We’re sure you’ve heard about mindfulness a zillion times by now, but it is one of those things that’s hard to appreciate until you’ve really used it.
We totally get that ‘mindfulness’ can sound a bit… ethereal. And beyond that meditation can seem daunting. How do you even begin to quiet your mind in this overly-stimulated world? And if you have kids running around? Forget about getting into a zen headspace.
But the great thing about mindfulness is that you can use it in your daily life, and bring in moments of peace that add up over time and can really make a difference.
So quick recap: what is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is defined as a state of consciousness where you direct your full attention and focus on the present moment alone – it’s about being aware of your sensations and feelings in that very instance.
The benefits have been experienced for thousands of years and across so many different cultures and beliefs. From reducing stress to improving relationships, and promoting an overall sense of health and wellbeing – a little bit of daily mindfulness can go a long way.
Why mindfulness over other forms of meditation?
When it comes to meditative practices and wellness exercises we love mindfulness most because it’s not something you have to go out of your way to do. It doesn’t have to be another item to add to your self-care to-do list, but just something you do alongside other daily activities.
You can easily build it into your busy life and in the process feel more in control of all that you have going on. That’s what mindfulness is about; teaching us how to be in our present moment and show that we can control our thoughts and reactions — which is really empowering.
So, we’ve got 5 tips for how you can use mindfulness in your daily life, especially as a busy mom.
5 Ways To Use Mindfulness In Your Daily Life
Hit the snooze button for ‘5 more minutes’
Yes, use the snooze! But rather than shutting your eyes to grab a few more minutes of (ultimately unrestful) sleep, use it as a 5-10 minute timer for mindfulness.
Stay in bed — keeping your eyes shut if it helps — and just focus on how your body feels at that very moment, after a night of sleep. Focus on this new day and having a fresh start and just let yourself be. It’s a delicious way to wake up.
Pair it with an existing daily activity
As we said, you don’t have to go out of your way to have a mindful moment! Think about the things you do on a regular basis: brushing your teeth, doing the dishes, commuting to work, walking the dog, you get the gist.
Every time you do that activity try to bring yourself into a mindful space, focusing only on the task at hand, absorbing yourself in that single act. Linking your mindfulness meditation to the same thing every day will help you build consistency with the practice, so it can more quickly become a habit.
Listen to triggers
We can’t always be proactive in our wellness efforts, sometimes we have to react. You know those times in the day when you just need a break? When something starts feeling like it’s out of your control, or that voice in your head turns pessimistic? Use those moments as triggers for your mindfulness practice.
When you get into a negative mindset, rather than letting yourself dwell there or spiral down the rabbit hole, make a choice to do 5 minutes of mindful breathing. Only focus on your breath and how it moves in and out of your body. In… and out. In… and out.
Have 1 mindful meal a day
Mindful eating is a growing trend, but if we’re being honest, it’s not practical to eat every meal mindfully. Sometimes you need to grab a snack while working to a deadline, or you go out with friends and become immersed in conversation, and sometimes your dinnertime focus is on getting your kids to eat. just. one. vegetable.
But what is practical is making one — just one — of your day’s meals (or snacks!) a mindful one. We think you’ll really love it. Whether it’s during a solo lunch or over your morning cup of coffee, give mindful eating a try.
Try mindful running
You can pair almost any rhythmic behavior with mindfulness, and in fact, it’s a common and powerful way to get into the practice. Simply concentrating on the rhythm of your footfalls on a run (or a walk) will get you into a mindful state, and it might even improve your workout!
Interested in guided mindful meditations and breathing exercises? Check out the Zen Den in our iOS app!