We spend much of our time caught up in our thoughts and concerns, drifting through life without much conscious thought about the present and consumed by trying to plan things that are out of our control. Mindfulness allows us to live in the here and now (not the past or the future). It helps us approach our lives with greater peace of mind and clarity.
It’s often while completing repetitive, day-to-day activities that we find ourselves switching to autopilot. So why not capitalise on this?
Here are 3 ways to bring mindfulness to your days.
Having a shower – Unmindful vs Mindful
Unmindful: You wake up still half asleep and step under the running water, immediately thrown into the temperature battle you endure daily as it’s always too hot or too cold. Within seconds your mind wanders back to that episode of Mad Men you watched last night on Netflix—how gorgeous Peggy’s outfit was and how great it would be if we still dressed like it was the 60’s…
Mindful: The minute you step in you pay attention to how the running water feels as it washes over your skin. You’re mindful of the smell of the soap and the shampoo. Thoughts pop up but you let them go. You listen to the sound the shower head makes as you turn off the water, and breathe the last of the steam, feeling the air enter your lungs.
Brushing your teeth
Unmindful: You’re in a rush to get out the door and you brush frantically and furiously. On a bad day, you run around the house with the toothbrush hanging out of your mouth, packing today’s lunches and searching for the elusive car keys.
Mindful: While brushing your teeth, be aware of the taste and texture of the toothpaste, and how it froths in your mouth. Be mindful of how your feet feel, standing on the bathroom floor and the way that your arm moves as you move from left to right giving each tooth your undivided attention.
Standing in line
Unmindful: You would rather be anywhere else. You stand fidgeting and fiddling, riddled with impatience. You look at you phone and scroll aimlessly through Facebook and emails searching for something to entertain you – or at least distract you from the boredom. A woman fumbles through her purse at the register. Why are these people so unprepared?
Mindful: You look at the wait to be served not as a chore, but as an opportunity to be mindful. Be mindful of how you stand and how you breathe. Scan your body and locate any areas of tension. People watch, and be aware of how you interact with the people around you.