the chair supporting you, pay attention to the texture of the desk or keyboard under your fingers, or the tool in your hand. Just check in with your body and become aware of what it is experiencing.
Choose a short, positive message to repeat over to yourself. For example, if you are stressed at work, briefly close your eyes and repeat: “I am capable” for a few minutes.
5. Acknowledge your negative feelings
Many of us repress our negative feelings, hoping if we ignore them, they’ll disappear. Instead, whenever you feel down, upset or stressed, acknowledge to yourself that this is how you feel. Don’t criticise yourself for feeling this way. Simply accept it — and let it go. By repressing feelings we hold on to them much longer than need be. Admitting them is the best way of letting them go.