20 Ways to Practice Mindfulness
Introducing the practice of mindfulness into your life can be accomplished in several ways. The Mindful Warrior takes advantage of all the little opportunities that present themselves each day. By slicing away a little at a time with the sword of awareness, you can comfortably grow into your mindfulness practice.
Consider these suggestions:
1. Focus on your breathing upon awakening each day. A new dawn, a new day, feel each breath the moment you awake. After a few minutes, get up and see how long you can be mindful of your first activities.
2. Practice body awareness as you wash. Feel the flowing water touching your skin. Focus on how it feels.
3. Flossing your teeth. Many people forget to floss. Now is a good time to incorporate it into your routine. Being mindful makes it easier to develop new habits.
4. Observe your thoughts while driving. Are you thinking about driving or worrying about work? How often do we drive on autopilot and have little memory of the journey afterwards!?
5. While outdoors, notice the weather. Describe it to yourself. What do you see and hear? Do you end up judging it good or bad? Maybe try and see it just as it is.
6. Practice good listening skills. Are you intently listening to the person who is speaking or are you thinking about something else? Catch yourself!
7. Focus on both the taste and texture of your food. How does it feel in your mouth? What flavours do you experience?
8. Go for a record. Time yourself and see how long you can focus your thoughts on one object in your environment.
9. Pick a worthwhile activity you’re hesitant to do. Do it and see if you can focus without experiencing negative emotions. Where do those emotions come from?
10. Practice meditating in the bathroom. It might be the only peaceful time in your day!
11. Observe the person standing in front of you in line. Describe them in complete detail to yourself. See if you can complete the activity without having your attention wander. What positive or negative thoughts arise about the person – have those thoughts been conditioned in us throughout our life?
12. Find a quiet place and do nothing for 10 minutes. Let your thoughts wander and observe your thinking.
13. Breath. Focus on your breathing for 5 minutes each hour. Or just a few mindful breaths throughout the day – how does it make you feel?
14. Think about a person you dislike. Notice the changes in your feelings. Now let go of those negative emotions. Can you see the good in that person?
15. Go slower. It’s easier to focus when you’re not being rushed. As the military says, “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.” Create space in your schedule and notice how much more you actually achieve without the stress and chaos around it!
16. Exercise. Notice your body and thoughts while exercising. BoxingYoga is a great way to exercise mindfully. You may find when you really get into an activity you get into the 'zone' where things slow down, you move with ease, everything works perfectly - many sports people have experienced this state.
17. Sitting at a red light. Watch the light until it changes. See the light not your thoughts or feelings about the situation. But when the thoughts pop in your mind just be aware of them without labeling them.
18. While you’re in pain. Focus on the pain and notice what happens to the pain. Now focus on your environment and notice what happens to the pain. What is pain?
19. In bed, be aware. Lie on your back and focus on the feeling of the covers on you. Feel your body on the mattress – be present, there’s no where else you need to be. There's no where else you can be. No need to be in the past or future - neither exist apart from as mind made memories (past) or worries (future).
20. See how long it takes to become mindful in your dreams. Our thought patterns in everyday life tend to stick with us in our dreams.
Continue to observe yourself throughout your day, try to be mindful in all you do and see how that improves your day! Catch yourself throughout the day and bring awareness to what you are doing and feeling. When you have a moment to sit you can listen to one of my guided meditations or relax with some peaceful music or follow some mindful movement.