Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of the treatment Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, defines mindfulness as “awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally”(Mindful Staff, 2017). Simply put, mindfulness means to "be here now", like my grandma used to tell my sister and me when we were distracted and she had to repeat herself. Mindfulness is important because we are often so busy that we rarely take the time to appreciate where we are and who we are with. How many times have you been out to dinner and seen a married couple or family of five sitting together, but everyone is on their phones? Yeah, it's pretty sad.
Mindfulness is one of those things that sounds easy to practice, but is often more difficult to implement than we think because we are faced with so many distractions on a daily basis. So I've made a list of 7 practical ways to be mindful in everyday life:
1) Focus on one task at a time. When you're at work, focus on finishing that report that's due tomorrow before diving into the endless pile of emails. Try closing some of the windows in your browser in order to minimize distractions vs. clicking between windows and not really getting anything done.
2) When you’re driving, focus on getting to where you’re going rather than being on your cell phone taking videos or texting. I'm sure we are all aware of how incredibly dangerous distracted driving is.
3) When you’re eating, take the time to chew and actually enjoy your food vs. inhaling your food (like my partner does sometimes when he’s in a hurry).
4) When you’re with your family and loved ones, enjoy being present with them vs. being distracted by your cell phone, the scores on the latest football game, social media, or whatever else is grabbing your attention. Time is precious and limited, and it’s something that once it’s used, we cannot get it back.
5) When you’re at the gym, focus on your workout, whether you’re lifting weights or in a Zumba class vs. being on Instagram or Snapchat and holding up all of the machines because I’m trying to finish my workout, too.🤣
6) Take time to be in nature. Get some fresh air. Even if it's only for a couple of minutes, take a brisk walk outside or simply sit and catch a few sunrays.
7) Take time to meditate or to sit in silence and do nothing. Take some deep breaths. Sitting in silence one of my favorite things to do! Insight Timer, Headspace, and Calm are just a few of the wonderful meditation apps out there to help you cultivate more peace and stillness in your life.
When it comes to mindfulness, the important thing to remember is to find a routine that works for you and incorporate mindfulness into that routine. We all do stuff on a daily basis, so we have to ask ourselves, how can we do what we need to do anyway more mindfully? Mindfulness may be difficult to grasp at first, but the more intentional you are with practicing it, the easier it will become. If you need help with cultivating more mindfulness in your everyday life and creating the life that you love, check out my online course selection here. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions or feedback here.
As always, Live Mindfully. Love Intentionally. Thrive Splendidly. ®
Mindful Staff. (2017, January 11). Jon Kabat-Zinn: Defining Mindfulness. Retrieved from https://www.mindful.org/jon-kabat-zinn-defining-mindfulness/