One thing that’s common amongst most of us is that we lead a busy life. The to-do list is never-ending. There’s a pile of distractions. Everytime a distraction taps on your shoulder, you take at least 15 minutes to go back to what you were doing.
Count the number of interruptions you have in a day and multiply it by 15 minutes. That’s a lot of time lost. As a result, there’s no time to slow down. And no mindspace to pay attention to what’s happening at the moment. No energy to enjoy life as it happens.
If you’re feeling the same way, you’re not alone. More than 60% of American adults are riding the same boat as you. They say they’re too busy to enjoy life. Is the hustle-culture worth being so busy that you miss out on life? When it’s packed schedules, constant overworking and not taking care of yourself, no, it’s not worth it.
The cure for business and burn-out is to shift your priorities to your well-being. One way is to connect with yourself, observe your feelings and better take care of your emotional self—being mindful.
Practicing mindfulness is simply being aware of yourself and your surroundings moment-by-moment. And that happens when you awaken all your senses and focus on the now. Sounds hard? Maybe. But we got your back. We put together 3 easy steps to begin your mindfulness journey.
Mindful Start: Wakeup with Intention
If you’re struggling to get out of bed every morning, that’s a sign that says you don’t have sleep hygiene or you don’t have motivation for the day. The best way to be intentional is to think of your purpose and manifest your goals for the day.
It can be—I want to spend time with myself and journal my thoughts; I want to channel my energy into a mindful meditation; I want to catch-up with a dear friend; I want to be kind to myself and not over-stress; I want to clear up my busy schedule and have fun.
Be realistic about your intentions. Don’t cram a long-term goal into one day. Break into milestones. Make your motivations push you in a healthy way and not overload your mind.
Also read: How to have a blue-free and mindful monday
Mindful Meals: Eat with Pleasure
Do you text/watch TV/check emails while having a meal? Are you eating your meals or are you enjoying it? Do your senses tell you how your food smells and tastes? Or do you mindlessly gobble it down in a rush to be at work on time?
See where we’re getting with this? All we’re trying to say is don’t multitask while eating. Focus all your senses on the food and how you like it. It’s not only good for your mind. It’s good for your body too. Distracted eating can prompt you to eat more and lead to weight gain.
Before it gets there, start building a better relationship with food. It’s not possible to enjoy the meal if you are not feeling relaxed. Slow down and savor your food, delight your taste buds and yourself. That’s all mindful eating is.
Mindful Observation: Stimulate your Senses
Have you frantically searched for something only to later find it right in front of your eyes? While listening to a podcast, have you rewinded multiple times to listen to that last sentence because your mind just kept wandering away from listening? Your senses were half asleep and not fully involved in the activity you were doing.
Distraction is the culprit. Mindful observation is the cure. Mindfulness is being present in the moment. And observation is a way of bringing yourself to be present.
Oftentimes, when we think we’re observing, we’re actually thinking. Observing is noticing an object in your environment. It’s being aware of what’s happening within you and around you. Here are some ways you can truly observe with all your senses:
- Observe your breath. Mind how your chest rises and falls. Listen to your breath sounds as you inhale and exhale.
- Pick an object near you and visually explore it. A flower, a painting, a bag, anything. Relax as you focus your energy on it.
- Give something undivided attention, focus on the little details. Don’t have an agenda or preconceived notions. Keep an open mind.
When you’re new to practicing mindfulness, it’s not always going to be easy. There are many ways. It’s okay to try one of the ways and feel like it’s not working. There’ll be something else better suited for you.
Identify what helps you slow down and draw the business out of your life. As long as you’re tuning out distractions and doing something with full focus, you’re being mindful. Enjoy your everyday life and fully engage in it.