5 Ways I Practise Mindfulness Everyday
1. Setting an Intention
An intention refers to a commitment you make to yourself of what you will do for yourself that day. An example of this could be “I will be kind to myself and stay grounded” or “I will be patient with others” or “I will drink 2L of water today.” When creating your intention(s) for the day, ask yourself questions like:
- How can I feel more connected to myself and others around me?
- How can I take better care of myself?
- What mindset do I want to strengthen in order to reach my goals?
- During difficult situations, how might I be more helpful and compassionate to others?
The setting of your intention for the day should happen before picking up your phone and getting distracted by anything (this should be the first thing you do when you wake up). Throughout the day, check-in with yourself to see if you’re following through with your intention. As you practise this mindfulness technique, you will notice how you become more and more aware of your intentions throughout each day!
2. Take a Mindfulness Pause
Everyone can relate to something called “fast brain,” this is when our brain is running on autopilot. This is the product of daily habits we have that we no longer need to executively think about each time. Your brain is just going through the motions of your day-to-day life and this happens unconsciously. Taking a gentle pause throughout the day to remind yourself that your fast-brain is taking over allows the slow-brain to gain more control. When we are on autopilot, it’s very difficult to remember to pause so you have to create ways that you trick your fast-brain into pausing. This could look like you putting a water bottle in front of where you will walk to remind you to take a beat and drink some water and pause. This could also be little sticky notes that remind you to activate your slow-brain. The more you can activate your slow-brain throughout the day, the stronger it gets and the more in control you will feel.
3. Take a Mindful Walk
Leave your house and go for a walk outside and give your full attention to the walk, nothing else. Since walking is something we do a lot, walking can naturally activate the fast-brain (as we talked about earlier). But on this walk, don’t let the fast-brain creep in. Be extra aware of what the ground you're walking on feels like on your feet/shoes, be aware of the sounds you hear and how what the air feels like on your exposed skin (e.g., your face). Feeling the Earth has you move through it allows you to be more assertive and aware of your surroundings throughout the day. A mindfulness walk is a very rewarding and relaxing experience.
4. Focus on Your Breathing
Again, breathing is an automatic thing we do without thinking about it usually. But focusing on your breathing is such an easy way to take a mindfulness pause throughout your day. When you really focus on your breathing, you are focusing your attention on something other than your stressors throughout the day. This is a moment for you and you only and it can really help put things into perspective. Focusing on your breathing could simply mean being aware of your breath without changing it or it could mean lengthening your inhale and exhale to get the full relaxation effect. Your breathing has a lot of power, use it to your advantage!
5. Use a Meditation App
We are living in a world with meditation guides at our literal fingertips! There are many apps that have hundreds of meditations you can choose from from short 5 minutes meditation to 60 minute deep relaxation meditations. These apps are great guides for beginners since all you have to do is listen! My favourite app is called Headspace and has many guided meditations of all different kinds whether you want a meditation that energizes you or puts you to sleep, this app has it all. So if you’re just getting into the mindfulness space, this could be a great way to start!