Do you ever feel like you’re stuck on auto-pilot? Moving from one thing to another without really enjoying anything? It sounds like it’s time for a little Mindfulness refresher.
In case you’re new here -Mindfulness is when we intentionally develop a non-judgmental awareness of our thoughts, sensations and emotions in the present moment. Being non-judgmental of our thoughts/emotions/sensations is the key to the process because it helps us step away from the self criticism or negative voice that often keeps us stuck. Mindfulness exercises help us to develop a different relationship with our experiences by allowing us to objectively view ourselves rather than be immersed in our emotions/thoughts/feelings. Don’t get me wrong, you still get to feel your feelings, you just do it non-judgmentally, which means you stay with the feeling without trying to fix it or change it, and that makes all the difference.
So often I hear clients say that they simply don’t have time for Mindfulness in their daily lives, or it’s hard to remember to do it even though they find it helpful.By integrating some Mindfulness into our daily lives, even in small doses, we can take ourselves off auto-pilot and back into the present. The truth is even the busiest individual has time for some Mindfulness and I’m going to tell you how.
Good morning! Each morning take a second to get into your body with a stretch and deep breath. It may not seem like much, but taking a second to stop and check in with your physical self can help set the pace for the rest of your day.
Enjoy your morning beverage by savoring it a little. Before you take a sip, inhale the aroma, notice how warm the cup feels in your hands, then take a sip and enjoy the flavor. This takes all of about 30 seconds!
Turn off the car and tune in
When you get to where you’re going, park the car and take a few deep breaths. Check in with yourself before rushing in to work or the store. If you notice you’re in need of something, say for instance you’re feeling particularly stressed today – allow this exercise to help you notice that, then you can determine what you may need to do for yourself to help alleviate that stress today. If you’re a parent this may be an especially important if the car is your only alone time!
Take a Walk
One of our favorite suggestions is always taking a walk. You can do this at the office or at home, even on cold and rainy days. Setting a reminder to get up and walk around a little bit, whether it be indoors or out.
We transition from one task to another so many times daily we probably couldn’t even count them all! Transitions are another opportunity to take a breath and check in. Bathroom breaks, opening and closing email, walking from one room to the next, starting lunch, sitting down for dinner, each one of these transitions in a chance for you to be mindful -be sure to use them!
A little Mindful exercise for you:
Try this, take three slow breaths. They don’t have to be incredibly deep, but the more you can breathe into your belly the better.
Now stop. Notice how you feel right now. Notice your emotional state, your physical state, your mental state. Take a second and allow those three breaths to help you tune in to the world around you. Now notice how you feel noticing these things. Did you try to fix anything or were you able to simply sit with your experience?
Maybe you found this relaxing, maybe you found it difficult to fully focus. Both of these are ok, because both of these experiences are part of being in the moment. If you’re being mindful and you get distracted by a noise outside your office, that’s part of what’s happening right now, and it’s ok to notice it, and when you’re done noticing it try to return back to your breath.