5 Ways to be Mindful in Your Everyday, Busy Life
If you read the last blog post on Mindfulness, you may have practiced the Mindfulness exercise suggested: going on a walk in your neighborhood as if you have never been there before, being open to what you notice. While this is an exercise that you can try anywhere and at anytime, it might be something you want to set aside some time for. Sometimes, however, in our busy lives, we struggle to find the time to eat, much less be mindful. Here are 5 ideas to incorporate more mindfulness into your day.
Check in With Your Senses
Our brains are constantly receiving information we gather through our senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell). It then filters out much of this stimulation, letting in only a small fraction that the brain deems important based on the situation and what has been important in the past (habitual learning). It can be helpful to practice expanding this filter, by just bringing your awareness to one of your senses. Take 30-60 seconds while your waiting in line, on public transportation, or even in the bathroom, and just focus on one of your senses.
Practice Mindful Eating
No matter how busy our lives are, we have to eat, right? Set aside one meal a week for mindful eating. Turn off the phone and the laptop. Set aside that book or newspaper. And just allow space to focus on eating.
Mindfulness of Breath
Breathing is something we do automatically, and often without thought. But breathing is something we can choose to have conscious control over. Mindfulness of breath has been something that people have been practicing for centuries, and it has been shown to help with anxiety, panic, and other problems.
Mindfulness of an Object
Choose an object (can be anything from a rock or a leaf to a pencil or your computer mouse. Take 30-60 seconds and examine the object with all of your senses. What do you notice?
Do a Body Scan
Our internal sensations often go unnoticed, unless of course, they are loud, like in the case of pain. But our internal experience is one of the ways we understand ourselves, our emotions, and the world around us. Building awareness of internal sensation, therefore, is an excellent Mindfulness practice. You can start anywhere – top of your head, bottom of your feet, your core, wherever calls you. What do you notice inside?
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Kristine Nystrom, LPC
I am a mental health therapist, teacher, writer, photographer, nature-lover, explorer, fellow human being along on the journey toward self-discovery and inner peace.
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Kristine Nystrom, LPC, LMHC5404 N. Montana Ave. Portland, OR 97217