Mindfulness. It’s the mental wellness community’s latest buzzword, but what does it actually mean?
Mindfulness is the state of being fully aware of the present moment. It means being totally immersed in where you are and what you’re doing—a rare occurrence in a society where many of us are constantly distracted by screens.
Sounds pretty nice right? It is, and it’s good for you too. Mindfulness has been proven to reduce stress, raise immune functioning, and even improve relationship satisfaction.
What’s more, mindfulness is super easy to practice. Here are five easy ways to incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life:
Put Your Phone Down
Whenever we have a free moment, we’re tempted to fill it somehow. Often times, this means checking our phones. The next time you’re in line at the grocery store, or waiting for your daily coffee order, look around. You’ll notice that most people are glued to their phones as they wait, oblivious to the world around them. It has become a habit for most of us, but try to break it. The next time you’re waiting in line, slip your phone back into your pocket and just wait. Try to be fully present in the experience of waiting, and take in the sights and sounds around you.
Try A Guided Meditation
Meditation can be intimidating. The idea of sitting still with your eyes closed for 10-15 minutes and “just being”? Sounds pretty dull. And it can be, at first. That’s why guided meditation helps. You can search “five minute guided meditation” on YouTube, or download an app like Headspace to get started. Having a recording to focus on really helps the time pass, and will help you get used to the process of meditation.
Grab A Coloring Book
Adult coloring books have become all the rage. From the outside this trend seems a bit unusual, but there’s actually science behind it. While you’re focusing on the coloring page, all of your attention goes into looking at the shapes, choosing which colors you want to use, and staying inside the lines. This allows you to become fully present in what you’re doing, because your brain isn’t distracted with other thoughts.
Try Some Yoga
Yoga is a great way to practice mindfulness. During most yoga classes, the instructor will advise you to focus on what’s happening on your mat, and leave the outside world behind. It’s rare that we get this type of instruction–to be completely present and leave our distracting thoughts behind. By having to focus on your breathing and mastering the poses, you’ll be forced to fully experience the present moment.
Focus On Your Senses
This is a great one because you can do it anywhere at any time. In fact, you can practice it right now, as you’re reading this. Take a moment to focus on your senses. What do you see, hear, smell, and feel around you? By focusing on your senses, you’re brought into the moment and called to notice your surroundings. Before you know it, you’ll be appreciating your surroundings on a daily basis and noticing things you never payed attention to before.
Written By: Kara Cuzzone