Ways to Practice Mindfulness in Everyday Settings
The world is ever-changing and each day, we–as the human race–face problems collectively and as individuals. As each day passes, it would appear that humans on this planet are becoming more and more divided. This division has incited violence and has led many of us feeling stressed out, anxious, and feeling absolutely helpless and out of control.
As cliché as it sounds, the solution to this problem starts with you. If you’re not at your best, then how can you encourage others to be their best? The answer is simple: You can’t. Our bodies and our minds need time to recuperate and reconnect with our spirits. Having a connection with your own being on a deeper level is necessary if you want to encourage others to do the same.
This world gets superficial fast so it’s important for us to take a step back, tune into our senses, and recognize what’s within us and around us, so that we may use each day as a new opportunity to improve. Everyone needs time away from the mundane way of life to reconnect with our inner selves and the planet on which we live.
The easiest way to improve your state of mind is by practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness allows you to have a clear, calm mind in the midst of chaos. It teaches you to pay attention to the small, seemingly trivial details that most of us don’t even care to think about. By taking the time to focus on all of the details of “the now,” you let go of the past and stop thinking about the future. It allows you to live in the present, which reduces stress and fear. Once you master mindfulness, you will find comfort in knowing that peace is only a few minutes away.
Mindfulness Upon Waking
In the morning, before you rise out of bed, lie for a moment and breathe deeply. Pay attention to your body as you breathe deeply. Pay attention to the beats of your heart and feel it carrying oxygen through your veins. As you breathe, focus on the feeling of the air feeling your lungs.
Focusing on how you feel instead of the tasks that need to be done that day allow your body to wake up slowly, and without stress. It gives you a few moments to live in the present moment and will provide you with a renewed sense of self.
Mindfulness While Eating
As you prepare your breakfast, pay attention to the way your body moves as you add each ingredient. Feel the muscles in your body move as you chop, whisk, and flip your food. Feel the heat coming from the stove as you prepare your morning meal.
When you sit down to eat, pay attention to how the fork feels in your hand. Chew your food slowly, savoring each bite. Take in all of the flavors of the dish and feel your teeth grinding the food into a liquid before it slides down your throat. Feel the food slowly filling your stomach.
If you continue to eat while practicing mindfulness, you’ll begin to notice that you feel full faster and in turn, eat less. This is because you’re becoming more in tune with your body and more aware of how much it needs.
Mindfulness While You’re Out and About
If possible, before you trek outdoors to commute to work, take at least 15 minutes to sit outdoors and take in your surroundings. Breathe deeply as you listen to the sounds of the birds and the leaves blowing about the ground. Listen quietly to the whistle of the wind and watch the raindrops splash upon the ground. Feel the cool air as it tickles the tiny hairs on your skin and feel the soft, moist earth beneath your feet.
Paying attention to nature gives you the chance to appreciate this planet that we live on–this planet that allows us to sustain ourselves. Pour out libations and give thanks for this beautiful blue planet.
Mindfulness While in a Group
Although a bit more difficult than practicing mindfulness when you’re alone, practicing mindfulness in a group can be extremely rewarding. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with the energies that surround you, take a moment to step away and breathe deeply. Tune into your own internal energy and then slowly feel the different individuals around you. In this moment, recognize yourself and adjust your energy so that you are now calm, cool, and collected. There is no past, there is no future. There is only the present moment, and you are in control.
Other Ways to Practice Mindfulness
Keeping a mood journal is one way to tune into your inner self and get to know yourself a little better. The more you begin practicing mindfulness and meditation, the more likely you are to see an improvement in your mood patterns. You might even notice that the more you know about how you react to certain situations, the easier it is to deal with what’s going on around you because you can “go inside” yourself to relax.
It’s not just a handful of us who feel helpless, sad, and stressed out. We are all fighting internal battles, whether it is financially, morally, or emotionally. The world, at this current moment, seems to be in a dark place, and we need to work together so that we may restore its light. Practicing mindfulness is one way to be at your best. Once you have attained a sense of peace and well-being, then you can encourage others to do the same.