I think mindfulness is a big word. Intimidating. One where you can go a lot of wrong. Mindfulness sounds like "ommm" and stiff sitting. It's a widening of consciousness and "just don't think about anything." Slender, beautiful young women with 200k Instagram Followers, who you can watch during their yoga session on the beach in Bali.
Don't get me wrong. I'd like to go to Bali sometime too and Yoga do. All this is of course very exaggerated. Nevertheless, at the beginning of my personal development journey, it was always a little bit of a deterrent to really engage in mindfulness. Because "being careful" means so much more.
You do not have to be a newly awakened guru to practice mindfulness. The phrase "practice mindfulness" alone sounds more spiritual and greater than it actually is. If you want to bring a little more mindfulness into your everyday life and live more consciously, you should break free from any constraints.
Anyone can be mindful and build mindfulness into everyday life.
You don't have to be able to do anything special, you don't need three hours extra a day and you can start almost immediately. Your lifestyle, your job, your routines, your social environment - none of these are mandatory for a mindful life. All it takes? A conscious decision for more mindfulness in everyday life.
Practicing mindfulness regularly in your everyday life will bring you
- a better feeling for your own needs
- more inner peace
- Stress Management
- a more positive attitude
- improved Self-Love
- a sharpened eye for the essential
- And if you are struggling, searching for meaning, or planning to change, but do not know where you are going, more mindfulness will help to point you in the right direction.
Here are 11 small, easy to implement, yet effective methods for practicing mindfulness in everyday life.
Important for everyone: As is often the case with good habits, it is important to keep up with them. You are most likely to see a visible positive change if you integrate mindfulness firmly into your life and practice it daily. From my own experience (and for your motivation) I can also tell you that each of these exercises works - and shows positive effects relatively quickly.
More mindfulness in everyday life: 11 mindfulness exercises
It is best to try out all the exercises that appeal to you. Usually after one or two attempts you will get a feeling for what is good for you and what is not. Then decide which of these mindfulness practices you want to pursue - whether it is one, four, or all ten.
Change your little routines
What do you do every day?
Showering, enjoying your morning coffee at the same place in front of your balcony door? Take one of these everyday habits and celebrate them consciously and slowly. How do you feel during this? Is it good for you or do you only follow yourself because you are so used to it?
If this is the case, it is necessary to change this routine a little. Take a different walk than usual, shop in another supermarket, listen to a new kind of music or try a new kind of tea.
No matter what it is; no matter how small that change may be: You will perceive your daily routine in a completely new way. And maybe you will even discover completely new preferences!
I know, Meditation is not for everyone. And that's okay. As mentioned in the beginning, mindfulness also means to break away from familiar guidelines. So if you do not (yet) want to dare to meditate, try small Breathing exercises.
You can practice conscious and deep inhalation and exhalation at any time. It makes you immediately calmer and helps you in stressful situationsto refocus on what's important. I like doing the 4-3-4 exercise. Sit or lie down comfortably and close your eyes. Breathe in and count to 4 in your mind, hold your breath while you count to 3. Then exhale while counting to 4 again. You can repeat this exercise as often as you like.
Take your meals consciously
... You'll notice the word "conscious" is very common here. No wonder, after all it belongs to the mindful life. When was the last time you really concentrated on your food at 100% without playing your mobile phone, reading the newspaper, talking, etc.? Long time ago, wasn't it?
Conscious eating means eating slowly! Enjoy your food with all your senses. Taste it, chew it thoroughly and concentrate only on it. This is not so easy if you usually gobble down your meals or do not eat standing up. But with a little practice it will be easier.
Conscious, slow food also gives you a Health bonusBy chewing your food extensively, you relieve your digestive organs of work and get full faster.
Multitasking is far from being as efficient as it has long been sold. I, too, always get the urge to do everything at once - and in the end I can't get anything done properly. Instead of working attentively, my head starts to smoke, I get frustrated and am far from finished. You know what that is, don't you?
Allow yourself to take one step at a timeinstead of doing as much as possible at once. Mindfulness means to concentrate consciously and with full attention on something. Even if it's your tax return, she somehow deserves your undivided attention after all, doesn't she?
Leave the smartphone alone
... a no-trainer you've probably heard of. But - here's the news: It really helps to put the smartphone aside and not to spend hours carelessly by social media scrollable.
In fact, we often don't even notice how much time we waste on our mobile phone. Take a look at your user behavior via your phone settings. I was quite frightened by the fact that on some days I spent 3 or more hours on YouTube. The consequence? I have now deleted the app from all devices. To communicate constantly or just "out of boredom" scrolling through Instagram does not do any good in the long run. Our brain cannot come to rest.
