You don't need me to explain the multitude of benefits of mindfulness and why everyone should be more mindful. If you need help getting started, here are nine simple ways you can practice mindfulness as you go through your day, no matter how busy you are.
1. Don't check your phone first thing after waking up
Take a moment to appreciate the quiet stillness of the morning. Appreciate that your mind and body has "reset" overnight. Start the day by staying with yourself for a while, instead of immediately filling your brain with loads of information from your phone. If you can, wait as long as possible before checking your phone.
2. Enjoy making your bed
Your bed is a place of warmth, comfort, and peace. As you make your bed in the morning, feel the smoothness of the comforter, the coolness of the sheets, and the fluffiness of the pillow. Make your bed with grace and gratitude.
3. Use your commute as a time to de-stress
Everyone has some sort of commute. Regardless of how you're getting to your destination, try to hold off on scrolling through Facebook or ruminating about everything you have to do today. Spend at least part of your commute just appreciating moment-to-moment. If you're stuck in traffic, open your window and breathe. If you're walking, notice the sights and sounds around you. Recognize that your commute is a necessary transition between the different parts of your day. Don't let that time go to waste.
4. Before you begin your work for the day, clear up your workspace
Put distractions out of sight, throw away trash, file away loose papers and pens. A clutter-free workspace equals a clutter-free mind, which lets you focus solely on your work and reduced mind wandering. Taking a minute or so to clean up before you work is a good way to incorporate a mindful transition into each day.
5. When you're inside, look out a window as often as you can
Being mindful of your environment goes beyond just the room you're in. Whenever you remember, just look outside for a half a minute or so, and appreciate today's weather.
6. Eat with others or alone, but try not to touch your phone
I regret the cheesy rhyme, but this is one of the harder tips to follow! Try to have at least one meal a day either with other people or alone and without the distraction of Netflix or YouTube. Enjoy a simple conversation and the company of others. Notice your food's vivid tastes and smells.
7. Don't rush through the mundane chores and tasks
When you find yourself not wanting to do something, (for example, cleaning the dishes), try doing it mindfully. Instead of resisting or wanting to get it done as quickly as possible, try fully immersing yourself in the task. Accept and submit yourself to what you are doing. You might find that it makes the activity much more bearable, even pleasant.
8. Resist the urge to record everything
There are benefits to not posting every single interesting thing that happens on your Snapchat story. If you're experiencing something you want to remember, you need to fully be there. Embrace every part of the moment, look around and connect to those around you who are in the moment with you. Social media like Snapchat and Instagram make us feel like we need to capture and display everything in order to validate our experience. Of course, photos and videos can be nice to look back on good times, but if you spent the whole time taking them, there's really nothing special to remember.
9. Practice mindfulness whenever you find yourself waiting
Whether it's waiting for the bus, for the pasta water to boil, or for your name to be called in the waiting room--try not to feel impatient. We often waste the present moment by wishing for time to go by faster. We should allow ourselves to fully experience every moment, even if we are in a rush to get to the next moment. Water is going to take a while to boil whether you are impatient or not, so you might as well enjoy those few minutes by really being there.
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If you remember to do at least one of these habits every day, you'll feel more grounded. You'll find that your head is clearer, and your senses are stronger and more vivid, which makes life feel more flavorful. Life is too short to spend trapped in the fabricated realm of social media or lost away in stressed thoughts about the past or the future. Feel the environment your body is actually in, experience the present without judgment or resistance. Be where you actually are.