5 Ways to be Mindful Every Day

5 Ways To Be Mindful Every Day

We have busy lives; commutes, side-hustles, hobbies, school, family, and friends can take up just as much (or more!) energy as our day-to-day jobs. It can be easy to lose ourselves in our fast-paced, tech-centered world, which can lead to internal discord, stress, and anxiety. Thankfully there are tried and true ways that we can ground ourselves and redirect our energies into healthier practices. If you find yourself distracted or have been noticing a loss of presence in your life, maybe it’s time to evaluate your daily actions and attitudes. How often are you even aware of your actions and attitudes, and how are they serving you? How we project onto others is a reflection of how we project unto ourselves. When you begin to lose sight of your goals, motivations, or self-positivity, it can have an adverse effect on your relationships, progress at work, and mental health. Cultivating mindfulness may seem like an abstract notion, but doing so doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are five simple acts you can take every day to bring a little more presence to your daily life.

Move your body

This is something we do all day long, yet most of the time we are completely unaware of our movements. We get ready for school or work, we go to the store, we climb stairs, opens doors, and wait in lines. Making some time in your day for conscious movement can lead to more bodily awareness throughout the day. This can be as involved as taking a yoga class, running a 5k, or simply doing a few light stretches or exercises in the morning. Taking that time to really focus on the ability of your body to move is a great way to connect your busy mind to its physical vessel. 

Notice something new

Is your commute the same every day? Or maybe you spend a lot of time at home? Allow yourself a moment while driving, or on the train, or in the laundry room to bring your attention to something you may have never noticed before (a storefront or texture of a wall). A few seconds’ focus on this new object or scene can get the mind working in a fresh direction. This is especially helpful when your head seems full of stagnant thoughts or ideas.

Drink an extra glass (or two!) of water

We all know that we need water to survive, that it helps with our diets, and nourishes our bodies. Challenging yourself to drink an extra glass of water throughout the day, or even an extra glass at every meal, may change the way you approach the last few hours of work, or prevent you from needlessly stopping at the vending machine. Plus, a lot of stress can be traced back to dehydration. Drinking more water can calm as well as energize you!

Turn off your devices for one hour

Doing this every day can have a huge effect on increased mindfulness. I’m not talking about putting your phone away for the duration of a class or work meeting, but taking an hour of your day that you would normally be free to check your messages, emails, or social media and allowing yourself to disconnect. It’s okay to alert people to this as well; check in with your friends, family, or co-workers and let them know, or use an auto-response, that you won’t be available for the next 60 minutes. While this may be difficult at first, you will find that your awareness of your self, your surroundings, and your motivations will become emboldened. 

Act with purpose

Have you ever been slicing vegetables, mind drifting off to the next step of the recipe, and cut, or almost cut, your finger? Ever respond too quick to an email and forget to answer an important query? This is because we tend to focus so much on multi-tasking that we falter in the task at hand. Keeping your attention focused intently on your present actions, however mundane they may be, will produce better results that you can feel good about.

Presence is a present that, when given to yourself, can be directed toward many aspects of your life. Applying intention behind your actions, moving with purpose, and becoming aware of your self and the world around you can open up infinite possibilities and allow you to lead your life with more positivity and compassion.

March 4, 2019

Stephanie Berube