Being more mindful can help to improve performance at work and in everyday life. It’s well documented to increase positivity, improve levels of focus, and reduce stress.
We’ve all heard the buzzword, but what does mindfulness actually mean? For most people, it probably brings about the thought of mediation and relaxation, but that’s in. However, mindfulness is much more than that.
In its simplest form, mindfulness is having awareness in the present and a moment-by-moment focus.
It’s not something we are taught as we’re growing up, but you probably practice a lot of the techniques without actually realizing it.
Luckily, becoming more aware of how mindful you are is something you can learn and incorporate into your daily lives. It doesn’t have to be hard or time-consuming so it’s something you can start right away.
In this post, we are going to look at five ways you can make every day more mindful.
Let’s take a look.
You can start by doing short bursts of meditation throughout the day. It’s best to get a stopwatch so you can set it for two minutes.
During the two minutes, you should focus intently on just your breathing, which you can do with your eyes open or closed.
In the beginning, you may lose touch with your breath. If this happens, just let go of your thoughts and slowly bring all of your attention back to your breath.
Keep doing this as many times as you need to in the two minutes.
Slow Everything Down
These days most people’s lives are so chaotic. We have to meet deadlines, work long hours, and are always striving to achieve our very best.
For most of us, we never allow ourselves to slow down and be really present in the most important moments in our lives. By living like this we are missing out on so much.
If we can find more time to physically slow down, it will help us to mentally slow down too. This allows us to enjoy more of the simple pleasures of life.
Try taking a proper lunch break at work and go for a walk around the park, barefoot on the grass if you can. Really focus on the sensation of your bare feet hitting the ground.
When you get home from work, don’t rush to make a quick dinner. Slow down and put the effort in to make a nice meal and spend the time connecting with your loved ones.
Stop Trying To Do Everything
For the last 20 years or so, being able to multi-task has been widely praised by society. People boast about how many jobs they can juggle at the same time on their resumes and at job interviews.
It’s actually a complete myth that multitasking makes us more productive. The facts are we get less done and it drains our energy faster.
By spreading ourselves too thinly across multiple tasks, we open ourselves up to more mistakes, we’re not more productive, just busier. Mentally and physically it can be exhausting.
Try to switch things up by focusing on one thing at a time. Be fully present in the task you are doing. By being mindful in completing the task, you’re less likely to make a mistake or miss any important details.
By completing each task, one at a time, you’ll feel less worn out and have more energy to complete your other tasks.
Enjoy Some Silent Time
In today’s world, taking time out to do nothing and just be silent is often frowned upon. We are all ingrained with the go, go, go culture that we probably never take the time to just sit somewhere in silence.
The thought of sitting somewhere in silence actually feels rather strange and not quite ‘right’. However, it’s a powerful tool you can use to be more mindful.
To start with, try taking some time out each day, even if it’s for just a few minutes to sit still and do nothing else. And by do nothing else, that means literally just sit still in silence with no distractions.
If you can, leave your phone and laptops in another room, or anything else that might distract you.
Really start to concentrate on being still and fully aware of the moment. All that exists for you in those few minutes is the here and now.
You’ll probably be surprised by how nice it feels to enjoy a few minutes of complete silence. Taking three minutes out of your day can actually give you so much back.
Observe Your Mind
By listening to your own thoughts and self-observation, mindfulness automatically flows into your life. Ironically, the moment you think you’re not being mindful is actually the moment you are being mindful.
The key to this is to become the observer. Instead of just listening to your own thoughts, you need to take a step back and observe your own thoughts. This allows you to watch your thoughts, without being swept along in everything you think.
Start trying to listen to the voice in your head more. But take the view that you’re the impartial witness. You’ll soon come to realize there is a voice in your head, but you are the one listening to it, instead of ‘being it’.
By doing this it allows you to not believe all of your own thoughts. You can start to question them, they are not always right. You’ll soon come to realize that you don’t have to always play them out in real life.
It will be hard to incorporate all of the above into your life at once. So pick a couple of ideas and set some weekly goals about how many times you want to practice each idea.
As with any new habit you start, it will take some time to get used to it. However, if you really want to see the results you need to persevere and stick with it.
Over time you will reap the benefits of being more consciously mindful every day.