Creative Ways to Mindfulness
Normal, everyday life can be very hectic and you can be forgiven for thinking 'how am I going to fit this in?' Or 'isn't this one more thing I have to add to my to do list'. When we feel overwhelmed this is precisely when we need to be more mindful but it doesn't have to be difficult. In fact it can be very easy when you incorporate it into normal, everyday activities. Here are some examples, but the list is endless and you can find creative ways of your own.
1. Many of us get out of bed and immediately start to think about all the things we have to do during the next 24 hours. Wake up and start your day with 5 minutes of Mindfulness instead. It will ground you.
2. Enjoy a mindful shower. How does the water feel, smell the products you are using etc.
3. Prepare and drink your morning tea or coffee mindfully.
4. Actually listen to the radio.
5. Go for a Mindful walk: concentrate on the feel of your feet on the ground, your breathing and how your body feels. Notice what is going on around you and the environment generally. What do you see? Often we miss all the details and sometimes even bigger things as in 'wow! I didn't notice that there was a big tree there! '.
6. Eat Mindfully. Don't allow any distractions such as the newspaper, computer or television to get in the way. Look at your food before tasting it, notice the texture and taste etc. Put the fork down in between mouthfuls. Are you enjoying it? Are you full/empty? Many studies now show that eating mindfully can assist in weight loss so this is one to try if you would like to lose a few pounds.
7. Exercise mindfully. Be aware of how your body feels, if your mind jumps ahead to what's for tea just bring it back gently. Research shows that performance is enhanced when we exercise mindfully.
8. Take a minute anywhere! Sit in front of a clock or set a timer. Focus your attention on breathing and nothing else for the minute. Can you manage 2? This is something that you can do anywhere and without anyone knowing most of the time. If you get interrupted it's not a problem start again or do it later.
9. Mindful driving. Our roads would probably be safer if we all did more of this. Direct your attention to the steering wheel, the gears, signs, the car ahead. Often people report that they enjoy driving much more this way. You can't get to your destination any sooner so why not?
10. Play with your children mindfully. Look at them, notice what they notice. If any thoughts nudge (or kick) you for attention let them go. Children are born mindful and there is much that we have forgotten from those precious early years.
11. End of day routines such as make up removal, brushing teeth, turning lights off etc. All can be done mindfully.
12. Before you go to sleep. People usually report that they fall asleep and whilst technically the aim of Mindfulness is to learn to 'unhook' yourself from your thoughts we see no problem if you drift off into a sound sleep. We all need more sleep than we are getting.
And finally if you can't do any of the above.....
13. JUGGLE! It isn't possible to be anything but mindful when practicing this old trick.