Being Mindful is simply a shift in the way we’re paying attention to our lives. Through mindfulness, each moment of our day, even the simplest acts, can become opportunities for awakening.
Mindfulness starts to get really interesting when we can learn to integrate it into everyday life. Remember, mindfulness means to be present, at the moment. And if you can do it sitting on a chair, then why not do it while out shopping, drinking a cup of tea, eating your food, holding your baby, working at the computer or having a chat with a friend? All of these are opportunities to apply mindfulness, to be aware.
“I will learn how to build habits that really stick. So, I can turn my intentions into actions.”
1. Be Mindful While Listening Someone
When listening to another person we are often there in body, but not with our whole being. Very often, we are not focusing on listening to them; we are caught up in our own mind chatter. We judge what they are saying, mentally agreeing or disagreeing, or we think about what we want to say next.
Focus all of your attention on the other person. Let them be heard fully. You’ll be amazed at the power of listening; it’s an act of love and kindness. People appreciate it deeply when you truly listen to them. The extra-added perk is that that they’ll listen to you more fully when it’s your turn to speak.
2. Do Some Meditation and Breathe Everyday
Meditating is not that difficult to learn. It can be something as simple as closing your eyes, getting your body quiet, and focusing on your breathing. One of the pieces of advice given to job candidates before they go in for an interview is to take several deep breaths. This is so calming.
An easy way to begin is with just 10 minutes a day practicing watching your thoughts come and go without judgment. The most popular time to meditate is first thing in the morning; this will ensure you start the day with a calm, clear mind.
3. Walk with awareness
Walking can give you a chance to spend time being mindful without taking any extra time from your day. Whether you’re walking around your neighborhood, from the car to the store or through the hallways at work, you can turn it into a meditative exercise.
A short walk can change your entire outlook, especially when it’s done mindfully. So set aside 10 minutes to refresh both your body and mind. As you set out, notice how the body feels. Is it heavy or light, stiff or relaxed? Without trying to change the way you’re walking, simply observe how it feels. It’s quite common to feel self-conscious when you do this, but the sensation quickly passes. Pay attention to what you can see, hear and smell. By becoming more aware of the physical senses, the mind naturally feels more grounded.
4. Master the Art of People Watching
This is fun and a wonderful diversion. And it develops some pretty important traits — observational skills, empathy, and great insight. When we observe others, we become much more accepting and non-judgmental, and when we can lose our need to judge others, we gain more peace.
5. Observe your thoughts and emotions
It is important for us to learn how to tell the difference between our emotions and our feelings. When you are grounded and present with mindfulness it is much easier to tell the difference. Emotions are chemical based and often linked to hormones. They are more closely associated with the three lower chakras and are about anger, over excitement, fear, rejection, pride, urges, power, lack, and control.
Feelings, on the other hand, are from a more neutral space. This is where your souls speaks to you. This is where your intuition, gut feelings, and calm observation pay off. You will not be fooled by others when you are trusting your feelings. Calm balanced neutrality is key for guiding the decisions of your life.
6. Become a Better Listener and Communicator
One of the great things that mindfulness accomplishes is that we become aware of the feelings of others as well as our own. When we do this, we are more willing to listen. Practicing the art of listening also means asking the questions that encourage others to express themselves in honest ways. It means developing trustful relationships with others and valuing them, though their views, principles, and values may be very different. When we do this, we open our hearts and minds. And our mindfulness of others improves cooperation, collaboration, and acceptance of one another.
7. Watch Your Thoughts to Be More Mindful
Any time you watch thoughts, you are being mindful. Start listening to the voice in your head as often as you can, especially any repetitive thought patterns. As you listen, aim to do so an impartial witness. You’ll soon realize, “there is the voice, and here I am listening to it. I am not the mind.”
The key is this – Don’t believe your thoughts. Don’t take them all that seriously. In this way thoughts (and the emotions they generate) lose their hold over you. You no longer have to play them out.