05 Aug 5 ways to bring mindfulness into every day life
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by Headspace.com via DailyGood.org
What does it mean to be mindful? Essentially, mindfulness means to be present, and in the moment. It is important that we remind ourselves of this simple fact. All too often we can lose the true essence of mindfulness by over-complicating things or putting all our emphasis on the act of meditation alone. Mindfulness is not something we leave at the chair, but something we can carry through our everyday lives. If we can apply mindfulness on the chair, then why not while brushing our teeth, catching up with an old friend, or even waiting for our morning train? All these moments present an opportunity for us to apply mindfulness, and live our lives more fully, in the present moment.
According to recent research, we spend up to 50 percent of our time caught up in our thoughts; a proven contributing factor to our unhappiness. Instead of drifting through our lives in a daze, consumed by thoughts of what could have been or planning those things which our out of our control in the first place, mindfulness allows us to engage with the here and now and approach our lives with greater clarity and peace of mind.
It is often in the more repetitive, day-to-day activities that we find ourselves switching into auto-pilot. So why not embrace these moments and see them as an opportunity to be more mindful? In this piecem the mindfulness experts at Headspace provide their tips on how best to incorporate mindfulness into our daily lives. Remember not to worry about trying to clear the mind of any thoughts or feelings. Instead, try and see yourself taking a back seat; witnessing the thoughts and emotions as they come and go. If you find yourself getting distracted simply bring your attention back to the physical senses and focus your attention back on the activity itself.
1. Being Mindful in the Shower
Unmindful: Vague awareness of the sensation of water as you step into the shower. A daily battle with the temperature control trying to work out why the temperature never quite hits the spot. Within seconds your mind wanders back to that episode of American Idol last night. Was Simon Cowell wearing a wig? Is his hair naturally that glossy? I wonder where he gets those high-waisted trousers from…?
Mindful: You become aware of how good the warm water feels as it washes over your skin. Being mindful of the smell of the shower gel, and the sensation your hands passing over your skin; being mindful to set the temperature before you step in the shower; mindful of thoughts cropping up; mindful of how much water you’re using; and mindful of the noise of the water coming to a halt.
2. Being Mindful whilst Brushing your Teeth
Unmindful: Brushing your teeth furiously, whilst noticing your reflection and bemoaning the appearance of that spot that seems to have cropped up from nowhere. Running around the house with the toothbrush hanging out of your mouth, trying to prepare breakfast, pack today’s lunch whilst hunting out those ever elusive car keys.
Mindful: Becoming mindful of the taste and texture of the toothpaste; mindful of the sensation of your feet on the bathroom floor; mindful of the way that your arm moves to direct the brush across your teeth; mindful of each and every tooth…
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