Mindfulness refers to the ability of a person to stay in the present time and moment and focus his or her thoughts on all that is occurring in real time. It refers to the ability to not think about either the future or the past but instead, focusing on the things occurring in the present moment.
Studies show that mindfulness has various proven benefits, such as reducing chronic pain, depression and anxiety, lowering stress levels in the body and improving the quality of sleep.
Mindfulness is also useful in achieving various objectives, such as getting success in a new project or managing to lose weight. From the perspective of leadership, it can be useful in staying focused – so as to manage people more effectively or handle external challenges. Mindfulness is a vital practice that can help anybody to lead a meaningful and happy existence. These are 5 simple mindfulness activities for daily life that you should practice everyday.
1. Observe your surroundings
It is a good idea to practice this when you are outdoors. Simply focus on all that is happening around you. It could be the light of the Sun, the leaves of trees that are blowing in the wind, a beautiful flower, people walking by, the traffic etc.
This can be practiced while going on a hike or for a walk, or even when you are just sitting on your yard or patio.
In many cases, when other people speak, we are engrossed half in a world of our own – thinking about something or thinking about how we should respond to those persons. Before a person before us finishes speaking, we are out of tune about halfway.
So the next time, while having a conversation, it is a good idea to try listening actively and paying complete attention to whatever the other person speaks to you. Try to listen with your intuition, heart and ears. When you practice mindful listening, you will be surprised to notice a big change in the quality of your conversations.
2. Get more aware of your body
It is important to note that your physical body functions without you participating actively in all the processes. In other words, your physical functions – such as constant beating of heart, automatic breathing etc, keep going on irrespective of the things that you do. However, through various sensations in the body, you can get messages from your internals constantly. Try to be aware of your body and think about what you can perceive.
Try to consider these questions:
- Do you feel light or heavy?
- Are you experiencing pain or aches?
- Do you think you are holding some tension?
When you are more attentive to your body, it can be useful in aligning your attention to the ‘here and now’. It can also get you connected to the information required to take more care of your own body.
3. Observe your thoughts
It can be fun for you to start observing your own thoughts from now on. It might be difficult in the beginning but the more you practice this, the easier it can become over a period of time.
Try to pay attention to your feelings. At any given moment, the emotions that you feel are one of the ways that the body communicates with you. All through the day, you might experience various emotions – ranging from sadness to joy, confusion to anger, contentment to dissatisfaction and more. When you pay more attention to your emotions and observe your thought processes, you can get more awareness about yourself. Keep in mind that your emotions do not affect only your own individual health but the health of others around you as well.
You can start by focusing on your own breath, which can be a good starting point to bring your attention to the present moment. Your breathing happens, with or without you being conscious of the process. However, when you are attentive to your breathing process, you can actually make your mind focus.
Try to notice the way that you are breathing. Are you taking deep breaths or shallow breath?
Try to take deep breaths from your belly for 5 times and focus all your attention on your inhalation and exhalation activities. Repeat this for three times and practice it for many times throughout the day.
4. Get more aware of your sensory experiences
If you find it really difficult to stay mindful, one of the easiest ways to do so is to bring your attention completely to the present moment.
Stop thinking about everything else and focus on your sensory experiences at the present moment. What are you feeling through your five senses?
- What is going on before your eyes?
- What are the scents that you can smell?
- What are the noises that you can hear?
- How is the taste in your tongue like, at the moment?
- What kind of temperature are you experiencing with the help of your skin?
No matter where you are and whatever you are doing, try to be fully attentive to the “here and now” for a few moments, in order to practice focusing on the exact present moment.
5. Practice gratitude
Mindfulness and meditation go hand in hand. When you practice gratitude, you actually focus your complete attention on your life at the present moment and all the positive things that are going on in your state of existence.
All the positive things are always at the front of your mind when you do that. You can easily focus on the good things in your life, rather than regretting about the past or fretting about the future.
With mindfulness, all your activities can be much easier – given that the more focused you are, the better everything is going to be. You can complete all your tasks much better, with little room for any error, and feel happier about being in charge of your life. You can feel refreshed and more inspired about your future, and can be able to reduce a lot of clutter inside your brain every day.