Master Daily Mindfulness With These 10 Best Easy Steps
We’re all looking for ways to be happier, healthier, and more successful in our lives and there is tons of research now that shows mindfulness is almost a magic pill to achieve all these things.
But life is busy! It might seem like an impossible task to master daily mindfulness, but in this post, we’ll look at 10 ways that you can easily fit mindfulness into your daily life.
What is Mindfulness?
So if you’re not familiar with mindfulness, it’s the practice of paying attention to the present moment with a non-judgmental and accepting attitude.
It involves bringing your attention to your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations, without trying to change or suppress them.
The goal of mindfulness is to cultivate a sense of awareness and acceptance, which can help reduce stress, improve well-being, and enhance the overall quality of our life.
With regular practice, mindfulness can help us become more present in our daily lives and connect with ourselves and the world around us in a more meaningful way.
Mindfulness Vs. Other Mental Health Techniques
While there are various mental health techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), mindfulness holds a unique position.
Unlike these therapies which may require a professional practitioner, mindfulness can be practiced by anyone, anywhere.
It’s not about changing our thoughts or emotions, as is the goal with techniques like CBT, but instead, mindfulness encourages us to change our relationship with those thoughts and emotions.
It’s a more self-guided practice that can be integrated seamlessly into our everyday life – while eating, walking, or even washing dishes, as we’ll discuss later.
This isn’t to say that one technique is superior to the other; each has its place and can be beneficial depending on the individual and their specific needs.
For instance, someone with severe anxiety might benefit from a more structured approach like CBT, while someone seeking to increase their overall awareness and presence in their daily life might find mindfulness more beneficial.
Importantly, mindfulness can be an excellent complementary practice to these other techniques.
For instance, DBT incorporates mindfulness as one of its core skills. Similarly, ACT employs mindfulness as a strategy to help individuals accept and embrace their thoughts and feelings rather than trying to change or avoid them.
In essence, mindfulness can be seen as a foundational mental health practice, enhancing not only our ability to engage with the present moment but also potentially boosting the effectiveness of other therapeutic techniques when used in combination.
Why Should You Practice Mindfulness?
There is a growing list of benefits associated with practicing mindfulness. Mindfulness is a powerful tool for reducing stress, increasing well-being, and improving the overall quality of life.
The good news is that you don’t need to spend hours meditating or practicing yoga to experience the benefits of mindfulness. Mindfulness benefits include:
- Mindfulness reduces stress and anxiety
- Mindfulness practice improves mental health
- Mindfulness increases focus and concentration
- Mindfulness enhances physical health
- Mindfulness increases well-being
Related: 5 Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation
Cultivating Mindfulness in Your Daily Life
The simplest way to master daily mindfulness is to adopt practices that are easy to fit into your life.
Just like physical exercises, you are more likely to enjoy and continue a practice when it is easy to do, you enjoy doing it, and you see the results quickly.
So these are the 10 things you can do every day to improve your mindfulness.
Master Daily Mindfulness With These 10 Best Easy Steps
The following is a long list, and not all of these need to be attempted at the same time, especially when you’re first starting.
Perhaps practice one or two that you think will help the most until it becomes second nature and then move on to the next.
1: Mindful eating
As someone who was previously a fast eater, mindful eating has helped my digestion as well as my mental well-being.
In a US study, they found that 88% of Americans eat dinner while staring at a screen. Eating mindfully can have several benefits:
- You’re less likely to overeat. Taking time to eat makes you more aware of how much you’ve eaten and gives you more time to digest your food and feel full when you’ve eaten enough.
- You will be more grateful. You don’t have to be eating at a Michelin-star restaurant to appreciate what you eat, being mindful when you eat turns your focus from outside to the taste, smell, and texture of the food you are eating. Those who read my newsletter, or follow my posts, know how much I love my morning coffee.
- Improved digestion. Mindful eating improves digestion, with improves our ability to absorb vitamins and minerals from our food.
- A small moment of joy. Sounds a little out there, but spending the time to enjoy your eating becomes something to look forward to, not just something to keep you alive.
To eat mindfully, all you need to do is use as many senses as you can to explore the food and make each bite intentional. What is the texture? What is the Aroma? What is the temperature? How would you describe the taste?
2: Don’t look at you’re phone first thing in the morning
If there is one thing you do to master daily mindfulness, it’s not looking at your phone the first thing you wake up.
