Mindfulness practices you could easily include in your everyday life
“Be mindful!” is something we’ve all heard and wish we knew what to do to get there.
Oh, I know!
And today I will share with you 5 mindfulness practices that are so easy that you could do them absolutely everywhere and no one will know.
The best part? They are more powerful than many other practices you’ve heard of.
What Mindfulness is NOT
I bet you’ve got a rough idea of what mindfulness is.
But I’m here to tell you what is NOT.
Mindfulness isn’t positive thinking!
Many people believe that mindfulness is sitting (or walking around) with a graceful smile on your face, enjoying every second of the day and saying “Namaste!” every few minutes.
Let me break it to you: That isn’t mindfulness. In fact, to me, it sounds more like someone’s high instead of mindful.
So, mindfulness isn’t being positive and enjoying every second of your life, even if this life of yours really sucks.
Instead, mindfulness is noticing what happens when it happens and experiencing it fully, no matter if it’s good or bad. To top it off, something is good or bad only if we name it that way. Experience is just that – an experience. It becomes a good or bad experience only when we decide to categorise it as such.
The roots of Mindfulness go back to over 2500 years ago. Its popularity in the Western world raised thanks to Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn and his colleagues at the Center for Mindfulness at the Unversity of Massachusetts Medical School Hospital, USA. Kabat-Zinn wanted to find a way to help people with chronic health conditions (such as depression and anxiety) – to ease the tension and the stress in their life. That was in the ’70s, and today, the whole world knows about the power of mindfulness and looks for ways to achieve.
Related Post: 77 POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS FOR HAPPINESS AND INNER PEACE
Why We Need Mindfulness
That’s all we strive for, don’t we?
Let me introduce you to your prefrontal cortex. It’s located in the frontal lobe and makes up over 10% of the volume of the brain. It’s responsible for your personality expression, decision making, moderating social behaviour, etc.
Your Prefrontal Cortex (PFC) is divided into Right PFC and Left PFC. It’s been proven that people with depression have underactive left PFC compared to the Right PFC. Hence, the Left PFC is kind of responsible for feeling happier and in a good mood.
Our goal is to use any chance to increase the activity of our Left PFC, which is more responsive to rewards than the Right PFC, which is more responsible for punishment. (Source)
Mindfulness does exactly that – it helps us shift from right-sided activation (self-punishment, less motivated human being unwilling to take action) to left-sided activation (approach mode, ready to acknowledge good things in life human being).
How We Practice Mindfulness
We’ve all heard of yoga, right? Yoga is indeed a way to practice mindfulness and helps us stay present at the moment.
However, even though it’s the most popular practice of mindfulness, it isn’t the only one. People could practise mindfulness in basically everything they do during the day. With that said, I could even be brave enough to say that Mindfulness is a way of living this life, not just something we practice. It could become as easy as breathing, although it requires a lot more practice to learn it.
5 Simple but Powerful Mindfulness Practices
All of the practices below are easy and very simple. However, don’t let that fact confuse you – practising them daily for only 8 weeks will drastically improve your self-being and self-awareness.
Let’s dive in.
1. Breathing through your body
This practice requires you to sit still and focus your attention on each part of your body.
You don’t need to be with your eyes closed, although it might help you. If you can’t practice it with your eyes closed, just lower you look. There isn’t a rule to sit or lay in the bed – you just have to be comfortable where you are.
Start with simply breathing – in and out. Notice the coolness of the air entering your body and its warmth when you breathe it out.
Next, focus your attention on your feet. Notice the way they touch the floor, the way they feel. Keep breathing and at the same time, imagine the air entering your body through your feet. Breath with this visualisation for a minute and then slowly move your attention higher – on your ankles, your calves and shins, your knees… Every time take a brief moment to experience the world throughout that part of your body: How does it feel? Do you have any pain? Sensation? Then imagine that with every breath you take, the air enters your body through that part too.
