7 Daily Habits To Help You Practice Mindfulness Effectively


daily habits help practice mindfulness

“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Do you want to live a healthier, smarter and more peaceful life? Do you want to get better control over your mind and your reactions? Then mindfulness is definitely something you need to start practicing immediately.

Today, we all live busy and confusing lives where we need to multitask and focus on different things altogether just to survive the day. This has led to severe stress and anxiety in most of us and made our lives more hectic than it needs to be. When you practice mindfulness, you will be able to find the necessary balance and peace you need in your life. By being mindful of our awareness, thoughts, emotions, physical sensations and our environment, we will be better able to live in the moment and experience true happiness.

What is mindfulness?

Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be.

– Sonia Ricotti

I am sure you have either read or heard about mindfulness before. Nowadays, most life coaches, psychologists and mental health professionals recommend the practice of mindfulness as it is one of the best tools we have to rewire our minds. However, the practice has been in use for centuries and forms the core of Buddhist beliefs and meditation practices. It will empower you to cope with life better and face challenges with ease.

Mindfulness is a pretty simple and straightforward concept. It refers to your ability to be completely present in the current moment, being aware of your thoughts and emotions, where you are, what you are doing and basically what is going on in your surroundings. When you are fully attending to the time and space you are present in, you are being mindful. However, it is not easy to practice mindfulness.

As you might have experienced already, our mind tends to wander off and goes into autopilot mode. We often become ‘mindless’ and are unable to fully concentrate on the task at hand. We get engaged and obsessed with different, mostly negative, thoughts and worry about the past or the future. This is what gives rise to stress and anxiety. The practice of mindfulness is the exact opposite of being mindless. It helps you snap back to the present moment and allows you to enjoy life as it is right now.

Read How Mindfulness Can Improve Your Overall Mental Health

Being mindful is a practice

The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it. – Thich Nhat Hanh

The only way to practice mindfulness is to maintain a clear and conscious awareness of the moment. You become aware of everything without getting attached or passing any judgments, whether to yourself or others. By paying close attention to your feelings and thoughts you can become an impartial observer and experience life as it happens.

Mindfulness is an innate trait that all of us already own. We simply need to learn how to access and practice it on a continuous basis. There are several techniques that can help you practice mindfulness, like mindfulness meditation along with other practices like yoga and sports activities. Mindfulness also requires acceptance as we need to be aware of our thoughts and emotions without the need for judging them. The practice of mindfulness means we experience the present moment as it is, instead of holding on to the past or worrying about the future. It is one of the most effective stress management tools and is practiced worldwide due to its effects on our physical and mental health.

Read 7 Simple Strategies to Increasing Mindfulness in as Little as 30 Seconds

7 Techniques to practice mindfulness

“Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it.” – Sharon Salzberg

So if you are all geared up to start practicing mindfulness, here are 7 challenging yet effective ways for you to get started. These techniques will not only help you become more mindful but it will also help you create a better life for yourself.

1. Appreciate life and be grateful

Practicing gratitude on a daily basis brings about a drastic change in your mindset. By shifting your focus from what you don’t have in life to being happy with what you already have, you develop an abundance mindset. Set aside sometime every day to reflect and appreciate all the people, experiences, emotions, things and opportunities you currently have in your life. This will enable you to feel more positive, feel alive, be thankful, be more compassionate, be kind and even sleep better.

You can start practicing gratitude by noting down 5 things you are thankful for today. Place the note where you can easily see it. And then keep adding one new item to the list every single day for the next 30 days. By the end of the month, you will have a whole list of things you are thankful and you will be more aware of how truly amazing your life is right now.

Read 50+ Meaningful Quotes on Life That’ll Make You Appreciate Every Moment

2. Take mindful showers

Believe it or not, shower time can be a great opportunity for practicing mindfulness and bringing your focus to the present moment. You can be more aware of your senses and your body. By completely experiencing and engaging in the pleasures of showering your wonderful mind will become more attentive and aware of the current moment you are in.

When in the shower, simply close your eyes and feel the water gently running down your body. Feel the water temperature as it makes your muscles relaxed, making you feel fresh and rejuvenated. Listen closely to the different layers of sound the water makes and let it calm your mind washing away all thoughts and emotions that no longer serve you. Wash your body gently with your hands and feel them moving over your skin. Follow every sensation you experience throughout the entire process of showering and breathe deeply once you are done. I appreciate how relaxed you feel and use this energy throughout the day.

