Mindfulness is not just about meditation. Although a wonderful practice, or strategy if you like (as some mediation is better than no mediation), the discussions around mindfulness do not centre just around this despite this focus shared in popular media. It is one of the first mistakes many people make when they first try to be more mindful.
As we explore being more mindful. There are some things that we can do to help us leave being stuck in our head and to refocus. Have you tried:
- wash the dishes slowly, feeling the water, shape of the crockery with the sponge that you have in your hands.
- walk slower than usual and actually look at what you are passing by. Breathe in the fresh air and notice the smells, colours, and sounds.
- sit in a cafe drinking a green tea (this may be a coffee or hot chocolate for you) just being in the space.
- get in your car and think about what route you'll be taking before you turn the key and head off in an automatic mode.
- walk to the market, with your bags and shop for vegetables and fruit feeling them before you place them in the bag. Think about what meals you might prepare.
- post on Instagram as an action in itself, not while you walking, having a conversation, or eating food. Consciously post later from your computer, not your mobile device.
- limit your screen time after hours, to quieten the mind.
- sit in meetings and listen. The art listening is just as powerful as learning to speak your voice.
- smile at a shop assistance and say hello.
- end the day reflecting about what you are grateful for. Try to come home and answer the question of ‘how was your day?’ with a rephrase of ‘I’m grateful…’ In doing this you are trying to shift the energy spent on things that may be a trigger for uneasiness or anxiety.
- take your dog for a walk and throw a ball. Try doing this without multi-tasking such as listening to the latest podcast, a recording of a meeting you have missed or talking on the phone or checking those emails.
Let me know what works for you? I'd love to hear about other moments in time that work for you to bring in mindful practices into your day.