7 ways to find mindful moments in your day
Mindfulness is awareness of the present moment, using your senses and fully engaging with your conscious mind to attend to whatever you are doing. Taking time to notice and to notice with curiosity your feelings, thoughts, responses and senses allows you to fully experience. This will connect you to the world and yourself and provide space to process what is happening.
Mindful meditation can support this practice and research shows changes in the amygdala when mediation is practised regularly, whilst other research suggests benefits such as reduced risk of heart problems, greater resilience and less reactivity to strong emotions. You do not have to engage in full meditation to be mindful. Taking time through your day to slow down and pause, may support you to feel less stressed, more connected and productive.
7 ways to be mindful every day
Here are seven ways as to how you might incorporate these moments into your day.
1. Mindful waking
Take the time to wake up slowly. Notice how your body feels, what thoughts are you having? Notice your emotions. Stretch and pay attention to the feeling you have as you do. Appreciate the start of a new day.
2. Drinking and eating
How does your cup or glass feel? Is there a smell to your drink? How does it feel as it touches your lips, the liquid enters your mouth and travels down your throat?
When you eat, notice the texture, taste, colour, and sensation as you chew. Savour your food and swallow before you begin to pick up the next mouthful.
Notice the sensation of water on your skin, feel the touch of your hands on your body as you use soap or wash your body. Attend to the sound of the water as you move and luxuriate in the drops as they hit you.
Pay attention to the bend of your legs, how your foot touches the ground, how it feels as it lifts. Notice the way your body holds itself up and the feel of the elements on your skin.
Try putting all your attention on the task you are doing. Eliminate distractions by putting the phone on do-not-disturb and setting aside dedicated time to attend to emails. Allow yourself to completely immerse yourself in the task at hand. Let colleagues know you are getting your head down to work.
Give yourself permission to just attend to one task at a time. You will save time by allowing yourself to give all your attention to a task and prioritising your work, rather than panicking about the amount you do or deadlines looming. When you complete a task, allow yourself a stretch or a short walk around and notice how your body feels, what you are thinking and any emotions.
Notice how you feel when you realise you have to wait - does your heart beat faster? Do you feel annoyed? Does your breathing change? Once you’re sitting or standing in the line or at the bus stop, pull your attention away from the mental and emotional part of your experience, and be mindful of your body. Feel your feet on the ground, your inhalations and exhalations. Notice each tiny movement.
Notice the timbre of the voice, the spaces between the words, the expression, the body posture of the speaker. Take time to really attend to the words they use and take a moment before you respond.
Have a mindful day and add your own moments.