Get Mindful in Your Everyday Life

Sometimes, things get so crazy that you need a little mental break. Some people say you need to “Get out of you own head.”

Mindfulness would suggest the opposite. It would tell you to pause and look closely but dispassionately inside your
head to really see what’s happening to you and around you. Or, as WebMD puts it, “Mindfulness is about observing.
You notice your life with a little distance, instead of reacting emotionally.”

Why do this? Because studies have shown that taking the time to truly be in the moment reduces stress and contributed to better overall health. The good news is that this doesn’t mean you have to stop, cross your legs and meditate. On the contrary: Mindfulness can be practiced in virtually any moment in even the most mundane settings. Following are five examples.

  1. Mindful tooth time. Use the time when you’re brushing your teeth to become aware of your surroundings: the floor under your feet, the smell of toothpaste, the feeling of the brush against your teeth. Focusing on these aspects of this simple practice will nudge stress out of your mind.
  2. Splish-splash mindfulness. Too often, shower time is when the day’s anxiety’s come flooding at us. To block this, slow down and sense the temperature of the water, how the drops feel hitting your skin, the smell of the soap … and watch stress swirl down the drain.
  3. Mindful commute. Instead of driving aggressively, pushing your way into buses and grumbling about the people around you, soak in your commute. Find something pleasant to look at, let sounds come at you individually, focus on whatever you’re touching. You’ll drive tension away.
  4. Domestic mindfulness. Make doing the dishes a special moment by noticing the warmth of the water, the softness of soap bubbles, the texture of the sponge and the sounds you make by scrubbing. You’ll end up with clean dishes and a slower heart rate.
  5. Queue up for mindfulness. Rather than hating waiting in line, consider it an opportunity to absorb the world around you. Think about the way your body is positioned. Feel your feet in your shoes and the weight of anything you have in your hands. Listen to your breathing. The time will pass more quickly – and more beneficially.

Mindfulness shouldn’t be intimidating. You can participate in mindfulness practices – and the benefits they deliver – in small batches in your everyday life. All you have to do is get into your head.

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