Mindfulness is a great way to reset your thinking, stay active in the present, and prioritize your health. Even on the worst days, mindfulness is always guaranteed to make your day seem a little bit brighter and more manageable.
If you have never tried mindfulness before, now is the perfect time to start. It doesn’t take up a whole lot of time out of your day, and it is a completely free way to enhance your wellbeing. One catch of mindfulness is that you have to practice every day. If you only are mindful sporadically, you will not see the results you want.
To ensure that you stay on track with your mindfulness goals, try to incorporate and integrate mindfulness into your daily life. Implementing mindfulness in your daily routine is an easy way to keep yourself motivated throughout the day. To help you integrate mindfulness in your everyday life, here are 5 tips to implement mindfulness to your life. Read on to find out more.
1. Start Small
Our brains are incredibly powerful and smart organs. They allow us to think, act, and live our lives as rational and competent beings. They even allow all of us to practice mindfulness when we want, meaning that we all have the capacity to become mindful.
With that being said, we have to work our brains in order for them to be as powerful as we would like. Mindfulness is an area that the brain especially needs a little help in. Although we all have the capacity to be mindful, we have to practice at becoming more mindful each and every day.
For this reason, it is okay to start small. To unlock the full benefits of mindfulness, you need to practice for at least 20 minutes a day without stop. For most people, being mindful for a whole 20 minutes is incredibly difficult at first. Our minds wander, we get distracted, and we simply can’t remain focused on the mindful practice for that long.
If you are finding that being mindful for 20 minutes at a time is incredibly tough, start with 5-minute practices instead. As you get better, slowly increase the increments until you finally reach 20 minutes. After that, you can try to be mindful for longer periods of time if you would like, but you don’t have to.
There is absolutely no shame in approaching mindfulness like this. Even practicing for 5 minutes will be more beneficial than doing nothing at all, and it is teaching you mental endurance to practice mindfulness for longer periods of time.
2. Incorporate Mindfulness Into Your Daily Routine
Let’s face it. Many of us simply do not have enough time in the day to finish work, eat, communicate with loved ones and family, and be mindful. It seems that the modern world is constantly filled with never-ending tasks and to-do lists.
If this sounds like you, try to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine. This can include your morning routine, commute to work, or anything else that you do on a daily basis. Doing so will allow you to maximize your time in a way that is efficient and healthy.
If you’re unsure how to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine, here are a couple of ideas:
- Morning Routine: Almost everyone, whether it is intentional or unintentional, has a morning routine. Yours may be reading the newspaper, drinking coffee, or preparing a nice breakfast. Find little ways to be mindful and present in the moment throughout this routine. It will allow you to practice your mindfulness and set a relaxing and healthy tone for the day.
- Commute: Most people spend at least 30 minutes in their car a day, and that time is often filled with mindless wandering. Use your commute time to become mindful and relax your brain. It is a great time to focus on your feelings and thoughts without taking up any extra time from your day.
- Shower: A lot of people think about their past and future while they’re taking a shower. Instead of ruminating, be mindful and present while you take a shower. Your shower is a great time to get in touch with your senses and think about your feelings in a relaxing setting.
- Waiting in Line: Some days, it seems that all we’re doing is waiting in line: waiting in line for coffee, waiting in line at the store, waiting in line to speak to your boss. Make the most of this waiting time by being present and mindful while in line.
- Before Bed: Help yourself fall asleep easier by spending a simple 5 minutes before bed being mindful. You may want to do this after you’ve already put on your pajamas and tucked yourself into bed. Simply close your eyes and be mindful before falling asleep. You can do this either in your head or write it out in a journal.
Any of these ideas will be easy and efficient ways to incorporate mindfulness into your routine.
3. Set Aside Time Every Day to Practice Mindfulness
If you want to see the true and full benefits of mindfulness, then you have to set aside time every single day to practice mindfulness. Being mindful for long periods of time on a daily basis is the best way to rejuvenate your life and feel more satisfied with it.
