16 Ways to be Mindful in 2016
16 Ways to be Mindful in 2016 is a written summary of episodes 5 and 6 of my podcast, The Mindful Kind! To listen to these episodes and check out more of this podcast about mindfulness, simply click here.
I hope you enjoy these tips for living more mindfully in 2016!
“What is happening around me right now?”
Ask yourself this question whenever you would like to experience a moment of mindfulness. Tune into your senses, notice your environment and feel whatever emotions are coming up for you. Be curious and open and try to observe as much as you can, without judgement.
Notice the sensations in your body
Take some time to scan through your body and become aware of any areas of tightness, tension or uncomfortableness. Explore these sensations, without necessarily trying to change them.
Turn off technology
Deliberately put your phone away, turn off the tv and put your computer to sleep, especially while you eat or drink. Multi-tasking often minimises the opportunity to be mindful, as we can quickly become overwhelmed.
Connect with daily routines
Most of us have daily routines, such as taking a shower, putting on moisturiser and brushing our hair. Mindfulness can usually be incorporated quite easily into these routines by simply bringing more attention to them! Enjoy the sensation of a quick massage as you put on your moisturiser, feel the warmth of the water as it falls onto your skin while you shower and notice the bristles of your brush detangling your hair.
Tune into your breath
Take a deep breath. Feel your body expanding as the air moves in and the incredible sense of letting go as you exhale. Deep breathing is a wonderful exercise because not only does it bring you into the now, it is also a great stress management tool. Each deep breath is a signal to your body that it is safe and can relax.
Be a mindful listener
I love this mindfulness practice! It's a great way to connect and show people you care. Ask meaningful questions and be interested in conversations with others. Try to avoid multitasking as much as possible and really show up for the person you're speaking with.
Use mindfulness tools
There are so many wonderful mindfulness tools which you can use to bring your focus into the moment, including body mists (I have several from Combardis Elixirs and I love them!), jewellery, books, a drink bottle... Anything which you can use to remind yourself to be present.
Learn new ways to be mindful
There are so many ways to practice mindfulness and I absolutely love to learn new techniques! Try to find unique ways to be more mindful and have some fun along the way!
Mindful walking is a fun and active way to focus on the now! One style of mindful walking is to bring your attention to the movement of your body as you walk. Notice your feet in contact with the ground and peeling away from it with each step. Take the time to slow down and really focus on how this movement feels. You might even like to try this practice where you can take off your shoes and feel the textures beneath your bare feet!
With a piece of paper and a pen, take a few minutes to write down everything you can about the moment you're in. Which thoughts are pushing for your attention? What is going on around you? How are your emotions influencing you? Whatever you feel like you need to write, just write it. Try not to think or judge, simply allow this practice to unfold.
This is one of my daily mindfulness practices and it's something I really enjoy and look forward to. Choose a special cup to become your “mindfulness teacup” and stock up on some delicious flavours of tea! Whenever you pick up that cup, start to tune into the process of creating your cup of tea. Mindfully choose a flavour which resonates with you in that moment, open up your senses and begin to notice sensations, smells, sounds, flavours and things you can see. Listen to the sound of the boiling water, notice the colour as the tea begins to infuse, feel the warmth of the cup and enjoy the flavour as you take each sip.
Do your chores mindfully
We can also find mindfulness in experiences we might not particularly enjoy, such as doing chores. For example, when you're washing the dishes, you can notice the smell of the soap and the warmth of the water and look of the bubbles. Acknowledging the richness of experience in doing chores has actually helped me to enjoy them a whole lot more!
Visualisations are a beautiful way to find calmness, clarity and joy in a given moment. You can choose your favourite place and imagine yourself within that place or use an app which will guide you through a visualisation (such as the Calm app).
There are many ways to be grateful and one practice which beautifully complements mindfulness is being grateful for your body. Take some time to notice your body and focus on all the good things it does for you. Sometimes, it can be easy to take our health for granted and become stuck on our insecurities, when our bodies are such magnificent, resilient and hard-working things. Simply tune into it and say thank you!
Take a break and stretch
This is a lovely, simple way to take a quick, mindful break. Roll your shoulders, stretch your arms above your head, reach down towards your toes and really sink into the wonderful feeling of it!
Create a mindful photo journal
For a fun mindfulness activity, take photos of your favourite little moments throughout your day! If you post something on Instagram, I would absolutely love to see it- feel free to tag me with my username, @rachaelkable.