Being present in our lives should be simple but unfortunately, for a lot of us, it’s not always an easy task. Our minds like to be busy and this often means we’re thinking about the past or planning the future and not fully engaging in the here and now. I’ve been practicing daily mindfulness and meditation for over a year and today I’m sharing a few tips that have helped me to be mindful in everyday life.
BE PRESENT AND INTENTIONAL
Being fully present helps us to live life to the full. It makes everything we do more enjoyable, even those mundane everyday tasks like folding our clothes or washing the dishes. It’s valuable to bring a little more awareness and intention to the things we do on autopilot, and by approaching them in a more focused way they can become moments of calm. I use activities like walking and travel as reminders to be mindful and they stop me rushing through my day.
FOCUS ON ONE TASK AT A TIME
Focusing on one task at a time makes life simpler and easier. And when we fully engage in one activity rather than multi-tasking we’re far more productive. Everyone likes to get stuff done and being mindful can really help us to succeed. I don’t now about you but I love crossing things off my to-do list so single tasking is definitely my preferred way to work!
DO LESS BY EDITING OUT THE UNNECESSARY
There are many ways we can simplify our lives, from removing excess clutter to saying no to the things we don’t want to do. When we stop rushing our minds become less busy making it easier to focus on the present moment.
PRACTICE MINDFULNESS WHILE YOU WAIT
A great time to practice mindfulness is when you’re not going anywhere. So when you’re in a queue, stuck at a red light or waiting for a bus or train take a moment to look around and become fully aware of where you are and how you feel. Once again it’s accepting these daily activities and using them as moments of calm. Further reading: how to be present and live in the moment.
BRING THE WANDERING MIND BACK TO THE PRESENT
The biggest obstacle to being present is thinking about the past or future. If you’re getting caught up in unnecessary thought simply acknowledge it and gently let go by focussing on your breath instead. You may find you are doing this a hundred times a day but the more you practice the easier it becomes. It’s not helpful to think about things in the past we can’t change or worry about something that may never happen, and so it’s a really great habit to get into.
DO NOTHING BUT BREATH
Yes really! Even if it’s just five minutes a day it’s good to sit somewhere quiet and focus on your breath. It helps me feel calmer and I also use the time to think about what I’m grateful for in my life right now.