Carpooling the kids. Work. Meetings. Commuting. Exercise. Errands. Dinner. Repeat.
It’s no secret that life is hectic today, and it may seem as though there’s never a single minute to spare just for you to relax, reflect and recharge. But mindfulness doesn’t have to be something that takes a huge chunk of time out of your day; instead, a thoughtful practice can be inserted into or between all the above situations, leaving you feeling more centered and calm without missing out on your to-do list.
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Here are five of the best ways to incorporate mindful meditation into everyday moments:
1. Get in Touch with Your Body
You might not have time to make yoga a part of your weekly routine, but a yoga class is meditation in action. Your instructor will tell you to pay attention to the way your body feels, how deep you’re breathing –and, just like that, you’re connected physically and mentally. This insider knowledge is why yoga feels so calming, because you can pinpoint where you’re tense and let go of that lingering, unpleasant sensation.
Even if you can’t sneak in a session at your local yoga studio, you can take time to reflect on the way your body is feeling through a quick movement session. Something as simple as taking a quiet, five-minute walk on your own — a break that could help you improve your productivity at the office, to boot — can help you reconnect to your body for a more soothing, mindful day.
2. Pay Attention
It may seem as though the goal of mindful meditation is to block out all the negativity in your life, but that’s not exactly the case. Instead, the point of the practice is to pay attention to what’s happening and take it at face value without casting any judgments.
This may seem easier said than done, and it is — it will take practice before you’re able to quietly reflect without inserting any judgments into your observations. But it will help you reap huge rewards in your personal and professional life. Think about it this way: meditation is a huge part in addiction recovery because it helps practitioners to rewire the way they think about themselves. They let go of the guilt and self-blame they feel for the past, a cathartic exercise that helps them move forward.
Of course, your daily need for mindfulness might not cover a subject so intense. But, still, it’s important to reflect in a way that’s non-judgmental; all you have to do is start paying attention without bias. And, with your focus on the day-to-day happenings in your life, it won’t seem as hectic or as if life is passing you by. You’ll be completely in-tune with what’s going on.
3. Press Pause When You Can
What’s your morning routine? Do you have the pleasure of sipping a cup of coffee while the kids get ready, or listening to your favorite podcast as you commute? A big part of mindfulness is realizing the regenerative value of these activities and making them part of your daily meditative ritual.
For example, as you have that morning cup of coffee, savor every drop. Try and figure out the notes of flavor at the end of each sip. Slowly eat your breakfast alongside your cup of joe, really experiencing every bite. By making these moments more mindful, you’ll find it easier to focus on all of your feelings and thoughts throughout the day.
There are so many different situations in which you’ll be asked to listen, and it’s up to you to learn how to handle each one. For example, if you and your partner have a disagreement, it’s good practice to spend some time apart to cool down, reconvene and discuss with level heads, taking turns to let the other person talk.
In every situation, though, there are some tenants to good listening that remain. For starters, it’s important that you’re listening without interjecting your opinions or advice. Sure, you may be listening to provide such counsel, but it’s your job to wait until the entire story is finished before you give your two cents. It’s also vital that you put down your phone and any other distractions to make it clear you’re paying attention.
Of course, this focus will transcend into other areas of your life and make you more aware as your listening skills improve. And that will be another key factor in making mindfulness a part of your day-to-day doings.
5. Set Aside Time
Finally, you may find that the above tips work to a point, but you need to partake in a more focused meditative practice. In that case, you can simply set aside five minutes for a quick meditation as part of your morning or nighttime routine, for example, and see how your mind and body flourish.
To do it, find a quiet, comfortable spot where you can reflect on your feelings and thoughts in the moment. You can also use a five-minute meditation to guide you toward mindfulness, if you feel your thoughts leading you astray. Shortly, you’ll feel more in-tune with the world around you and your feelings toward it.
With this and the previous four tips, you should be well on your way to making mindfulness a part of your daily routine. There’s no better way to tackle your busiest days than with an eye to your own needs and feelings — all you have left to do is experience it for yourself.
About the Author
Kacey Bradley is the lifestyle and travel blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she frequently writes for sites like US Travel News, Thought Catalog, Style Me Pretty, Tripping.com and more! Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!
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