Ways to bring mindfulness into your day

While mindfulness may make us think of long sessions of seated meditation, there are other ways to bring mindfulness into your day. Just 6 seconds has an impact

James Godwin

5 minute read

ways to bring mindfulness into your day

The original post I read at Everything Mindfulness. While mindfulness may make us think of long sessions of seated meditation, it is also something that can be practiced at any moment of our day.

And just what does it mean to practice mindfulness? I love Jon Kabat-Zinn’s definition:

“paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally”

At any time of the day, we can bring our awareness to our body, our thoughts, our emotions, and our surroundings. Doing this non-judgmentally means we’re not paying attention in order to determine if we like what’s going on or not — we’re simply accepting what is.

While I think a formal meditation practice is extremely beneficial for bringing mindfulness into our lives, we can also practice moments of “micro-mindfulness,” bringing our attention back to the present moment. It helps us train our awareness to be in tune with our mental and physical states and our habitual ways of interacting with the world.

Below is a list of to bring mindfulness into your day . I am certainly not suggesting that you do all of them every day! Read through the list and see which ideas resonate with you and try a few of them out.

Mindful Awareness of Routine Activities

We can practice bringing our mindful attention to daily activities that are often performed mindlessly. We can pay attention to the movement of the body, and the sights and sounds around us. Perhaps pick one of these activities to serve as your “call to mindfulness” during the day:

  1. Brushing teeth
  2. Taking a shower
  3. Drinking coffee/tea
  4. Eating a meal
  5. Getting out of bed
  6. Getting dressed
  7. Writing a to-do list
  8. Taking your first step outdoors
  9. Waiting in line
  10. Turning on a light switch
  11. Turning on your computer
  12. Exercising/yoga
  13. Opening a book to read
  14. Sitting at a red light
  15. Listening to you ringtone while the phone rings for just a bit longer

Mindful Awareness and Technology

Our devices often take us very far from the present moment. Here are some suggestions for using technology as a mindfulness tool:

  1. Take a deep breath before checking email.
  2. Set an alarm on your phone to go off at certain time of the day {perhaps at lunchtime} to remind you to check in with your breath.
  3. Set your wake screen on your phone to an image that will remind you to take a mindful pause before using it.
  4. Set your email notification sound to a bell and let it be a reminder to bring you back to the present moment each time you hear it. Think of the possibilities!
  5. Once in a while, leave the phone/iPod at home when you go for a walk or run, and just pay attention to the natural world.

Mindful Awareness for Parents

  1. Check on your sleeping littles before you go to bed. Take three deep breaths while watching their deep-sleep breathing.
  2. Let the call of “Mommmmmmmmm!” or “Daaaad” be a reminder for mindfulness!
  3. Make bedtime sacred. I strive to focus my full awareness on the backrubs, the lullabies, and the stories without worrying about all I need to do after they’re in bed.
  4. When picking up the kids after school or work or activities, take a minute to breathe mindfully before shifting back to parent mode.

Mindful Awareness of Cleaning

Cleaning is a way of honoring our physical surroundings and nurturing those who live with us. As you clean, focus on the movements of the body, and the sounds and smells around you. Bring mindful awareness to the acts of:

  1. Dusting
  2. Washing dishes
  3. Folding laundry
  4. Vacuuming {I find this one especially effective because the noise drowns out other distractions!
  5. Cooking
  6. Ironing

Mindful Awareness of the Body

You can “check in” with the sensations of your physical body throughout the day. I find this especially helpful for finding the parts of my body that are tense, and then I imagine breathing in to those parts of my body to relax. Check in with:

  1. Your face — so much stress resides here! Check in with the jaw, the eyes, the forehead…
  2. Your neck and shoulders — a common place where a lot of us carry stress.
  3. Your posture — just straightening up a bit and letting the head rest comfortably on the spine can do wonders for our attention, and our mood!
  4. Your hands, especially if you’ve been working at a computer all day!
  5. Your whole body

Mindful Awareness with Others

Practice bringing your mindful attention to your interactions with others.

  1. Focus on making eye contact with others, on really seeing them.
  2. Practice mindful listening — are you truly listening, or are you looking for your chance to jump in?
  3. Practice gratitude with others — have everyone in the family share one thing they are thankful for each day.

Mindful Breathing

  1. When you feel stressed, sit up straight and take three deep breaths. I usually do this each afternoon at my desk!
  2. Take one minute of the day to focus on the sensations of the breath. Where do you feel the breath — in the abdomen, the lungs, the nose?

I was fortunate enough to have started Tai Chi a moving meditation at a very early age. Practising Tai Chi for over 25 years has allowed me to build a solid foundation to support the most important aspect of EQ development, which is attention training.

If you are interested in supporting yourself or helping the teams you manage, the links below can help you learn more about EQ training.

  1. What is EQ?
  2. Emotional Intelligence Training Course
  3. Learn to meditate with the Just6 App
  4. Meditation and the Science
  5. 7 reasons that emotional intelligence is quickly becoming one of the top sought job skills
  6. The secret to a high salary Emotional intelligence
  7. How to bring mindfulness into your employee wellness program
  8. Google ’Search Inside Yourself’