How often do you really appreciate the present moment?
If you’re saying not enough, I’m right there with ya.
The truth is that we’re all guilty of being distracted.
Whether we’re eating, driving, working, or cleaning, we’re often thinking ahead or dwelling on the past leaving no room to take in the moment that we’re experiencing.
Our awareness of the present moment becomes clouded and cluttered. These spiraling thoughts that hijack our present often turn into worries that only makes us feel even more stressed, tired and overwhelmed.
Mindfulness helps us find calm amidst the chaos in our minds (and the world), creates distance from stressful thoughts, and strengthens our ability to see the world in a more positive light.
We can be mindful anywhere, anytime.
What is mindfulness?
According to Mindful, “mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.”
Being mindful helps us to be open, intentional and nonjudgemental. When we create mindful moments throughout the day, we create moments that allow us to slow down and appreciate the little experiences that make up our lives. After all, it’s the little things that make life big.
Once you declutter your mind of unnecessary thoughts and worries, the quicker you can gently move your attention to the present and enter a state of calm.
The more you practice it, the more your mind will naturally lean towards it. And when you’re mindful daily, the simpler your days become.
So how can you practice mindfulness? Here are 6 ways to be mindful daily to slow down and simplify your life.
HOW TO BE MINDFUL DAILY
1. Focus on the present
Mindfulness is all about being all here, right now.
We’re so used to thinking ahead, wishing we were someplace else or dwelling on the past.
Being mindful challenges you to stop worrying so much about the past and future. Realize that right now, you’re well. You’re alive and breathing. You are safe. In any given situation, you can use your five senses and ask yourself:
- What am I seeing right now?
- What does it smell like?
- What do I hear?
- What are my hands, feet, or back touching?
And bask in that.
2. Listen to your thoughts
Instead of judging your thoughts, become a gentle observer of your feelings and surroundings.
Pretend you’re a tourist encountering something for the first time. Simply notice and let your thoughts come and go without any labeling. Notice what’s going around you with an open, beginners mind.
If any judgments arise, take note of them, and let them go. Then simply, bring your focus back to the present.
Practicing this strengthens the awareness you have over your mind and gives you control over what thoughts you let affect you.
Read this next: How to Practice Positive Self-Talk to Feel Happy and Confident
3. Pay attention to your breath
Since breathing comes naturally, we don’t usually pay attention to it. But we totally should.
When you take time to really breathe, it calms your mind and helps to ease any anxiety you may be feeling.
Next time you begin an activity, pause and take three slow, deep breaths or simply take a few minutes out of your day to tune into your breathing.
The beauty of it is that you don’t have to stop what you’re doing or go somewhere else, you simply do. When you start to pay attention to things that we normally take for granted, it becomes easier to be mindful throughout the day.
4. Tap into that feeling of getting lost in the flow
You know that feeling you get when you’re doing something that you love?
Whether it’s playing a sport, listening to music, or being creative – you’re in this bubble of inspiration and your mind becomes entirely absorbed in the activity. With a sense of heightened awareness, your actions become effortless and you fully enjoy every minute that passes.
Imagine if we intentionally did everything with that kind of flow, joy, and awareness.
A good way to tap into that feeling is to incorporate more things that make you feel in the flow into your daily routine. What lights you up? What makes you want to slow down time? How can you integrate those things into your daily routine?
5. Focus on one thing at a time
Would you rather do one thing well or do numerous things poorly?
It’s said that people who multitask all the time are “chronically distracted.” Most people are not great multitaskers, no matter how much they think they are.
The problem with multi-tasking is that your focus is scattered and your full attention is not being dedicated to any task. By focusing on one thing at a time, it helps you clear any unnecessary mental clutter and conquer one task more efficiently.
When you practice being mindful daily, the easier it’ll get to notice when you’ve become distracted (which will inevitably happen) and gently move your attention back to the task at hand.
6. Find joy in the simple things
You know what kids are great at: finding the joy in anything. They can literally be putting their socks on and they think it’s the greatest thing ever. What if we were more like them?
Next time you’re making the bed, taking a walk, watering the plants – practice being in the moment (back to #1) and appreciate how it feels, how it looks, and what’s happening around you.
Connect with that moment and use it as an opportunity to slow down and appreciate. When you’re mindful, it turns mundane tasks into delightful moments.
Read this next: How to Practice Gratitude Daily for a Better Quality of Life
There are many ways to be mindful, but the simple concept to remember is to focus on the present moment that you’re experiencing right now. While every moment presents an opportunity to slow down, it’s about being intentional with where your thoughts go and using mindfulness to simplify your life by clearing unnecessary mental clutter.
Now over to you…do you practice mindfulness? How has it helped you? Let me know in the comments below!