Mindfulness. What is it? Is it hard to do? These are common questions I am asked when it comes to mindfulness. First and foremost, mindfulness is not hard at all! In fact, it is extremely easy to be mindful in your everyday life. There are always times in which it may be more difficult to focus on your mindfulness, however, for the majority of the time it is very easy. Practicing mindfulness is an amazing part of your health and wellness routine and can lead to less stress, lower anxiety, better health, more happiness, and true appreciation for the world around you.
What is mindfulness? Mindfulness, simply put, is the act of being completely aware at every moment. It is the full appreciate of everything around you and experiencing life in a way that you have never felt before. You will be amazed at what you have been missing! Mindfulness is not only paying attention, but it is also how you pay attention. By practicing positive mindfulness, you will in turn grow more positivity into your life. As the old saying goes, you reap what you sow. You can apply mindfulness to your daily activities to improve your overall health and wellbeing. Let’s discuss some of the ways!
Your brain, emotions, and energy are linked together like a well-oiled machine. What you think becomes an action, that action becomes the energy that you attract for the rest of the day. Let’s just pretend that your body is a factory, filled with thousands of workers who are in charge of keeping you moving, influencing your attitudes, affecting how you act and feel. In charge of these workers are two supervisors. One supervisor runs the Negative department while the other runs the Positive department. In the negative department they create stress, anxiety, sadness, guilt, shame, pain, and all that other yucky junk we hate to feel. In the positive depart they create laughter, smiles, happiness, pride, productivity, and all those beautiful things we long for. You are the CEO of your company.
Start the Day Out Right!
The tone of our day begins as soon as the alarm goes off in the morning. As soon as you wake up your supervisors are there waiting for your orders. If you wake up and instantly think “oh great, it’s another crappy day” that sends a signal to the supervisor that you want to focus on negativity today. He will quickly alert all the workers that we are going to have a negative day! There are a few ways you can start your morning practicing mindfulness and tell the negative department to take the day off!
When you first wake up take a moment to absorb the surroundings. Soak in the sun coming in the windows. Listen to the sounds, are the birds chirping, is the fan humming? Is your spouse gently snoring next to you? Allow yourself a few minutes to soak in the sounds, the feel of the air, the light in the room. Then rise for the day. If you find it too hard to stay awake for those five minutes, get up and get a cup of coffee. Sit for a few minutes while drinking your coffee and take in the sights and sounds around you.
Another great way to start your day out right is to take 5 minutes to do some breathing exercises or stretching. Mindful breathing is very simple. Take a deep breath in thru your nose. Feel your chest rise. Imagine the air flowing into your lungs, bringing in all of the nutrients and healing energy from the world and spreading it into your body. Exhale thru your mouth. As your chest falls and you exhale imagine all the negativity and bad energy leaving your body.
When you lay down at night, spend a few minutes practicing mindfulness to clear your mind of the clutter of the day. Close your eyes and focus on the sounds in the room. The clock ticking, the fan humming, crickets chirping. Take deep breaths. As you inhale feel your chest rise. Breathe in the energy of the moon and the stars. As you exhale, imagine that all the stress, anxiety, and negativity from the day is flowing out of your body. Release these back to the atmosphere so that the moon can clear them from your life. Focus on removing these toxic thought patterns in order to allow you to wake up refreshed for the new day.
Throughout Your Day
Every task you do throughout the day, no matter how miniscule, are opportunities to practice your mindfulness. Here are some suggestions for your everyday activities:
Shower: Taking a shower is a great opportunity to cleanse yourself and start again clean and refreshed. As you are taking a shower, stand under the water. How does it feel on your skin? Imagine the water washing away all the negative energy and junk from the day. Imagine the water and bright divine light spreading nothing but love and positivity over your body. While washing your hair, or your body, feel the lather of the soap. Is it soft and smooth? How does it smell? How does that smell make you feel? Feel the smooth tile or surface of the tub on your feet. Is it rough, soft, smooth? Imagine all that negativity, stress, and anxiety going down the drain.
