Mindfulness is the practice of paying
attention to the present moment and research shows it has a lot going for it. Benefits include: better stress management, improved concentration and higher quality sleep. Studies even show it can help with chronic pain, anxiety and
Setting aside time for a regular mindfulness practice is a great idea (check out some resources to get you started here). However, you don’t have to be sitting still with your eyes closed to build your mindfulness muscles. We can weave mindful moments into our day and start reaping the benefits straight away. Here are 10 ideas to get started.
1 – Wake up Mindful
Set a mindful tone for your day by taking a moment to pay attention as you wake up. Let yourself move and stretch out when you feel ready and just notice how you feel. Listen to any sounds going on around you and take a few relaxed breaths before getting on with your day.
2 – Shower
Try paying attention to the temperature of the water and how it feels as it moves over your skin. Splash out on a nice smelling soap and enjoy the scents as you lather up. Listen to the sound of the water.
3 – Have a Cuppa
Make yourself your favourite hot drink and take your time to drink it. You might notice the warmth of the cup as you hold it. There might be steam you can watch rising from the top. Notice any taste and aromas.
4 – Hug
Cat, dog, hamster, partner, family member, friend – find a loved one and snuggle up. Pay attention to textures: hair, skin, clothing or fur. Do they feel warm? You might notice the movement of their breath in the body or even hear their heart beat if you’re close enough!
5 – Listen
Make time to really listen to someone (i.e. not while you’re checking your phone at the same time!). Give them your full attention. Pay attention to their body language as well as their words. Be patient. Be kind.
6 – Eat
Get away from your desk or the TV and spend some time with your food. Cook it from scratch if you have time. Pay attention to colour, smell, texture, taste and how hungry or full you feel before, during and afterwards.
7 – Wash Up
Give the dishwasher a night off and get scrubbing. Pay attention to the temperature and the feel of the water. Notice the texture of the soap and watch the variations in the bubbles and foam.
8 – Walk
Even if it’s just an amble across the office to the printer, notice your feet connecting with the floor. Walk slower. Take in things moving around you. Bring your spine tall and let your shoulders relax. Let your arms move freely by your side. Notice how it feels to move.
9 – Wait
Waiting doesn’t have to mean wasted time. Pay attention to your breath and your body. Notice where the weight of your body is resting. Check in with how you’re feeling and notice any sounds, sights and smells around you.
10 – Tuck up in bed
Get cosy and notice the feeling of bedding against your skin. Soften any tension in the body if you can. Feel how your bed supports you. Watch the rise of and fall of your breath as you drift off. Got your own mindful moments? Share them in the comments below.