Making Mindfulness Work for You

There is a lot of buzz around mindfulness these days. In fact, you’ve probably heard experts extoll its many virtues. With all that information, there’s a lack of directions about making mindfulness work for you.

Here’s what’s key. To make mindfulness work, you have to make it a regular part of your life.

Turning a Mindfulness into a Way of Life

Life many self-improvement techniques, mindfulness is a skill. Like all skills, mindfulness is learned. The trick to making mindfulness work for you is turning the skill of mindfulness into a way of life.

Here are 7 Ways for Making Mindfulness Work for you

1. Begin your day with mindfulness.

To make mindfulness a habit, you need to start your day by reminding yourself to practice being mindful. Before you get out of bed, decide to be mindful.

Notice your body’s physical sensations. Do you have any aches or pains? What part of your body feels the most pressure on your bed? Practice paying attention to your body’s sensations for as long as possible before rising.  
2. Pay attention to your body.

As you go through your day, pay attention to your body. This is an excellent method for anchoring your attention to the present. As you go through your day, when you find your attention wandering, focus on your breath. Another technique is to pay attention to the balls of your feet. Both of these brings your attention back to the present.

 

3. Use Routine Tasks to Practice Mindfulness

A method that will help you develop a mindfulness habit is to be mindful during your daily tasks. This includes things like brushing your teeth, showering, driving, gardening and so on.
Eating

Practice mindful eating. Focus on chewing your food slowly. Pay attention to how your food tastes and smells.
Conversing

An excellent way to make mindfulness work for you is during your conversations.  While talking with others give them your full attention. Are you listening fully? Are you trying to really understand or are you impatiently waiting for your turn to speak?

4. Listen to Music

Music provides an excellent opportunity to practice mindfulness. As you listen, try to identify the instruments. Pay attention to the words. As you listen, as other thoughts come up, bring your focus back to the music.

5. Resist Urges

Your mind will play tricks on you to pull you out of a mindful state. When a sudden urge to eat something you probably shouldn’t comes up, mindfully resist that urge.

One of the best ways to make mindfulness work for you is to use it to resist urges. When an urge comes up, pay attention to your thoughts and body sensations. Maintain this focus until they fade away. What you’ll find is they disappear quicker than you’d think.

6. Put Your Phone is a Drawer

Unless you talk on the phone for a living, you don’t need it to be available every waking minute. Answer calls during certain times of the day. Set a time to check your email or social media accounts and then keep that schedule. This is also an opportunity to resist urges.
Here’s an experiment for you. Time yourself and see how long you can go without checking your phone. Next, see how long you can go without thinking about your phone. You’ll be surprised by the results.

7. Set Reminders

Habits are something you do automatically. An excellent method for establishing a mindfulness habit is to set reminders.

Here’s how. Set a timer. The timer is to remind you to practice mindfulness, right now. In that moment, refocus your attention on whatever you’re doing.

Begin Using These Mindfulness Practices Today

Mindfulness can relieve stress, increase enjoyment, increase productivity, reduce anxiety, and help you to build a more accurate view of the world. But it is only useful if you use it.

Knowing how to be mindful isn’t enough. It needs to become a habit you can access throughout the day. That’s what these practices will do for you. When you begin using these practices, you will find making mindfulness work for you isn’t difficult at all.

The best thing? It will transform your life.

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