Essentially, mindfulness means to be present, and in the moment. It is important that we remind ourselves of this simple fact. All too often we can lose the true essence of mindfulness by over-complicating things or putting all our focus on the act of meditation alone.
Mindfulness is not a random activity that we perform on the meditation cushion, but something we can carry through our everyday lives. Every activity in our life present an opportunity for us to apply mindfulness, and live our lives more fully, in the present moment.
Here are few suggestions on how to integrate mindfulness into your daily life:
Waking up: When you first wake up, take a few mindful breaths. Gently stretch your body, staying mindful of each movement as you stretch. Be mindful of any resistance to getting up or any feelings of rushing into the day.
Eating: Take a minute of silence or reflection before your eat. Connect with your body and relax. Notice the food in front of you. Rate your sensation of hunger from 0 to 10. Slow down while you are eating and pay attention to all your senses involved: what you see, smell, touch, taste. Savor your food.
Speaking: Before you speak take a breath and ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, helpful, inspiring, necessary and kind. If the answer is no maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid.
Driving: Be mindful getting in and out of the car. Use stop signs or lights as times to reconnect with the breath. Transform any moment of waiting to a moment of mindfulness.
Routine Daily Activities: Choose a couple of brief routine activities that you can commit to being mindful of each day, such as: brushing your teeth, showering, washing dishes, petting the dog, getting up from sitting, the entire process of going to the restroom, every time the phone rings. As your mindfulness develops, you can add more routine activities.
Going to sleep: In order to be able to sleep, we have to be able to relax and let go of the day’s stress and tension. Take few minutes to connect with your body and to release all the unnecessary tension. Let go of any mental rumination and focus on your breath for a couple of minutes.
Mindfulness is a practice that trains your brain to be more efficient and better integrated, with less distractibility and improved focus. It minimizes stress and even helps you become your best self.
All it takes is discipline and commitment to a daily practice!
Join our weekly Drop In Mindfulness Classes, every Tuesday in Zurich
Learn Mindfulness with the 8 week MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) Program.