Mindfulness, for an idea so simple, can be pretty difficult to implement in your life every day. Really, all mindfulness involves is taking some time out of your day to just be in the moment and experience life, not worrying forward to the future or living through the anxieties of the past, but simply existing in the now. Being mindful is so, so important for your health and wellbeing.
It sounds pretty simple, and as a concept perhaps it is, but in reality introducing this idea of experiencing the moment rather than getting lost in thought or anxious about the future or the past can be really, really tough.
So, here are five simple ways to introduce mindfulness to your life every day. They are simple, but they aren’t necessarily easy. Being mindful takes dedication, and consistency. In a way, being mindful is like doing push-ups or taking a stroll. Over time, your mental muscles get stronger through consistent practice and exercise. Doing a push-up, once you learn the form, is simple, but that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to persevere with doing push-ups everyday!
1) Concentrate on the water running over your body as you take your daily shower.
Most people take a shower every day (I hope!) While you are taking your shower, focus on the feeling of water streaming onto your body and be aware of the physical sensation of the drips and drops making their way down your arms and legs. This is a really easy routine to get into because it wedges itself into your day-to-day life.
2) Be mindful while you brush your teeth
Similarly, almost everybody brushes their teeth everyday. Not once, but twice! So, this gives you to opportunities to be in the moment and experience the feeling of the toothbrush and the taste and smell of the toothpaste in your mouth.
3) Be mindful while cooking
Cooking is a great way to cultivate mindfulness. If you cook everyday, and I highly recommend that you do (it’s a great way to save money as well as incorporating mindfulness into your life), concentrate on the sensations of cutting the vegetables and seasoning the food. Cooking can be stressful, and an easy way to help alleviate this stress is to try and be mindful while making your meal.
4) Be mindful while eating
Following on from this, it’s great to be mindful while you actually consume your meal. Studies have shown that not only is mindfulness itself great for your mental health, but partaking in mindful eating can mean that a more appropriate amount of food is consumed. This is a fantastic way of eating more healthily without attaching an emotional or moral baggage to food.
5) Be mindful while listening to music
Listening to music isn’t something that many people associate with mindfulness or meditation, but it should be. Many of us listen to music everyday as a way of zoning out, but instead you ought to try zoning in on the music that you’re listening to. Be aware of the different instruments in your songs, and try to really listen to all the lyrics in one of your favourites!
These five simple ways of incorporating mindfulness into your life every single day make mindfulness a routine rather than a chore. Mindfulness can certainly be tough, but by making it a habit we can make it easier to improve our mental health and general wellbeing one day a time.