One of the joys of mindfulness is that you can do it anywhere! You don’t need to sit in silence for hours, chant mantras, or even close your eyes. Mindfulness means bringing your complete attention to the present, where you are right now, not distracted by memories of the past or anxieties about the future.
Right here, right now.
Here are some great mindfulness principles you can use to practice mindfulness no matter what time of day or where you are. These suggestions will help you to stay grounded throughout your day so that you can transition to your evening easier.
Before you start a practice, notice where you feel your breathe most vividly. No matter where it is, attempt to move your breathe towards your belly with each subsequent breath. This will help you to send a calm message to your body, even if you don’t feel stressed.
You can use the 3 Breaths technique to anchor your awareness firmly in the present. It’s so easy you can do it right now as you’re reading this. Simply bring your attention to your breath – breathe in through your nose slowly and gently, following the path of your breath with your mind. Feel it deep in your torso. Then breathe out slowly and gently, again paying attention to the movement of your breath. Breathe out until you can breathe out no more and then take a gentle breath in via your belly and then breathe out again, until you can breathe out no more again, and repeat until you have done it three times. Can you feel a subtle energy shift, a calm peacefulness? That is how mindfulness feels.
You can do this anywhere at any time, and no one will know that you are practicing mindfulness. And of course you can do as many breaths in this way, you’re only limited to 3!
Check in with your senses
If you’re finding it a little tricky to access your inner peace or you find your mind is distracted, try the 5 Senses Check-in. Make a conscious decision to disconnect from distractions and focus your awareness on what you can see, feel, hear, smell and taste. You can do this with a mindful breath or not. This simple exercise will ground you in the present moment anytime you feel stressed or rushed. I often do this when I’m running late and there’s nothing I can do about it.
Take every opportunity that comes your way to practice mindfulness. It’s especially good to use times where you might feel frustrated and impatient, like waiting in line or while you’re stuck in traffic. Put a half-smile on your face and watch your breath. Let the breath breathe you—don’t try to control it. In no time, you’ll feel your frustration melt away.
Use mindfulness to create space
No matter how busy you are, you can use mindfulness as a stealth tactic to build some more space into your day. Before you send an email, take time to breathe and notice your breath, then read the email again and decide if you want to send it. As you’re walking along, look up and really notice the sky, the leaves on the trees, are flowers budding or blooming? Smile at other passers-by and notice their reactions.
Choose to ignore or switch off all your devices for a while. Instead of jumping in with a reactive response, sit back and really listen. Give the other person your full attention and respect, and you’ll have a more meaningful and productive conversation.
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