5 Easy Ways to Practice Mindfulness
Life gets busy.
Especially this time of year, it’s like life is suddenly on fast forward. Holidays and school and events and obligations all start up again this time of year.
It’s easy to get caught up in the stresses of life.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the whirlwind of obligations, checking your boxes and going through a daily routine of busy-busy-busy-ness.
And if you’re trying to live a serene, mindful life, it can be hard sometimes to do the things that allow you to be mindful.
Maybe you don’t have time to go to a yoga class - with the baby and the other kids always needing a lot of care, the laundry isn’t going to do itself, and you have to tackle that pile of clutter in the garage so you can park the car inside. You may not have the ability, time, money or inclination and energy to go on retreat in Moab, or take a vacation to Hawaii, or have a spa day with the girls.
Mindfulness doesn’t have to be a five day silent retreat though. It can be far more simple.
Being busy people, we came up with the ways that we are able to be more mindful, calm down, de-stress and live in the moment. Here are our top 5 ways to practice mindfulness that are both quick and easy!
5. Drink a cup of tea
Or coffee or apple cider or hot chocolate or whatever floats your boat. As long as it’s a hot beverage that you enjoy, that’s the important part of this exercise.
I want you to take this hot cup and drink it. No, really drink it - hold it in your hands, feel the warmth and the steam rising from it touching your face. Inhale the aroma of your drink, and take your first sip.
Yes, there may be problems you’ll have to solve, and things that may need your attention. But for a couple of minutes, you can enjoy this hot cup of deliciousness.
4. Go for a walk
Walking has been scientifically proven to help clear the mind and get endorphins going. While you might prefer to run, walking is much less strenuous and allows you to focus a bit more on other things.
Kee-ju and I take a walk every night that we can, catching up on our days and talking about the things on our minds. Sometimes it’s with the dogs, sometimes it’s with a cup of coffee, sometimes it’s just the two of us. But we find that some of our best communication and best ideas come from our walks. And on the flip side, it helps to take a walk when you are stressed out - it helps to alleviate it and put things into perspective.
3. Play with your pets - your dog/cat/bird/goats/horse
Animals are like the best part of us distilled into a physical living and breathing being. Our Great Dane for instance is probably the friendliest dog you will ever meet - he is always excited about everything and wants to meet everybody.
He has so much love for me, he doesn’t quite know how to express sit, so in typical Great Dane fashion he presses himself up against me, rubs along my legs and thrusts his head onto my hand.
How can you not love him? How can you not love a dog that just wants to show you how much it loves you?
Alternatively, when we had livestock - chickens, I mean - they worked in a different way. I would go out to the chicken coop to relax and de-stress by watching them chase each other around and explore.
Whatever animals you have in your life - whether with paws, wings, hooves or fins - spend some time with them, and enjoy the moment.
2. Watch a movie in the movie theater
I’m probably going to catch some flack for this one.
”What?? Isn’t seeing a movie technically a distraction?”
Technically, yes. And for many people it may not be a way to be mindful and live in the moment. And I totally get that.
But for me, my mind is always going. It’s always racing, trying to figure out the next step of what I have to do and what I have to accomplish. I’m notoriously terrible at relaxing and not doing something.
Going to a movie forces me to shut up my brain and just immerse myself for an hour or two. Its honestly a huge relief to be able to let go of everything for a little while.
Give it a try and see if it works for you. Even if that doesn’t work, you can always try my last suggestion
1. Have dinner with friends or family
There’s nothing quite like sitting down to a meal with people you love and whose company you enjoy.
Being pack animals by nature, we are programmed to be social with each other. Getting away from that is stressful, and sometimes you need the company of people other than family and other than coworkers.
Sometimes we like going out for the experience - usually to a pho or sushi restaurant - but we also love to cook for people as well. It can be as fancy or as simple as you would like, but the most important part is spending time with people who are a positive and optimistic influence on your life.
So there you have it. 5 easy ways to practice mindfulness on a daily basis. They’re not that revolutionary or crazy - they may be things you’re doing already! Just try to be mindful and enjoying the time that you have set aside to be appreciative of the experience, the journey.
Hope this helps! Do you have any other ways you’d suggest of practicing mindfulness?