Mindfulness is more than just a fancy buzzword. To be more mindful, you must find more ways to be truly aware of what is happening in the present moment. It sounds simple, but so many people have problems with this. Our brains are constantly whirring with work pressure, money worries, social plans, as well as the regular distraction that comes from smart phones and other devices. All of these things prevent us from enjoying the here and now. And all of these things prevent us from ever being at peace.
Our busy lives mean it is impossible to be mindful all the time. It is human nature to be distracted from time to time, but there are ways we can practice mindfulness more often in order to be more productive and generally happier.
- When in the shower
Many people find that the shower is the time when their mind wanders the most. They solve problems, obsess over issues and worry about their appearance instead of focusing on the shower itself. It may be easier said than done, but try to forget about everything else and instead pay attention to the sensation of the warm water running down your back as it soothes your stress. If you have spent money on a fancy scented shower gel then now is the time to truly appreciate the aroma. The best part of this is that you would usually shower at least once a day, so you get to practice mindfulness every day.
- On your way to work
How you travel will make your commute a unique mindful experience. If you drive, you could try to pay more attention to your journey, instead of simply going through the motions and zoning out until you get to work. Far too often we can reach our destination without really remembering the drive at all. Notice how the car feels – is the ride smooth or bumpy? Are you hot or cold? Turn the radio off and listen to the sound of the car as it travels over different road surfaces. And if you want to be really mindful, try and find a more environmentally friendly way to get to work and appreciate the surroundings as you walk, cycle or carpool.
- At work
It can be difficult to be mindful at work with hundreds of requests constantly being made of you. Sometimes the pressure can be so much that you don’t know where to start, let alone how to be mindful of what you are doing. But it is possible. The first thing to do is make a list of things that need to be done, and number them in order of priority. This list may change throughout your working day, but when it is down on paper, you can remove it from your mind without worrying that you will forget something important. Then tackle each task with your full attention. Practicing mindfulness at work can make you more productive, motivated and leave you feeling more satisfied with the job you have done. If you need more help in this area, you could talk to your employer about booking a mindfulness workshop, as this will help you and other employees to find focus and calm in a busy working day.
Mindfulness isn’t something that comes easy for everyone, but with a little bit of practice, you can learn to appreciate the small moments more and live a generally happier and less stressful life.