Are you ready to embrace a mindfulness routine which inspires you, cultivates calm and clarity, incorporates easily into your everyday life and helps you manage stress during difficult times?
Even if you are a beginner in the world of mindfulness, this simple routine will help guide you to live more mindfully with ease.
What is mindfulness? Jon Kabt-Zinn, a world-renowned expert in this subject, defines it as, “Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non judgmentally.”
I love this definition because it helps us understand that your attention, or awareness, is the crucial ingredient in Mindfulness. It has to be intentional, meaning you don’t leave it up to chance; you consciously bring your awareness to rest on something. There is no perfect way to do this, no “standard” to judge yourself against.
So, how can you train your monkey mind in this new way of relating to everyday tasks?
Practice in real life.
Wake up: Breathing Technique
Set your alarm one minute early so you can practice a simple breathing technique when you wake up in the morning. Rather than starting your day in a rush or checking your phone, take this moment of mindfulness to set yourself up for a calm and clear day.
Deep Breathing Technique
- Sit comfortably with your back straight. Place one hand on your stomach.
- Breathe in slowly through your nose; you should feel your stomach rise up.
- Hold your breath for a few seconds.
- Breathe out through your nose slowly, pushing out as much air as you can while contracting your stomach muscles. You should feel your stomach moving down.
- Continue this exercise, counting slowly to 3 as you breathe out. Your stomach should always move more than your chest. As you get better at deep breathing, you can count for longer than 3 if you wish.
If you feel that you are not comfortable sitting up, or that you can’t feel your stomach moving, then try lying down on the floor. This works just as well, and it may help you to relax more too.
Hand on heart breathing
Simply place one or both hands on your heart, and breathe, feeling the rise and fall of your heart space, as well as your heartbeat.
- Breath in for the count of 3.
- Hold your breath for the count of 3.
- Breath out for the count of 3.
- Repeat steps 1 to 3 for a period of one minute.
As you pick up your drink, pay attention to what it looks like. Notice the color, the texture and the patterns of the mug or glass. What does it smell like? What does it taste like? Try being mindful of the whole drink.
For a quick mindful break in your already busy day, give your body a kind stretch. Be aware of the gentle movements; perhaps you can feel tension dissipating, or your muscles lengthening.
Connect with nature
After a long and stressful day, it can be incredibly grounding to connect with nature. Make this mindfulness practice a part of your daily routine. Let go of any other thoughts and focus on the nature you’ve found at this moment.
Notice your senses
As we get older we forget about the things in life that bring awareness to our senses. Take 10 minutes and observe the world around you.
What are five things you can see?
Five things you can hear?
Five things you can feel?
Just like drinking mindfully -- notice the colors, textures, flavors, and temperature of your food. You don’t need to eat every bite mindfully, just do what feels most right for you.
Acknowledge a feeling
Often, we don’t give ourselves many opportunities to just let ourselves acknowledge how we feel. Without judging any emotion as good or bad, explore how you’re feeling right now. Remind yourself that it’s all ok. Feelings come and go and change regularly. Honor what feelings are showing up right now, in this present moment for you.
Wash the dishes
Focus on the sensations which arise as you wash the dishes. We can be so easily distracted when we’re completing simple tasks, however, these are wonderful opportunities to practice being mindful.
Write down 5 things you’re grateful for in this moment. You can practice being grateful for your possessions, things you’ve learned, your health, the emotions you’re feeling, people in your life, and so much more. The more we practice being grateful, often the easier it becomes!
Scan your body, consciously relaxing any areas of tension, remembering to also take the time to relax your facial muscles, including your eyes, eyelids, and jaw.
Finding peace, joy, and connection doesn’t have to be a lofty goal. And you don’t have to be Buddha. Just simply do whatever you are already doing at this very moment — in full awareness, mindfully.
Because this moment IS your life.
I am a college dropout who never gives up. I moved away from my hometown of Kelowna, BC, to a big city in search of my passion and to gain experience. I spent my 20`s climbing the corporate ladder, achieving success along the way but I suffered from a lot of work and very little me syndrome. I was chasing high-income pay cheques and living with luxuries until I started reflecting on what mattered to me and realized that if I wanted to live a more passionate, balanced life, I could. After being let go from my last corporate job I make the decision to finally jump into being an entrepreneur doing what I love; helping people change their mindset. I am able to use my experience in mind setbacks and challenges to help others transform their lives. Everyone deserves to live their best life in a positive expanding mindset.
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