There is no doubt that you are practicing mindfulness every single day whether you know it or not. Whether it is reacting to a scolding cup of coffee or getting annoyed by your neighbors barking husky, at that moment, you are in a state of mindfulness. Whatever the situation, if you are reacting to it immediately there you are living in the moment regardless of how long that feeling or experience lasts. Sometimes it lasts for seconds and some time we carry bad things with us, which in turn take us out of the mindfulness consciousness upon doing so. Far too often we concentrate on the annoyances in our lives, the fears of whats to come, or even just day tripping in our minds to another place and time. By learning these 7 SECRETS TO PRACTICING MINDFULNESS IMMEDIATELY you will be able to develop a practice of gratitude, awareness and peace.
1. TAKE A BREAK: Many of us feel that if we are not busy doing something that we are either being nonproductive or lazy. The truth is you do not have to fill up every second of every day. Schedule a couple of times a day to just zone out and do absolutely nothing. Relax in your favorite chair or shut the door to your office. Whenever and wherever you can make time to do nothing is key to bringing you mindfulness.
2. EXPERIENCE FULLY. When eating your favorite food or enjoying your favorite beverage take the time to really savor them. Notice the textures, aromas and flavors fully. Allow them to envelope your mouth before swallowing. Slow down while dining and your favorite treat will become every more enjoyable.
3. DON’T SPEAK. In most situations involving others the best thing is to step back and remain silent. Even in the face of an argument where you are convinced the other person is in the wrong, by remaining silent you will do a lot more to resolve the situation by not firing back. Most people really like to hear themselves speak so by allowing them to speak their mind you are giving them what they want through recognition. You don’t have to agree with them, nor do you have to even pay attention or really hear what they are saying if you choose not to. Remain silent when you are feeling stressed or irritated and you will be able to bring yourself to a more relaxed state much quicker.
4. CHIME ON. Traffic can be a very stressful situation for all of us. I, myself, used to yell and scream at everyone who ticked me off out on the street. Then one day I found a tiny wind chime and immediately attached it to my cars rearview mirror. Now whenever I am irritated by a traffic issue, I simply hit the chime and allow my mind to absorb the sounds it makes. By listening to the sound it takes me to a state of mindfulness which invites in a soothing sound and soon the traffic around me is less of a troubling situation.
5. LOOK UP. My clients often share that they’d like to see life from a different perspective. At those moments I simply invite them to go outdoors tilt their head and look up. Whether it’s in their own front yard or on a hiking trail in a park, by looking up they soon discover and see things they had never really noticed before. It immediately gives them a new perspective and because the sky and elements are always changing the allow themselves to experience something new over and over again.
6. BREATHE. There is no doubt that breathing is a one of the main things that must be done in order to establish a mindfulness practice. That you breathe is not as important as how you breathe. Slow and concentrated breathing will allow you to get into a more mindful state. Notice your chest and belly rising and falling with each breath you take in. Truly feel your lungs inhale and exhale.
7. MEDITATE. Hardly a secret, any mindfulness or wellness coach will undoubtedly tell you to meditate and I am no different. However, my secret to mindfulness through meditation is that there is NO right or wrong why to meditate. Some people believe that you must meditate for 45 minutes to an hour in a specific zen place to get the full benefits. For those who have time and desire to do it this way, I encourage you to do so. But if you are a little less conventional fear not because meditation can be done anywhere for anytime. Whether its in a monastery for hours or on the stair stepper at the gym for a quick warm up, however you choose to meditate will have benefits. The key is to meditate in your own time and space.