Keep expanding and including more parts of your body. Be fully into the practice until you reach to the top of your head. Breath through the body deeply and practice it for a minute or two.
Related Post: 42 SIMPLE WAYS TO SHOW SOME MORE LOVE FOR YOURSELF
2. Drinking Pure Water
I love practising this mindful technique. The reason is in the molecules o the water. As you might know, the molecules of the water change according to the emotions around it. Therefore, practising love and mindfulness while drinking water could be life-changing.
All you need is a glass of water (or a bottle). It could be water from the tab too. Hold the glass (or the bottle) for a few moments. Imagine this is the purest water ever existed. Send love and peace towards it. Take a few deep breaths and then drink from the water. While it enters your body keep imagining like it will heal you and pour life into your body (actually that’s exactly what water does). Be entirely focused on the task for the full minute or so. Notice the taste of the water and its temperature – is it cold or warm? Does it feel soft? Can you feel its energy entering your body and clearing your mind?
3. The Child’s Approach
Aren’t you fascinated by small children and their endless energy?
Isn’t it amazing how they are way more mindful then us – the smart adults?
Aren’t they happier than us and why don’t we start learning how to enjoy life and be present at the moment just like them?
The next mindfulness technique stimulates the child inside you to wake up and start exploring the world again.
You can practice this at any point of your day, and it’s especially useful if you do it while working something.
Your task is to approach everything with the endless curiosity of a child. Look at things like you see them for the first time. Do your normal chores as you’ve never done them before – be fully into the act of doing and the act of being.
4. Mindful Dance of The Breath in 2 Simple Steps
We breathe through our lungs, right?
Well, it turns out that we have two types of breathing: “chest breathing” and “belly breathing”. The “chest” breathing is probably the one you practice the most. It’s allowing the air to enter your body through your chest. The part we don’t notice is that most of the time we breath “just enough” air to stay alive.
Unless we do some sports that increase the amount of oxygen we intake, most of the time we are dong “the required minimum”.
The second type of breath we often practise is “belly breathing”. It’s when our belly expands if we breath in and shrinks when we breath out. Again, many times, we do the bare minimum of it unless we push our body to do some activity.
The Mindful Dance is a practice that includes both types of breathing, and it will take you most likely less than a minute.
Important Note: Be careful when practising this technique as the intake of oxygen could make you feel dizzy. If you feel like it’s too much, just stop at any time.
It’s advised to practice this only for a few breaths, especially if you don’t do any sports.
Start breathing through the belly – expand it and keep breathing in through your diaphragm and at last – your chest. Hold it for few seconds and then breath out through your chest, diaphragm and belly.
It goes like this: Breathing in: belly, diaphragm, chest. Hold. Breathing out: chest, diaphragm, belly.
5. Enjoy The Good Moments
Very simple mindfulness practice for appreciating life in its best moments.
I bet you have many reasons to smile, laugh and feel happy during your everyday life.
By practising mindfulness, you will get to a point when it’s going to be easy to notice and acknowledge these moments. Once you catch yourself “in the middle of a happy moment” try to stay present in it. Notice the feelings in your body – the excitement, the vibrations in your body while you laugh, the gratitude for what happens. Cherish the moment while in it. That’s a wonderful practice with powerful meaning. It makes you feel like the time has stopped.
For example, I love practising it when I’m with my partner and lay on his chest. I try to hold onto this moment fully and to “make the time stop”. I use all my 5 senses to dive into it.
Try it for yourself.
Instead of Conclusion
Mindfulness isn’t simple. Yet, it’s the simplest thing to do.
We are used to sleepwalking through life and forget that life is what happens while we prepare for it.
Life happens right now – while you read this article, while you’re scrolling through your phone, while you try to “improve your future”. It’s now.
Appreciate life as it is. There are plenty of things around you you could be grateful for. Accept life as a gift and slowly unwrap it, enjoy it. Don’t delay anything good in life. Live it.
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