How many of you are plagued with thoughts of the past or the "what ifs" of the future? Chances are, you one of the many who struggle with living in the moment – and that’s totally normal.
Life is stressful and busy, memories can haunt you from the past, and the unknown of the future can cause you to be in a constant state of worry. You are not alone. However, you do not have to continue living with negative energy controlling your mind. You just have to learn how to add mindfulness into your day and that’s exactly what we’re going to teach you how to do today.
Living mindfully is the process of living in the moment. It’s about bringing your attention to the present moment; to the thoughts, the sounds, the sensations; the feelings and nothing else but those things. This helps you live in the now instead of letting your wandering mind take you off on a journey of what ifs.
And for that reason alone, mindfulness is a powerful way to improve your mental health and overall wellbeing as you’re no longer worrying about the past, the what-ifs or the future. You’re living in the moment, right here, right now and nothing else matters.
There are many mindfulness activities you can do throughout the day to begin practicing being in the present moment. We’ve selected some of our favorites that are particularly great for anyone who is new to mindfulness because you don’t have to do anything “extra”; you just have to narrow in on your senses.
You do routine activities every single day, such as brushing your teeth, showering, combing your hair, putting on clothes, eating, cooking, drinking, etc. These routine activities are the perfect time to bring awareness to your surroundings, allowing you to be in the present moment.
So, the next time you’re brushing your teeth, showering or combing your hair, focus on the sensations you feel; listen to the sounds; notice the way the brush glides against your teeth or down your hair.
Another easy way to add mindfulness into your day is to pay attention to your surroundings as soon as you wake up. It helps set the tone for your nervous system and is likely to increase other mindful moments throughout the day.
So, wake up, sit up in an alert position and stretch. Notice any sensations or sounds you hear. Perhaps it’s the birds chirping outside, the buzz of your light, the tingling in your muscles, the soft fabric on your legs – whatever it is, bring awareness to it.
As a beginner trying to add mindfulness into your day, the shorter the practice, the easier it’s going to be. The better you become at being aware of your surroundings, the more natural it will occur – the end goal is to be mindful all the time out of habit.
So, the next time you’re doing something that you would typically do without a second thought, stop yourself and bring attention to the action. For example, instead of just tying your shoe like you always do, focus on each individual movement you go through while doing so and narrow in on the feelings and sounds that occur as you’re tying your shoe. It might seem silly at first but doing these little things can help you live in the moment all the time.
Waiting is a part of your everyday life. You wait in the elevator at work; at the red light on your way home; you wait in line at the grocery store; for your food to cook, and for your kids to come to the table.
While these situations can be incredibly frustrating, they present the perfect opportunity to practice your mindfulness. Instead of feeding into the negative emotions and sensations that may arise during these times, bring your attention to your surroundings.
Notice the sizzling of the food cooking on the stove or the steam that’s rising from it; pay attention to the way your clothes feel on your body, scanning each area from your head to your toes; listen to the sounds of your breathing as your wait for your kids to come down the stairs. All of these small activities can help you perfect the process of being in the moment.
Your mind is busy and filled with racing thoughts from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. It’s crucial to take the moment to quiet your mind which is often easier said than done. After all, you’re so used to your mind being busy that you likely don’t even notice it. Meditation can help with this.
However, you can also practice on your own time – any time. Set aside a couple of minutes to let your mind wander just as it naturally does, only this time, have the intention of bringing it back. For example, give yourself two minutes for your mind to wander aimlessly and without judgement.
After those two minutes are up, narrow in on your thoughts and quiet the mind with a couple of deep breaths, following each inhale and exhale from the beginning to the end. If your mind tries to wander again, gently bring it back to your breath. It’s meditation-on-the-go, whenever you need it.
Living mindfully will help you appreciate the moments you have in life, as it allows you to live in this moment instead of always worrying about the past or the future. Add in the fact that it’s incredibly easy to live mindfully and to perfect the practice and there’s no reason not to do it. So, awaken yourself with these five ways to add mindfulness into your day and not only will those moments be improved but your entire life and overall wellbeing will be drastically increased as well.
Live in the moment; not tomorrow; not yesterday; not ten years ago. Just right now, right here.
Head on over to Awakened Self to discover new ways to live mindfully and to – you guessed it, awaken yourself.
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