How to be Present in Your Life with a Daily Mindfulness Routine
Feeling stuck in your busy life? Get unstuck by learning to be mindful.
If only you had the “perfect” day – all the free time in the world to get things done on your list and have time to enjoy and relax without feeling overwhelmed or out of touch. In the rush to accomplish all that’s on your plate you lose your connection to the present moment – missing out on what you’re doing and how you’re feeling. Did you notice how you felt when you woke up or the aroma of fresh coffee or the drive into work, or the current weather? Noticing or not noticing these elements are what either place you in the moment or disconnect you from what is taking place right now in your life.
Enter the lifestyle practice of mindfulness…
Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment – and accepting it without going down the “rabbit hole” of negative self talk – aka judgement of yourself and others.
Fun fact: Mindfulness is now being examined scientifically and has been found to be a key element in stress reduction, sleep issues, anxiety. Overall feelings of happiness and greater focus make this lifestyle practice life affirming to everyone.
There is more than one way to practice mindfulness, but the goal of any mindfulness technique is to achieve a place of being alert to what is going on in your life right now by paying attention on purpose to your thoughts and physical sensations without being judgemental.
Here are simple tips to help you learn and get started with being mindful in your day to day!
Be still and silent at the start and or the end of your day.
This easy practice quiets and resets our overactive minds while allowing us to be physically still. Find a quiet distraction free place where you won’t be interrupted. Sit comfortably and invite “mental” stillness. Simply notice your breath and invite positive feelings from this place. To start if this is brand new. Use a timer ( with a soft end tone) on your smart device set for two minutes. Use a timer if this helps and make sure the “ring” tone at sessions end is not jarring or loud.
Notice using your five physical senses.
Sight: what do you see in your home, outdoors in your yard or neighborhood? Notice the full moon or a starry night or sunrise and sunset.
Taste: Notice the texture of what you are eating. Is this sweet, salty, spicy,bland, hot or cold? Do you like this or not?
Touch: Notice the feel of a hug from a loved one or good friend or gusty wind or a sweet summer breeze or the breeze from the ocean shore or mountains.
Smell: Notice the smell of freshly brewed coffee, baked bread or fragrant flowers or fresh cut grass.
Hearing: Notice the sound of traffic,television, your favorite music being played.The sound of silence!
Allow your emotions to be present without getting caught up in judging them as good or bad or anything else. Practice naming these emotions from a calm place such as “joy,” “anger,” “frustration,” “happy.” Accept the presence of your emotions and without getting caught up in them- like clouds passing in the sky- let them go.
Food and emotions: Notice by observing when you are eating: Are you in a rush, eating from a place of hunger or boredom or stress or reward? Simply notice without judging!
4. Urge surfing.
Cope with cravings (for addictive substances or behaviors) and allow them to pass. Notice how your body feels as the craving enters. Replace the wish for the craving to go away with the certain knowledge that it will subside.
The practice of learning and becoming more present and mindful is a lifestyle practice learned and lived over the course of living.