Mindfulness isn’t just a buzzword that’s become popular among Yoga practitioners and self-help gurus; it’s a lifestyle practice that can help you to be much more self-aware.
The practice is all about nonjudgmental awareness of the moment, which helps you to recognize your feelings, behaviors, thoughts, and reactions. You’ll find mindfulness makes it easier for you to pinpoint the stressors and triggers in your life, as well as give you clear insight into why you do, talk, and think in a certain way.
Being more mindful doesn’t require endless hours of meditation—all it takes is a bit of practice! Self-awareness can come with a few minutes of mindfulness every day.
Try these simple tips for a more mindful, conscious life:
Put Down Your Devices –When you’re focused on your phone, tablet, or computer screen, you’re oblivious to the world moving past around you. Next time you’re out and about, set down your phone and just sit and look at everything going on. Try people-watching, and think about the lives of the people walking past. Be more conscious of what you’re doing, where you are, and what’s happening around you. You’ll find yourself much more aware of the present moment if you disengage from your devices.
Look Around –We can become so familiar with our environment that we stop noticing the splendor. Don’t let that be you! Look outside the window, but don’t just see the “scenery” at large. Instead, spend a few minutes taking in the details of each building in your city skyline, or each tree in the nearby forest. Focus on each item for a few seconds before moving on to the next. It’s a form of meditation that helps you to become more aware of individual things around you.
Listen Closely – Close your eyes and listen to what’s happening around you. Pay attention to each individual sound: the honking of horns, the rumbling of car engines, the conversations around the office, the whirr and buzz of machinery, and everything else. Listening will help you be much more aware of your environment.
Appreciate Things Out Loud –You may enjoy a meal, a movie, a conversation, or a game, but do you actually tell people how you feel? Sharing your appreciation for things helps you to be more aware of why you enjoyed them and what you enjoyed about them. If someone does something nice, vocalize your gratitude. If the meal’s good, compliment the chef. If a movie was enjoyable, talk about it with someone else. Thank your friends for a nice conversation or a fun game night. The more vocal you are with your gratitude, the more you’ll come to realize that you have a lot to be grateful for.
Compliment People –You can even do it with total strangers! People like to feel appreciated, and compliments are the best way to show them that appreciation. Find a way to say something nice to at least ten people a day, whether in the office, at your favorite restaurant, or at home. Look for something to compliment others on—don’t just rely on the typical compliments, but find something unique for each individual. The more you start looking for positive traits in others, the more you’ll start to see them!
Be Aware of Your Body – How are you sitting right now? Are you slouched in your chair, hunched over your phone, or standing or sitting straight? Is your breathing relaxed and regular? Are your joints and muscles tight or in need of stretching? Focus on the sensations in your body, and be aware of problems with your posture or movement. You can prevent a lot of aches and pains with a bit more physical self-awareness.
Look to Do Random Acts of Kindness – You have a lot to be grateful for, and you can show that gratitude by passing on your blessings. That doesn’t mean you need to become the next Mother Theresa, but you can certainly be more aware of ways to help others. Focus on doing at least one random act of kindness every day—from buying food for a homeless person to helping a friend with work to listening to someone with a heavy heart. You’ll be much more mindful of what’s going on around you if you’re actively looking to spread kindness and gratitude around.
Mindfulness is the key to a healthier, happier life. These tips will help you be more mindful, leading to a life you can enjoy to the fullest!