7 ways to bring mindfulness into your day

7 ways to bring mindfulness into your day

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This article was made possible thanks to Myer, Australia’s largest department store.

Learn more at myer.com.au

In our busy daily lives, your attention can be pulled in many different directions. From constant thoughts to notifications on your phone, it’s safe to say that we can all feel a little untethered from time to time.

That’s where the practice of mindfulness can help.

Mindfulness is about being actively present in the moment and allowing thoughts, feelings and sensations to come and go without needing to do anything with them.

Even a few minutes of quiet contemplation can help reduce stress levels, increase creativity, and help you gain some insight into your inner world. You may find that mindfulness brings an awareness of how your body is holding stress, or your thoughts are circling certain worries, leaving you feeling on edge.

Setting aside an hour for meditation may be difficult in our busy everyday life, but there are little things you can do throughout the day to slow down and reconnect with yourself.

Here are seven ways you can bring mindfulness into your day.

1. Body awareness

When stress mounts and you start to feel unfocused, simply stop and direct your attention to each of the five senses, while maintaining deep, steady breaths.

Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Notice the way the air feels as it moves in and out through your nostrils and how your chest expands. Pay attention to your body, the sensation of different parts resting against the chair and the feeling of the ground beneath your feet. What can you hear? What can you smell? Is the air warm or cool? How do your clothes feel against your skin?

This practice can help to calm the nervous system and bring you back down from a heightened emotional state. The best part is that you can do it anywhere, anytime you’re not actively engaged in another physical activity, and it doesn’t cost a thing.

2. Stretch it out

Mindfulness has always been a key part of the practice of yoga. Whether you prefer to go to class, or create your own zen from home, bringing mindfulness down to the yoga mat is a great way to break up your day.

Being mindful and aware during any physical activity creates an alert focus to whatever you’re doing in that exact moment and can transform the movement into a form of meditation.

As you move through the different poses, take note of your body. Are you carrying tension in a certain area? Or are your thoughts running wild? Even five or 10 minutes of stretching can make a real difference!

3. Observe the world around you

If you have a bit of time and the weather permits, get up and take a stroll outside. Walk slowly, take the time to engage your senses, notice your feet’s rhythm on the ground, the fresh air filling your lungs, the sights and sounds around you.

Observe the textures, colours and scents of plants, the colour of the sky and any clouds, noises such as bird calls, the hum of insects or the gentle hush of the wind.

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4. Mindful journaling

An extension of writing down your thoughts is to begin a mindfulness journal.

The great thing about journaling is that you can use any style or techniques that you like, from simple descriptive writing to detailed illustrations and everything in between.

The key is to access those deep thoughts and emotions and express them on paper. While you may write about certain events to provide context, your main focus should be how your mind and heart respond to those events.

If you’re feeling stuck, try looking up some journaling prompts to get you started.

5. Be grateful

Taking a moment to think about what we’re grateful for is a powerful mindfulness tool that actively helps to replace negative or stress-producing thought cycles with positive contemplations. Gratitude is also an easy thing to work into journaling and can make for the perfect prompt!

The practice of gratitude has many well-documented benefits across all facets of life, including personal wellbeing, relationships with others and resilience to cope with life’s challenges.

6. Practise active listening

One of the areas that mindfulness can really improve our lives is our communication in relationships.

It can be easy for your mind to wander while someone else is talking, heading off on tangents or running through the never-ending mental to-do list.

Next time  you’re chatting to a friend or talking with a colleague, employer or customer, try active listening. Actively concentrate on what is being said rather than just ‘hearing’ the speaker:

  • Make eye contact while the other person speaks and use body language to show that you’re interested
  • Paraphrase what has been said rather than offering advice or opinions
  • Don’t interrupt
  • Watch their body language to pick up on how the speaker is feeling.

Making a conscious decision to be fully present not only builds better communication, but letting go of competing thoughts can help reduce some of your immediate stress.

7. Get app-y

These days there really is an app for everything, and that includes a variety of mobile and web applications aimed at helping users to engage in mindfulness.

Whether you enjoy guided meditation or prefer to work from prompts, there’s a style of app to suit just about everyone.

You can also check out various astrology apps that could help you understand yourself better. The best astrology apps will give you insights into how the movements of the celestial bodies affect your state of mind and temperament. These insights can aid you in getting a deeper state of mindfulness.

Mindfulness takes practice – no one is good at it first go! So, if you find your mind wanders as you go, stick with it. With practice and patience, you’ll get a lot better and eventually you’ll start to practise mindfulness without much effort at all!

Myer logo

This article was made possible thanks to Myer, Australia’s largest department store.

Learn more at myer.com.au