3. Be mindful of what you eat

Mindful eating can help you enjoy your food even more whether you are out for dinner, eating healthy or trying to gain or lose weight. Today, hunger is not the only reason we eat. Stress, depression, and boredom are also some of the main reasons most people start binge eating which eventually affects their health. By being mindful of what food you consume, you will be better able to control your health and how you feel. Food is fuel for us and it gives us the energy we need. It also affects our mood, cognitive skills, and our energy level. So, by paying attention to what we put inside our bodies, we will be better able to control our thoughts and emotions.

When you eat, make sure you eat slowly and focus on the flavors, aroma, and texture of the food. This will help you savor the food and enjoy your meal a lot more. Make sure you eat mindfully and enjoy every bite you take.

Read How Yoga And Mindful Eating Can Be Beneficial For You

4. Go for a mindful walk

Going for a long walk can often help us to clear our mind and make us calm down when we feel stressed. Walking not only exercises the body but also the mind. A Stanford University study has found that walking can be beneficial for our mind and helps us in being creative. While walking, you are constantly taking in and processing new information which puts your mind to work. Walking in nature or in the countryside is often a great idea and can help you to relax by exposing your mind to the open blue sky, greenery of trees, rustling of leaves, birds chirping and the fresh cool breeze. Engaging in a mindful walk, also known as the Zen walk, revitalizes the mind. All you need to do is focus your mind on the movement of your feet, legs and arms, breathe deeply and being aware of your surroundings.

5. Listen carefully

Have you ever tried mindful listening? You will be pleasantly surprised at what you can learn if you only listen a bit carefully. Mindful listening refers to hearing the sounds around you without the need for responding to them. So you not only pay attention to what someone is saying to you but you also focus on the various ambient sounds that we tend to miss.

When we listen to someone speak, we usually listen with the intention of replying back. While they speak, we have our own internal dialogue trying to figure out what to say next. But when you listen mindfully, you start by quieting the noise inside your head and purposely paying attention to what the other person is saying. The objective is to understand the other person instead of just replying. This is one of the best ways to practice mindfulness and enhancing your listening experience. This will also help you to build closer relationships and gain the trust of those who matter to you.

6. Get some mindful rest

Sleep is one of the most important activities we can do in our day. But do you get enough sleep? Do you wake up often? Do you feel well-rested when you wake up or do you just feel groggy? Do you feel tired throughout your day? The fact is, most of us have a disturbed sleep pattern nowadays as we tend to sleep late and wake up early for class or work. This makes us feel exhausted throughout the day and even affects our mood.

Getting good sleep is crucial for your body and mind to function properly. Sleeping helps to rejuvenate our body and mind allowing us to be in better control of our thoughts and emotions. Resting mindfully can not only help you sleep better but it will also help you feel more energetic and fresh. Simply lie down and be conscious of your body and mind. When we lie down at the end of the day, several thoughts run through our minds. Mindful resting requires you to focus your mind and awareness on your body. Bring your attention to each part of your body starting from your feet and going up to your face. Purposefully relax your body and calm your mind as you rest. Focus on your breath, let go of all thoughts and just be present at the moment.

Mindful resting is an excellent practice if you are unable to manage time to meditate or practice mindfulness otherwise. This allows your body and mind to relax and be mindful at the same time.

7. Breathe

One of the simplest and best ways to practice mindfulness is deep breathing. However, it is not as easy as you may think. Being aware of your breath can be very challenging as our mind wanders away frequently. However, deep breathing can be practiced anytime, anywhere and it can significantly reduce stress and anxiety.

You can start with box breathing where you inhale for a count of four, hold your breath for another count of four and then exhale for a count of four. Then you repeat this process for as long as you can. Just make sure you keep your focus on your breath the entire time. This practice will calm your mind and help you experience the present moment by making you mindful.

Read How Mindfulness Meditation For Panic Disorder Can Help You

Be patient with your practice

“We cannot force the development of mindfulness.” – Allen Lokos

These 7 techniques to practice mindfulness are simple, effective and fun but come with a bit of a challenge. You will find it a bit hard to master these mindfulness techniques but the more you practice, the better you will get at it. It takes time to become mindful. So make sure you are patient with yourself and your practice. Take small steps and keep making progress every single day. Soon enough you will become more mindful by practicing these simple mindfulness habits in your daily life.

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