Mindfulness is the ability to be present and aware. It’s a type of meditation focusing on what you feel. Learn how to be mindful.
The practice of mindfulness takes time to achieve.
If you have a lot on your mind, it’s hard to be present. You may even find it hard to relax.
Dr. Margaret Chesney of the University of California, San Francisco, states that most people go through life without being present in the moment.
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So, why should you be mindful? It can help manage stress, anxiety, and depression.
Also, you can improve your well-being with a daily practice of mindfulness.
The following are the best ways to be mindful.
Gratitude is a practical way to be mindful.
When you’re grateful, you focus on the positives in the present. You’ll recognize your blessings and feel more optimistic.
It doesn’t mean life is perfect. But, gratitude encourages you to acknowledge what’s good.
So, celebrate the present by expressing gratitude.
You can write down the things you’re grateful for or think about them in your mind.
Focus on your breath
You don’t have to think about breathing, as it’s a part of life.
Take a moment and focus on your breath. It’s one of the best ways to be mindful.
Consider the way you’re breathing.
Are your breaths shallow or deep? Also, how’s your posture while you breathe?
Take a deep breath in, pause, and let it out slowly. Repeat it five times while you focus on each breath.
Scan your body
Release tension and be mindful of your body with a scan.
It’ll bring awareness and attention to what you’re feeling in the moment.
A body scan takes at least 15 minutes. So, set aside the time before you start.
Once you’re ready to do a body scan, take the following steps:
- Get comfortable by sitting or lying down.
- Focus on your breath while you slow it down.
- Bring awareness to your feet and notice the pressure or sensations.
- Breath deeply into any tension or uncomfortable sensations.
- Do the same thing to each body group as your work up to your head.
While doing a body scan, you may find it better to close your eyes.
The more relaxed you are, the better. So, do what feels the most comfortable.
Notice your senses
One of the fastest ways to be mindful is to notice your senses.
What do you see, smell, hear, feel, or taste?
You’ll bring your attention to the present because you need to stop what you’re doing to focus.
Throughout the day, your senses are non-stop working. At any given moment, bring your full attention to it.
Savor each bite of food
Eating is something you may do automatically.
It’s normal because you may be eating while talking to someone, watching TV, or reading a book.
Practice mindful eating and fully engage in the process.
Be sure to breathe before each bite and listen to your body.
Focus on the taste and texture of your meal. When you’re satisfied, stop eating.
Mindful eating allows you to be in the present and enjoy your food.
Take a break to do nothing
Efficiency, productivity, and hard work are good things. But, they can also lead to an overwhelming day.
So, take a break to do nothing. Put away your phone, work, and be present.
When you allow open space in your day, you’ll be present, and you may find more clarity.
When others are talking, be an active listener. Avoid giving them a fraction of your attention.
Instead, practice mindfulness by giving them your full attention.
Active listening means using body language to show that you’re listening.
Look at the speaker, smile, nod, and provide feedback.
Aside from mindfulness, active listening also benefits your relationships and productivity.
Notice where your mind is
Mindfulness is all about being in the present. So, where is your mind?
If you’re thinking about the future or past, stop, and focus on right now.
Appreciate the present, acknowledge the past, and put away worries about the future.
It allows you to maximize your life and happiness.
Be intentional about what’s happening now, and find joy in the simple pleasures.
Be aware of how you brush your teeth
You brush your teeth twice each day. It’s something you may do on autopilot.
Next time you brush, be mindful. Focus on each tooth and how much pressure you apply.
It’s an excellent way to ensure you practice mindfulness at least twice a day.
Use a mindfulness app
Apps are excellent tools to help you be mindful.
Several apps will guide you through the mindfulness process.
If you need accountability or help, use an app.
Whether you have a few minutes or hours, the following are the best apps to practice mindfulness:
The bottom line
Mindful practices include meditation, acknowledging your thoughts, and finding ways to be present.
Pay attention to what’s happening within and around you.
With daily mindfulness, you can feel more at peace and regulate your emotions.
Whether you have a minute or several hours, be mindful today.
Featured image courtesy of Canva.
About David Em
David Em is the Founder and Managing Editor of Relaxation Hero. He created it to be your ultimate resource for all things relaxation and mindfulness.