Making Mindfulness a Way of Life

According to the American Psychological Association, mindfulness is “a moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience without judgment.” You can use mindfulness for stress reduction, improving working memory and focus as well as expanding your cognitive flexibility. With all its proven benefits, making mindfulness a way of life could be exactly what you need to take your life to the next level, and beyond.

What is Mindfulness?   

Mindfulness is simply a skill anyone can learn. Over time, it can be turned into a way of life. As we all know, it’s one thing to learn the skill. It’s another to make it part of your life. For example, you can know how to read without being a “reader.”

The Following are Some Simple ideas for Making Mindfulness a part of Your Daily Life

1.     Begin your day mindfully.

Making mindfulness a habit takes practice. To make mindfulness a habit, you need to practice being mindful throughout the day.

Start your day mindfully, even before you even get out of bed. Pay attention to the physical sensations of your body. Do you notice any aches or pains? Is the room warm or cool?

As you pay attention, see how long you can lie still before your thoughts drift to something other than your body or your immediate surroundings.

2.     Pay attention to your body.

Another way of making mindfulness a part of your daily life is to continue to be mindful of your body throughout the remainder of the day. This practice is a great way to anchor your attention to the present moment. When you find your attention wandering, as you always will, put your attention on your breath.

An alternative practice is to pay attention to the balls of your feet as you keep them placed firmly on the floor.

3.     Use routine, everyday activities to practice your mindfulness skills.

One of the simplest ways for making mindfulness a regular habit of yours is to be mindful as you go about doing daily tasks. These include brushing your teeth, using the restroom, showering, driving, mowing the grass, and anything else you might do regularly.

Be especially mindful while you eat. Chew your food slowly and be fully aware of how your food tastes and smells. Not only will this help you develop your mindfulness practice, it is an excellent way to keep from overeating.

Another way to practice mindfulness is to give your full attention to your conversations. Listen fully to what the other people are saying. Give the conversation your full awareness

4.     Mindfully listen to music.

Use music for making mindfulness part of your daily life. You can also use this time to heighten your sense of hearing. Try identifying each instrument as you listen to the song. See if you can keep your focus on the music instead of allowing other thoughts to float into your mind.

5.     Resist cravings.

We all have urges to do or eat something we know we shouldn’t. When you get these, resist that urge. When you get an urge, pay attention to your thoughts and body sensations. Stay focused on them until they fade away. What you’ll find is It happens quicker than you think.

This technique can be extremely helpful when you have the urge to eat unhealthy food, smoke a cigarette or text your ex.

6.     Put your smartphone in a drawer.

Your smartphone is designed to keep you distracted. This makes it a huge obstacle to making mindfulness a habit. To avoid checking your email or social media accounts every few minutes, keep your phone in a drawer. This way you can delay viewing your phone until a more suitable time. You can also use this as an opportunity to ride out one of your urges.

Become a scientist and do a little experiment. See how long you can go without checking your phone. Actually time yourself. The next step is to see how long you can go without thinking about your phone. You might be surprised by your results.

  1. Set a reminder.

Making mindfulness a habit can be easier if you use a cue to be mindful. When the timer alerts you, remind yourself to be mindful. Spend the next few minutes practicing mindfulness. This will allow you to refocus your attention on whatever you’re doing at that moment, improving your productivity.

Make Mindfulness a Habit

Mindfulness can help you relieve your stress levels, give you more joy, increase your productivity, and reduce your anxiety. It can also give you a more accurate perspective of the world.

Knowing how to be mindful isn’t enough. Making mindfulness a habit that you rely on throughout the day should be your goal. This is how you use mindfulness to transform your life for the better. While it does take some time, it is time well invested.

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