Everyday Mindfulness – Navigate through each day with more presence and wisdom
The practice of mindfulness is known to increase presence in and appreciation of the present moment. By focusing the mind and attention, it makes us more aware of both our internal and external environments. Something that is usually hindered in our day-to-day lives as we move mindlessly from one task to the next.
While working, we may be making a mental list of the groceries that need to be picked up. While helping our kids with homework, we may be worrying about the fight we just had with our significant other. This reckless, wandering mind takes away our ability to stay focused on the present moment. The result is that we begin to go through life without feeling any sense of joy or fulfilment – because we are “never really there”.
Mindfulness helps us take away the unnecessary static in our brains – the thoughts that hold us back, the patterns that get us stuck in a rut, the automatic reactions that don’t serve us well. By simply making us aware of our feelings and letting them pass. Here are five simple ways in which you can start inculcating mindfulness into your own daily life:
– Meditate every day: Set aside time each day to simply focus on your breath and soak in the present moment. This simple technique can help us recognise our present emotions and release them, leading to happier thoughts and a calmer countenance.
– Acknowledge your emotions: People often tend to confuse recognising emotions with getting drawn into them. The purpose of mindful meditation is to simply observe and acknowledge our feelings, how they are affecting us and those around us, to make more informed decisions. Without analysing, rejecting or judging these feelings.
– Focus on one thing at a time: We often find ourselves multi-tasking through the day, which has come to be considered a sign of efficiency. But multi-tasking has in fact been proven to reduce productivity as it reduces attention to the task at hand. Inculcate the habit to check yourself when your mind wanders and gets too caught up, by gently bringing it back to focus on the present task.
– Be aware of your senses: A great way to bring yourself back to the moment is by focusing on your physical senses. Take a deep breath and scan your body from head to toe. This is a great way to become physically aware of your body and how it is feeling in the current moment.
– Foster acceptance: Every day, there are numerous occasions for us to accept or reject the people around us – their emotions, ideas, perspectives and needs. We do this based on our previous judgements and prejudices. If you find yourself in a conflict, look for a way to step into the other person’s shoes and aim for acceptance. This has the power to help us see the situation differently.
These simple mindful habits can transform how you live each day and the relationships you build with those around you. Start small – try it for just a few hours each day and build it up. They say it takes only 21 days to form a new habit. So why not step aside time this summer to invite mindfulness into your life and home? Are you willing to take this 21-day challenge?
– By Anshu Daga, Founder, The Inner Startup