There’s a lot of talk these days about being mindful and living in the present. However, the concept of mindfulness can be confusing to people because you already live in the present or the here and now.
Shockingly, you may be surprised to learn that you’re only about ten percent aware of the things around you, according to Forbes Magazine.
Your mind and body are fully awake, but you only exist each day. Did you know that many people walk around in a dream-like state because they’re so disconnected from the world around them? When your mind is drifting, then you cannot be focused on the things around you.
For many folks, it’s the past that seems to be ever-present on their mind. Other people worry about the future and making sure they have enough to sustain them in life. Then, you have churning thoughts caused by judgments and responses to the things you pay attention to.
It’s sad when you think that you are missing out on so much of your life. No wonder so many people feel shallow, hollow, and have an unsettled sense on the inside. The good news is that you can take steps to correct these issues and be much happier.
Adopt These Ten Habits to Help You to Implement Mindfulness in Your Life
Are you ready to be more connected with the here and now? Do you long to practice mindfulness to enhance your life and be a happier person? Here are some easy habits that you can implement into this new lifestyle of being present in the moment.
1. Connect with Your Senses
You’re driving down a country road with the radio blasting some great tunes. Suddenly, you pull into your destination without realizing the turns you made or how you got there. All you know is that you went from point A to point B and made it safely.
Many people experience these types of happenstances because they’re on autopilot. Your brain takes over and knows what to do, so you temporarily check out a bit. Should a car honk at you or you must slam on your breaks, you would instantly break this autopilot sensation.
How different would your trip be if you rolled down the window, let the fresh air hit you in the face, smell the fragrant flowers permeating the air, and gaze at the sunshine? Getting in touch with your senses is an excellent way to be present at the moment. Mindfulness is about not missing those little opportunities that enhance your life.
2. Eating Thoughtfully to Improve Mindfulness
How many times do you grab something to eat in the cabinet without giving it much thought? You don’t consider how much protein you’ve had that day or if your carbohydrate consumption is too high. You eat because you’re hungry.
To eat mindfully is to pay attention to what you put in your mouth. When you take inventory of your diet, you will feel so much better. According to the USDA, you need 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
When is the last time that you met that goal? When you pay attention to every bite you take, it will be easier to maintain your weight, improve your mental health, and live a happier life.
3. Examine Your Breaths
Have you ever noticed your breathing? When you’re running or walking up a flight of stairs, it becomes more labored. However, when you’re resting in bed, it’s quite shallow and slower. Did you know that mindfully breathing is a great way to control anxiety and panic disorder?
Yes, by observing your breaths and learning how to control them, you can stop anxiety in its tracks. The American Institute of Stress states that those who spend just 20-30 minutes a day doing controlled breathing can ease their anxiety. Additionally, you can decrease your heart rate as well as muscle tension.
4. Walking Thoughtfully
It may sound bizarre to say that you need to walk mindfully. However, you should pay attention to the beauty that’s all around you. Take your shoes off to connect you to Mother Earth.
Each step you take should feel as if you’re kissing the ground with your feet. Watch how you move your body as you stroll by and feel each muscle group working in your support. Take note of five things with your senses, such as colors, sounds, smells, and feelings.
You may walk the same street every day, but when you start practicing being mindful, it may look like a whole new area you’re exploring.
5. Listen Passionately
One common complaint among women is that their husbands don’t listen to what they’re saying. Sure, they’re sitting there and nodding their head, but they have zoned out and couldn’t repeat what they’ve been told. Men, no doubt, say the same thing about their wives.
Try really listening to your spouse, family members, and friends. Hear every word they say, and act as you care about their conversation. Even if they seem to prattle on things that don’t interest you, be present in the conversation. Mindfulness can teach you about respect and compassion for fellow human beings too.
Many folks have automated responses or actions to things. For instance, when you get an email, you jump to open the app and see what it’s about. When your children yell for you, you instantly respond.
What if you sat back and took a minute before you did or said anything? How many times have you been told that you need to think before you speak? There were indeed occasions when you wish you could take back some of the words or actions that were done without thinking.
Mindfulness teaches you to slow down and not to be so quick to respond. Think about the words you use as well as your reactions. This simple habit can change your life.
7. Mix Up Your Routine
Remember how you were driving and arrived at your destination without any thought? Well, it’s because you’re on autopilot from your routine. If you awaken at 6 am, shower at seven, and arrive at work by nine, then you’ve become so automated that your life is boring.
Is it any wonder that people become depressed or anxious? The old saying that variety is the spice of life is undoubtedly an accurate adage. If you want to be happy, learn to relax, and have a good time, then you need to mix things up a bit.