The benefits of mindful practice are well documented and social media is abuzz with the ways in which it can help you and how to practice mindfulness. There is however, still a misconception that you have to magically make additional hours in the day to create a practice. Images of hours spent on a cushion or retreats in idyllic places still abound, and the reality is that there are a myriad of ways to cultivate a mindful practice within the activities of our daily living. Shew! Because, who has any extra time or resources lying around for that, at the moment, right?

In this article, I will share some tips about how to weave mindfulness into your everyday life. But first, let’s briefly talk about what mindfulness is, because the concept can be a bit intangible. In essence, mindfulness is the practice of bringing our mind and our body into the same place at the same time.

Bring Your Mind and Your Body into the Same Place at the Same Time

It sounds simple, but can you remember when last your mind and your body were in the same place? If I ask you how often your mind is in a very different place and time from your body, you’ll most likely admit that there are great swathes of time when your mind is off on its own little mission while your body drives to work, makes supper, gets work done, and generally gets you through the day on autopilot. Ellen Langer refers to this as a state of mindlessness.

So is mindfulness just the opposite of mindlessness? Yes, and no. Mindfulness also has its own quality and character in that it is about bringing our mind and body into the same place and time [this moment] with compassion and kindness. In this way we create mindful presence, which is an open, accepting and non-judgmental embodied presence.

It is this type of presence that elicits the benefits that are being extolled in research papers across the world. By cultivating this type of presence through the simple and seemingly mundane tasks we perform every day, we ultimately begin to change the type of presence we bring to our lives, and this can be a transformative experience.

Here are some ways to weave mindfulness into your daily routine:

Finding ways to bring mindfulness into our day without having to necessarily include additional tasks or activities is the holy grail of the practice, Not only does it make it more likely you’ll actively engage with the practice, but it is also far more likely that you’ll sustain your practice. And, best of all, it’ll mean that mindfulness will become of way of being.

Start with Intention

Set the intention to be present and mindful throughout the day. Remind yourself of this intention regularly. I find that setting a reminder on my phone or putting up a sticky note somewhere prominent, is helpful.

Mindful Morning Routine

Begin your day with a few moments of mindfulness. This can include mindful breathing, stretching, or simply paying attention to the sensations of your morning routine, such as brushing your teeth or having breakfast.

Mindful pauses

Take short breaks during the day to pause and bring your attention to the present moment. You can focus on your breath, tune into your body sensations, or observe your surroundings without judgment. Again, setting an intermittent reminder or alarm is helpful.

Mindful Listening

Practice deep listening when engaging in conversations. Give your full attention to the person speaking, without interrupting or planning your response in advance.

Mindful Eating

Slow down and fully savour your meals. Pay attention to the tastes, textures, and smells of the food. Chew slowly and be present with each bite.

Mindful Walking

Incorporate mindfulness into your walks by paying attention to the sensations of your feet touching the ground, the movement of your body, and the sights and sounds around you. This doesn’t mean that you necessarily need to “go for walks”, bringing mindfulness to the walk between your car and your office, or from your office to the bathroom, are all opportunities to tune in to the embodied sensation of walking.

Mindful Use of Technology

Before using electronic devices, take a moment to pause and set an intention for mindful technology use. Be aware of your screen time and engage with digital media consciously. Tune in to how you feel as you sit in front of your computer or scroll through your social media feed – take note of your posture, any tension in your body, your emotive response to what you’re doing, etc. This cultivates an embodied awareness that allows us to make more conscious decisions and reduces the subliminal effects of what we’re engaging in.

Mindful Transitions

Use transitions between activities as opportunities for mindfulness. Take a few deep breaths or do a quick body scan to ground yourself before moving on to the next task. Think STOP – stop, take a breath, observe, proceed.

Mindful Bedtime Routine

Wind down before sleep by engaging in calming activities such as reading, journaling, or practicing a guided meditation.

Take Away

Remember, mindfulness is a skill that develops over time with consistent practice. Start small, be patient with yourself, and gradually incorporate more mindful moments into your daily activities.

Thank you for your interest and support. I am interested to hear your thoughts on how you weave mindfulness into your day – please leave a comment in the box below. If you found this article interesting or helpful, please like and share it to your social media platform of choice. To work with me or book a mindfulness-based support session, please contact me directly.

Image Credit: Free Stocks

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