The easiest way to start practicing mindfulness is to set aside the same block of time every single day for mindfulness. The morning may be the best time to do this since you are not already worn out, and it will set a great tone for the rest of the day. Most people agree that the morning is the best time for their mindfulness practice.
For example, some people like to get to work early and spend the first 20 minutes in their office practicing mindfulness. This often helps people relax for the day and feel more level headed in the workplace. As a result, they feel that they perform better and more reasonably.
The block of time that you set aside should be a minimum of 20 minutes long. If you have extra time, feel free to make it longer, but don’t push yourself too hard.
Once you know what time you want to practice your mindfulness, set a reminder in your phone, an app, or a calendar. Setting it in your phone will be especially helpful because you will get a notification in advance, allowing you to be reminded and held accountable for practicing your mindfulness.
Once you decide on what time you want to commit to mindfulness, the hard part is over. Practicing mindfulness is relatively easy because it requires no props or excessive space. Simply sit down, close your eyes, breathe, and be in the moment.
As you are sitting, make sure that you have correct posture. You may want to try sitting in a chair or sitting against a wall to make sure that your back is completely straight. You may also want to grab a blanket or pillow if you want maximum comfortability, but that is completely up to you.
As you’re practicing, thoughts will come into your mind. Try your best to let them come to a natural end and bring yourself back to the moment. You may want to try focusing on your breath. Pay attention to how the air feels when it comes in your nose, fills your lungs, and goes out your mouth.
4. Try New Things
One great benefit of mindfulness is that it pushes you and challenges you to try new things. If this is one of your main reasons for becoming mindful, challenge yourself to try new things when practicing mindfulness.
Since there are a ton of ways to practice mindfulness, put yourself outside of your comfort zone, and be mindful while doing something that you wouldn’t normally consider. Or simply be creative about how you are being mindful. Try to find fun and quirky ways to incorporate your mindfulness into your day in a way that is unexpected and exciting.
If you try new things while becoming mindful, your brain is exercised more since it is required to stay focused during a new activity. At the same time, it will allow you to look forward to mindfulness. When we do the same things over and over again, our brains get bored. Don’t do this to yourself when it comes to your mindfulness training.
If you are not the most creative person, that is okay. Below are a few ideas for some fun and unique ways to practice mindfulness.
- Try Writing With Your Bad Hand: Remember how you would try to write with your bad hand as a kid? Try doing that again but with a mindful flair. Pay attention to how the pencil feels in your hand, any frustration that arises, and anything else you may feel during the practice.
- Stare at the Produce in the Grocery Store: For many people, going to the grocery store is an annoying task that takes up valuable time in their day. Next time you go to the grocery store, try to incorporate mindfulness. Stand in front of the produce selection and simply be mindful. What produce are you most drawn to? What color stands out the most to you? Are there any smells in the area?
- Go to a Gardening Store: This challenge may be tricky if you’re not good with plants or gardening, but try going to a gardening store and being mindful in the flower section. Close your eyes and try to guess what flowers you are smelling. Listen to any bugs that may be buzzing around. All around, try to get in touch with your senses.
5. Be Kind to Yourself
Mindfulness can be extremely aggravating and stressful when you’re first starting out. Do not let yourself get discouraged along the way. Always be kind to yourself, even when you fail. This is a crucial part of practicing mindfulness.
As humans, we are often more critical of ourselves than we are of others. Try not to fall into that way of thinking because it is only harmful to you and those around you. The more critical you are of yourself, the less you will be able to enjoy those around you and your life.
If you are having trouble staying in the present, simply acknowledge that fact and try again. All of us struggle, and there is absolutely no reason to beat yourself up over it. The same goes for any other mistake you may make. Be kind to yourself, and never speak to yourself in a way that you would not speak to another person. This is the most important lesson of mindfulness.
Incorporating mindfulness into your daily life is an effective way to enhance your overall well-being. By starting small, integrating mindfulness into your routine, setting aside time each day, trying new things, and being kind to yourself, you can make a significant impact on your mental and emotional health. Remember, the key to reaping the benefits of mindfulness is consistency and self-compassion. Start practicing mindfulness today and unlock the transformative power it has to offer.