Are you unsure of how to balance your responsibilities and maintain a sense of calm and wellbeing in your life?
Does busywork consume your day, rather than the day being an expression of your values and intentions?
Mindfulness, the ability to fully bring your attention to the present moment, can provide you with a life of greater joy, power, and satisfaction.
The more you are able to completely be with what is happening in the now, the more you are able to consciously design your life.
Mindfulness does not require fancy equipment, meditating in deep caves, or even a large time commitment.
Mindfulness does, however, require an intention to practice each and every day, for a minimum of 10 minutes, with as few exceptions as possible.
7 Simple Things You Can Do to Bring Mindfulness into Your Life:
- Set your alarm 5 minutes early (or go to bed 5 minutes later at night). Sit in a comfortable position, with your back straight. Focus on the natural breath at the belly. When your mind wanders, bring it back to the breath at the belly.
- Each time you answer the phone or change tasks, take three deep belly breaths.
- Schedule a 5 minute Mindfulness break in your calendar. Sitting with your back straight, watching the clock at the bottom of your computer screen, focus on the breath for 5 minutes. When your mind wanders, bring it back to the breath. (Your eyes are open in case someone comes in!)
- Next time you are in conversation, focus only on what the person is saying, and on their expression and body language. When your thoughts go to what you will say, bring your mind back to just listening. Pause before responding.
- Take 10-15 minutes of your lunch break to just eat. No computer, no reading, no checking blackberry. Notice the appearance of your food, the smells, the taste, the act of chewing and swallowing, and any thoughts that arise in your mind. When your mind wanders, come back to just eating.
- Next time you are walking, pay attention to the act of walking. The sensation of your feet upon the earth, your body positioning, the thoughts in your mind, your surroundings. Allow yourself to feel the joy of just walking, and if outside, of the amazing nature that surrounds you.
- When a negative emotion arises (anger, frustration, impatience), perhaps when driving or standing in line, notice the body sensations related to the emotion – clenched jaw, tight stomach, hunched shoulders… as well as the thoughts surrounding the emotion – this is unacceptable, I have better things to do, this is his fault… If possible, separate the thoughts from the body sensations. Ask yourself if the thoughts are serving you. Consider letting them go. Focus on your breath instead. Find something in the moment to be grateful for.