Using your smartphone wisely means managing your time and paying attention to what you are dealing with. Avoid accounts that cause a negative feeling in you. Track your time on your phone. Put it aside when you devote yourself to other things.
Digital Detox Appscan help you with that, reduce the distractions of your smartphone.
Practice a morning routine
The morning routine is my personal favourite method according to the book "Miracle Morning" by Hal Elrod. It is about consciously taking time for yourself. In the morning this works especially well for many of us because we are not yet influenced by possible (negative) events of the day. Everything is fresh and like a little restart.
Think about what's good for you and build that into your morning routine. Do you finally want to read more? Meditate or pray? Have time again for an extensive breakfast, work undisturbed on a project or Sport do? Then the morning routine is perfect for that. Whether it takes 15 minutes or 2 hours - it's up to you. No matter what you have in mind: Take the time for mindfulness, Self-care and things that make you happy.
By the way, the morning routine does not necessarily have to take place in the morning: It can be done in the evening or at any other time of the day.
Let your mind wander
Even if your teachers were anything but enthusiastic in the past: Digressing and daydreaming is allowed!
This state between meditation and conscious (ha, there it is again, the word!) thinking immediately makes you feel more relaxed. It also "opens" your brain for new creative ideas. Or are you plagued by a problem? Through relaxed daydreaming you might find the solution.
This mindfulness practice can be combined with other mindful habits. After your meditation, for example, stay seated for a few more minutes. Or use the time in the morning before the snooze function of your alarm clock starts again. Stay in bed and let your thoughts wander.
Find a hobby that you do purely for relaxation
...with no background, so maybe you could make some money sometime.
I work independently - and all day long on my laptop. Often you don't have the nerve to spend the rest of the day in front of the screen. So I often read or take paper and pencil and draw. That helps me to get down.
Find a hobby that you just for kicks do. With this you can turn off your head and let go of stress.
Find your personal rest ritual
Certainly there are little rituals that you - unconsciously - do when you want to relax.
If you say, "No, I don't have it." Take a few minutes and remember what you were doing when you were last stressed or tense. Did you do sports as a distraction? Watched an ASMR video or let the TV flood your mind? I'm sure there's something. My to-go ritual is walking and piano music in the background.
Find these ritualskeep them in writing somewhere "for emergencies" and follow them up if you feel uncomfortable or just need a few minutes of mindfulness.
... or try to remember Journaling!
Writing works wonders and is therefore an enormously helpful mindfulness tool. However, many people are afraid of the "blank page" at the beginning. If you feel the same way, start writing completely irrelevant stuff. "Hello, my name is Chrissi, I am a Pisces and the sun is shining through my window..." You get in the flow all by yourselfI promise.
And then just write whatever comes into your mind. Whatever it is. No matter how much it is. Out of the head means out of the mind. You use it to solve problems and open yourself up to new ideas at the same time. Another bonus of this exercise: You have "something in your hand".
It motivates me immensely to see the described page (or several pages - depending on how much "thought puke" has to come out) in front of me. Besides, you can use it to fill all those empty notebooks you have piled up but find them too pretty to use.
"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough."
Gratitude is on everyone's lips these days - and that's great! Because to recognize, what you already have in your lifemakes you more aware of new positive possibilities/experiences and makes you a happier person. You feel more complete.
There are different ways to practice gratitude. Here are a few examples.
- Every night before going to bed, write down 3 - 5 things that you were grateful for today and that made you happy.
- During your meditation, list what you are grateful for - like a mantra.
- Record gratitude as a journaling ritual.
- Create a "jam jar moments" glass in which you collect experiences or quotations that have made you happy.
The goal is to be able to look at your "I am grateful for that" collection again and again when you feel bad. This helps you to discover abundance in your life instead of lack.
Perhaps you already know one or two tips for mindfulness. But that doesn't mean that these are ideas that have been exhausted, but methods that work! You see, integrating mindfulness into everyday life really doesn't require much effort.
Which of these mindful habits will you try?
This article is a guest contribution from Chrissi Wagner
I worked in the office for over 10 years and have been dreaming of creative independence for at least as long. Now I dared myself. As "Mindful VA" I offer my skills as a virtual assistant, content creator and web designer. I also blog on Zentreasures about mindfulness as well as the difficulties and self-doubts that accompany me on the path towards self-realization - and how I overcome them.
And when I'm not working on my independence, I go hiking in the mountains of my Upper Bavarian home or mix cocktails. Or both; order varying.