Being fully aware of your experiences and noticing what is happening in the moment is one of the keys to health and wellness. Often, we go through daily life on autopilot, not fully aware of the present. We can dwell on the past, plan the future, and get hijacked away from paying attention to what is happening right now. Here are 10 ways you can interrupt your day with moments of mindfulness instead of moments of distraction.
10 Mindfulness Tips for Every Day
Three Simple Ways to Bring Your Attention Back to the Breath
- Breathe when you’re still in bed: Bring awareness to your breath and body when you wake up in the morning, take a few conscious breaths, and practice half-smiling before getting out of bed.
- Take 10 mindful breaths a few times a day: Bring awareness to your breathing at various times of the day. Choose to take a few conscious breaths, following the breath in and out. Count 10 full breaths and then start again.
- Use the natural rhythms of the day as triggers to practice. Return your attention to the present moment: when the phone rings, pass through doorways, stop at red lights, when a sound comes into your awareness. Use these moments to breathe, experience your bodily sensations, and feel your feet on the ground.
Incorporate Mindfulness in Your Work Day
- Bring awareness to your communication patterns: talking, listening, and periods of silence; notice your states of mind during these activities. Especially, notice the silence and the sounds in between the silence.
- While sitting at your desk, computer, etc., pay attention to your bodily sensations and consciously attempt to relax and rid yourself of excess tension. Remember to be present to whatever you are working on and focus your attention on your breath.
- At lunch, change your environment. If you take your lunch, or work at home, go to another room. Try eating at different times and being aware of the sensations of hunger or satiation.
- Close your door (if you have one) and take some time to relax consciously. Close your eyes and breathe, counting your breaths and letting go of the day behind you and ahead.
- At the end of the workday, try retracing the day’s activities. Acknowledge and congratulate yourself for what you’ve accomplished, and then make a list for tomorrow. You’ve done enough for today!
Unwind in the Evening
- When you get home, create an unwinding routine. Change out of your work clothes, and say hello to each of your family members, the people you live with, your pets, plants, even your couch. Take a moment to look and take five to 10 minutes to be quiet and still. Wash your hands as if you are starting a new phase of your life. If you live alone, feel what it is like to enter the quietness of your environment.
- Before falling asleep at night, bring awareness to your breathing and your body sensations for at least five full breaths, all the way in and out. These deep breaths will activate the parasympathetic nervous system and help you to rest.
Adapted from The Mindfulness Experience: 8 Strategies to Live Life Now by Keith W. Fiveson. Copyright © 2021 by Keith Fiveson. Published by Work Mindfulness Institute. Reprinted with permission.