Five Easy Ways to Be More Mindful You Can Start Today
Do you ever feel swept up in the hustle and bustle of life? If you’re like many, you may reach the end of a week, and can’t really name anything significant that happened. If someone were to ask you, “What’s new?” you might come up with the answer, “Not much.” But in reality, plenty happened during your week! Brilliant sunrises and sunsets; changing seasons; conversations with friends, family and coworkers; delicious food; restful moments; smiles and laughter; and so much more!
Being in tune with the sights and sounds around you—and the feelings within you—are all part of living a more mindful life. And being more mindful can help you reduce stress and improve your overall well-being. It’s definitely worth a try!
Be more mindful today
Sounds like a tall order? It isn’t. In fact, it’s quite easy to practice mindfulness. You can get started right away with the following easy techniques:
1. Try a body scan meditation. Take just five minutes and sit somewhere comfortable and quiet, where you can close your eyes. Place your feet on the ground and your hands in your lap. Sit up straight. Starting with your feet, move up your body all the way to your head, relaxing each region as you go. Notice how each area of your body is feeling. This could include sore muscles, stiff joints, etc. As you scan, make an extra mental effort to relax parts of your body that need it the most.
2. Tune into your five senses. While sitting at your desk or while on your break, take a few minutes to tune into your senses. Notice five things you can see, four things you can feel, three things you can hear, two things you can smell and one thing you can taste. As you move through each sense, pause to deliberately notice everything.
3. Practice mindful eating. Have a tasty treat, like a piece of chocolate, and pause to really enjoy it. Observe what it looks like and what it smells like, and savor every bite as you slowly eat it.
4. Be an active listener. During one of your daily conversations, open up your ears wider to the other person. Let them speak and pay careful attention to what they say. Nod and smile. Ask them questions about what they’re talking about. Really engage in the conversation.
5. Give thanks. Everyone has something for which to be grateful. What are you grateful for? Sit for a second and jot down five things. They can be simple, such as, “I am grateful for the breath in my lungs” or more complex, such as, “I am grateful to be able to go on vacation next week.” Think about what makes you smile in that particular moment and write it down. You can even keep a mindfulness journal and add one thing for which you’re grateful each morning.
With practice, mindfulness becomes easier, possibly even second nature. By taking time every day to be more mindful, you just may find yourself getting more enjoyment out of life, and feeling happier and more stress-free. Give it a try! You never know how your outlook may improve.