This habit is toxic to your mind as it starts you on your journey for the rest of the day to be the complete opposite, mindless, about everything that is happening around you.
The normal recommended amount is to avoid looking at a digital device at least an hour after waking.
If I am working from home, I will leave my phone face down until after I have showered, made my coffee, and usually will look at my phone while I am logging in.
If I am going into the office (yes, I have a day job) then I’ll leave my phone in my pocket until I’m finally on the train.
3: List what you are grateful for
In a study of people that practiced gratitude, they found that people were generally happier and more satisfied with their lives. The opposite of worrying about everything would lead to greater dissatisfaction with all areas of their life.
Practicing gratitude can take the form of mindful journaling, writing down all things you are grateful for, or just trying to identify daily three things, you are grateful for.
My wife and I practice listing three things we are grateful for (usually while hugging) when we are feeling a little low (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve spent winter in London).
4: Mindful breathing
Breathing is the bridge between your body and mind. When we have stressed our breath is short and shallow, and when we are calm our breaths are long and slow, and deep.
But our breath isn’t just a reaction to how we’re feeling, we can also change our breathing to change how we feel. One of the simplest ways to master daily mindfulness is to notice and pay attention to our breath when our emotions are heightened.
A popular breathing exercise is 4-7-8 breathing. start by letting all the air out of your lungs, breathe in for a count of four, hold for a count of seven, and then breath out for a count of eight. Repeat this two or three times until you feel calmer.
5: Mindful walking
I’m going to be honest, this is going to feel a little weird the first time you try it. But mindful walking is probably the next best thing to mindful breathing when it comes to ways to practice mindfulness at any time of day.
In fact, in some ways, it’s better, because you could be mindfully walking to the coffee machine at work, and no one would know that you’d be doing it mindfully.
Just like mindful breathing, mindful walking is about honing your senses on all your sensations as you walk. You can either fully focus on the sensation of feeling your steps, how your feet land on the ground, and how your clothes feel against your skin, or you can be mindful of what you see or hear around you. What’s important is that you keep your mind in the present.
6: Active listening
Are you still paying attention? How many times are you in a conversation and your mind is elsewhere?
Active listening is really focusing on what someone is saying, and asking questions to make sure what’s being said. This is a great interpersonal skill both personally and professionally, but active listening is also a mindful practice that has the same benefits as the other options.
7: Practice art
Not something that’s normally documented in mindful exercises, but different forms of art are usually a great way of keeping your mind present.
Whether, you’re painting, sculpting, or playing an instrument, art is a pleasurable way that keeps you mentally anchored to the present moment.
If you’ve never practiced anything artistic before, this is all the better as it takes more focus to learn the skill, which just keeps you more mindful.
Exercising involves directing your attention toward the sensations of your body, breathing, and the movements of your body.
This can help in clearing your mind of distractions and ceaseless thoughts, as well as help foster a positive and nurturing relationship with your body.
Not only do you enjoy the health benefits of exercise, but you become attuned to your body and practice being present without even trying.
9: Chose your mindful activity
The great thing about mindfulness is that you can do it with any activity. Try to set yourself the intention of doing one activity mindfully each day.
Filling the dishwasher, watering the plants, having a shower, any of these activities can help you master daily mindfulness.
Your mind will wander while you’re doing this, and that’s perfectly natural. When it happens, just notice that your mind has wandered, and bring your attention back to the task at hand.
You don’t have to meditate to be mindful. There is a difference between mindfulness and mindfulness meditation. Where mindfulness can be done anywhere at any time, mindful meditation is about setting time to practice on your body or surroundings to remain in the present.
You might want to practice some mindful breathing with this ZenGuided guided meditation on YouTube.
Practicing mindfulness can have a profound impact on our overall well-being and quality of life.
By taking just a few minutes each day to incorporate any of the 10 practices listed above into our daily routine, we can cultivate a greater sense of presence, awareness, and appreciation for the world around us.
These practices don’t require any special equipment or training, and they can be easily incorporated into even the busiest of schedules.
By prioritizing mindfulness and committing to these simple daily habits, we can reduce stress, find peace in the present moment, and live a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
So why not give them a try? You may be surprised at the difference they can make.
What to read next: 9 Different Types of Meditation
Disclaimer: The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and should not be considered professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms of any mental health condition, please consult a qualified healthcare professional.