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We mentioned in our previous blog that meditation is one of the most effective ways to practice mindfulness and build your familiarity with the philosophy on a subconscious level.
However, you can still apply mindfulness on a more informal level as you go about your day.
10 simple tips to mindfulness
Below are 10 practical ways in which you can implement mindfulness and enjoy its immense benefits.
1. Communication. As you speak with another person, draw attention to the sound of their voice and your own. Do so without losing focus on the meaning of the conversation, and kindly remind yourself to acknowledge and let go of any distracting or irrelevant thoughts and feelings.
2. Walking. When you walk, whether it be long or short distance, pay attention to how you feel as you do so. Notice the sensation of your feet as they effortlessly move and make contact with the ground, and bring your attention to the sights, smells and sounds of your journey.
3. Exercise. Just as you do when walking, you can practice mindfulness during more intense physical exercise – such as at the gym. While you may welcome distractions form the physical effort, strain and fatigue, allow your mind to focus on your body and the immediate environment.
4. Working. No matter what you do for a living, there are bound to be times that your mind wanders off into a more pleasant place. Instead, keep your attention on the task at hand without overly exerting yourself to concentrate.
5. Driving. If anyone says they have never day dreamed behind the wheel, they are lying. Next time you hop in the car, focus on driving as safely as possible and to the best of your ability. If your mind wanders a little, gently bring it back to the task at hand.
6. Traveling. A holiday is one of the easiest times to practice being mindful, as it’s often the time you are most looking forward to. However, you can still get caught up thinking about what you need to do when you return or even the next holiday, so take this opportunity to truly experience the moment. Breathe the air. Sit down and watch the world go by. Just be.
7. Waiting. Traffic, queues, trains, waiting rooms – you’re always going to face periods of waiting at certain points in your life, and there is nothing to be achieved by allowing yourself to be overcome with frustration. Acknowledge, accept and let go of these feelings if they arise, and take a moment to observe the immediate environment or practice some informal mindfulness of breath.
8. Music. How often do you sit down and listen to your favourite music without any distractions? Music is a wonderful gift, but it’s often put on in the background while we focus on other things. Try getting comfortable in bed or in your favourite chair and just listening – what instruments can you hear? Are they loud or soft? Just like your breathing meditation, remember to gently bring your mind back to the music if any thoughts float on by.
9. Learning. We often struggle to live in the moment when we do things as second nature. Learning something knew – whether it be through reading, practising a skill or anything else – is a wonderful way to keep yourself present and self-aware. Remember to bring an attitude of curiosity!
10. Acceptance. Pay attention to the people in your life and accept their human nature. Allow yourself to forgive mistakes, accept apologies and maintain a more open mind with those you may disagree with.