Doing Dishes: We all know that one of the worst jobs to do around the house is dishes. But even doing dishes can be a time of mindful reflection. While running the water, focus on the sounds of the water. Feel the suds in the water. Release your inner child by putting a few suds in your hand and gently blowing to scatter them about. Feel the warmth of the water. As you wash the dishes, feel the texture of the dishes. The smoothness of the porcelain plates, the roughness of the silverware. Be thankful because you would not have these dishes to wash if you did not have food to eat.
Cooking: While cooking be sure to take a moment to be grateful for the food you are preparing. As you are cooking, enjoy the scents. If you are like me, messes and mishaps will happen. Find humor in these mishaps. Take time to watch the food cook, which it changes colors, shapes, watch the water boil.
During Meals: Be thankful. Eat slowly, and take time to feel the texture of the food. Taste the flavors. Savor in the nourishment that the food is providing your body. Drink water with your meals to allow yourself to taste the flavors more richly.
Waiting: At least once a day it feels like we are wasting time waiting for something. Waiting in traffic, waiting for an appointment, waiting in line at the store. Waiting is a great time to focus on being mindful! While waiting focus on the things around you. If you are in a waiting room for instance, take time to really look at the art on the walls. Acknowledge their colors, the scenes. If you are in traffic, look at the other cars, the colors, the bumper stickers. Look at the nature that surrounds you.
People watching is another great way to be mindful (if done positively!) Look at those around you. Do not judge them, instead, note one positive thing about them. Do you really like that lady’s shoes? Do you like that man’s mustache? Is her hair color amazing? If you are really feeling daring do something uplifting for both of you and approach the person and pay them a compliment. Not only will you feel better, but you will have brightened their day as well.
Exercise/Walking: Even if only for a little bit physical activity is a great way to practice mindfulness. Go for a short walk outside. Observe the trees, feel the suns energy, look at the moon and stars, find shapes in the clouds. This is a great way to be mindful and reconnect with nature. If the weather does not permit you to be physical outside, then move the exercise inside. Dance like no one is watching! Feel the energy flowing thru your body as you wave your arms around like a crazy person. It is fun and good for you!
Others Ways To Practice Mindfulness
Journal: Journaling is a great way to be mindful. However, for many people, myself included, journaling seems to tedious and time consuming. When journaling you do not have to write paragraphs. Keep your journal posts short and sweet. Use prompts to help you. Prompts are topics that allow you something quick and easy to focus on. For instance, three positive things that happened today, three funny things that happened, things that made you smile.
Be Kind: Being kind and making others smile is one of the simplest ways to make yourself smile and be mindful. Leave a little note for someone who is often over looked, such as the mailman, trash man, the waitress. Print some cards to keep with you that have motivational uplifting quotes and sayings. Leave these wherever you go. Tell a stranger you like their shirt, their hair, etc. Pay for the coffee of the person behind you in line.
Reach Out: Have you lost touch with an old friend? Has it been a few months since you have talked to Great Aunt Sallie? Reach out and call someone today. Just a few minutes to catch up and check on someone will not only make their day, but yours as well! Stop in and talk to your neighbor.
Mindfulness Trigger: Set a trigger for yourself that will remind you to practice your mindfulness. Whether it be a trigger word, a color, a scent. Something that will make you remember to take a moment to be mindful. The possibilities are endless! Perhaps it is even that co-worker or friend that always seems to bring out the stress in you!
Meditate & Breathe: Meditation is not for everyone, however, if you are able to do it the benefits are endless. Meditation does not have to strictly be sitting still in a quiet state. You can meditate while coloring, listening to music, or rolling an object around in your hand. You can sit, stand, lay down, however you are the most comfortable. The objective is to quiet your mind and reconnect with your inner spirit.
Practice deep breathing whenever you can. Take a minute out of every hour to just breathe. Download a breathing app to help motivate you. Apple Watches have a breath program which is great for helping you take a moment to just breath.
No matter how you choose to be mindful during your day, be sure to take the time to be grateful. You have been given this beautiful gift of life. Always remember that you are not a mistake, you were perfectly made by your creator and that everything you do is for a purpose. You are loved, you are blessed, and you are divine!
~Becky is an Intuitive Life Coach who specializes in helping her clients live a more fulfilling, spiritual, and prosperous life. Becky loves working with the LGBT community and helping mentoring those who have spiritual gifts. Becky is also an Empathic Psychic/Medium, Reiki Master, and much more. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org