Have you ever driven to work and realised when you got there that you can’t remember a thing about your journey?
Or moved through your day moving from task to task without taking the time to appreciate anything around you?
This sounds like it’s going to be one of those deep posts doesn’t it? It’s really not (not much anyway) but I did want to take some time to tell you about mindfulness, which seems to be a bit of a buzz word at the moment, and how I practice it in my daily life.
There are lots of much more scientific explanations about what mindfulness means and how to practice it but to me, mindfulness is simply about appreciating what’s going on around me right now. It really is as easy as that in my eyes!
I don’t do a huge amount of meditation although when I have a lot on my mind I find it really helps to sit quietly and just breathe, focusing on each breath, in and out. I was told that it helps to focus on each of your body parts in turn while you’re breathing and really ‘feel’ each one of them in your mind as you work your way through from your toes to your head.
Meditating like this helps to clear my mind which, in turn, relaxes me and helps me to move on with my day feeling much better and honestly, if I could grab some quiet time on a daily basis then I’d try and do more of this. Unfortunately, quiet time isn’t really a thing in our house so I only do this when I really feel like I need it.
My daily mindfulness routines don’t need any quiet time, they just need me to be more present in the moment which sounds much more airy fairy than it really is.
Here’s the things I do to practice mindfulness on a daily basis….
- I don’t carry my phone around with me everywhere anymore so I’m not splitting my focus between checking my phone and spending time with the kids or doing whatever else I’m doing at the time. I read somewhere that the average person checks their phone 76 times a day which might seem like a huge amount but actually, it sounds fairly accurate to me as lots of people I know are never parted from their phones.
- On days when I have a lot to get done, I write myself a to do list which means that my mind isn’t constantly thinking of the next thing I need to get done. I can simply do what I’m doing and then move on to the next thing without my brain having to think about what’s next to be done.
- I make a conscious effort to take at least one photo a day which makes me focus on my surroundings more. Half the photos are ones that I’d never share but aside from the calm I feel from looking at things through a lens, it also makes me look at things in a different way – both at home and outside. I might not be very good at it but to me, photography is a kind of meditation because it clears my head.
- I have lots of lovely uplifting quotes around my house that make me happy.
- We try and get out for walks as often as we can and when we do, we often hop in the car to take us somewhere different to walk. Not great from a petrol point of view but great form a mindfulness point of view as we appreciate more of the world around us (that one totally sounds corny – really we just get bored walking in the same place!
- I try to give in to my feelings a bit more so if I feel stressed, rather than try to put it to the back of my head, I let myself feel stressed while I work through what it is that’s stressing me out, what I need to do to sort it out and what the worst case scenario is. Often when I think of the worst case scenario, I realise that it wouldn’t be so bad and that in itself helps me.
- I try to be a happy person and not let things get to me which is much easier said than done but I tell myself to worry about me and what I’m doing and not about other people and that usually works. It doesn’t work all the time though and that’s when I feel unsettled with myself.
Mindfulness isn’t hard work and it doesn’t take any effort really on my part but it does make me a happier person.
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