Important Ways to Practice Mindfulness Every Day April 24, 2018 10:00
Words to live by: “Mindfulness isn’t difficult. We just need to remember to do it.”
Mindfulness is a mental state in which one's focus is on the relationship between oneself and one's activity. Mindfulness benefits us by not allowing us to slip into autopilot—going through the motions of a movement rather than being conscious of what one is doing and why one is doing it.
Mindfulness is perhaps best practiced, at least at first, while performing activities that do not require much mental focus, activities such as eating, sitting, or walking. Practicing mindfulness in these situations can help develop your ability to be mindful in other, more demanding situations.
As Sharon Salzberg, a Buddhist meditation teacher said, "Mindfulness isn't difficult. We just need to remember to do it." Here are some important ways to practice mindfulness. Make a point of doing them every day:
Feel the water against your skin, notice the temperature, smell the soap. This provides a fresh start to your day or a way to rinse away negative "mental residue."
Eat meals and snacks mindfully
Turn off the TV and put down the smartphone. Notice the textures, smells, and flavors of the food. Eat slowly and be in the moment.
Drink water mindfully
Enjoy the refreshing surge as you drink water or a sports drink, feel it cool your chest, exhale/inhale to replenish your air.
Drive mindfully to class, work, the gym, and so on. Turn off the radio, turn off your phone to prevent distracting alerts, and pay attention to the road. Breathe deeply. You will arrive at your destination more refreshed.
Be in the moment while you stretch before or after physical exertion. Feel your muscles lengthening. As you hold the stretch, breathe into any tightness and exhale as you release a little bit more.