6 Simple Ways to Practice Mindfulness

6 simple ways to practice mindfulness

6 simple ways to practice mindfulnessPracticing Mindfulness is not always easy. There are chores do do, games to play, beaches to explore, emails to respond to, lessons to plan. But life can get overwhelmingly busy that we forget to take time for ourselves to be at peace. Our minds are racing, our inner critic is judging. We are missing opportunities and making mistakes because we are disengaged from ourselves.

My One Little Word this year is mindfulness. I have been loosely participating in the monthly tasks (see here and here) and have skipped some all together, but the word is always floating around.

Practicing mindfulness is important to really be aware of our thoughts. We need to be able to observe them without judging them. If we are more aware of what we are thinking and doing and saying and eating, we can make better choices and become more effective and fulfilled in life.

Here are 6 simple (?) ways that I am trying to practice mindfulness.

  1. Be curious. Embrace opportunities and seek experiences – but don’t force them and over plan them. Ask questions and seek answers. Go outside and be one with nature. Take something apart and put it back together. Research and read.
  2. Be still. Do nothing for 5 minutes. Take a break. Pray or meditate. Stop and look around. Daydream. Be silent and breathe. Feel the air flow to your lungs.
  3. Don’t multitask. Avoid being too rushed. Practice being slow and deliberate – even during little daily tasks like teeth brushing. Be present as you drink a cup of coffee. Smell the beans and savour the warmth. Eat slowly. Do less and focus only on the task you are performing.
  4. Gain perspective – Try looking at things with a new lens. Accept others for who they are and appreciate their differences gracefully, even if you don’t understand them.  Trust yourself and trust others. Be grateful and compassionate. Listen, encourage and forgive.
  5. Laugh. Enjoy life. Try not to take things too seriously. Worrying is a misuse of your imagination. Feel the feels and express your feelings, but don’t get caught up on the little things. Let things go. Giggle, chortle, snort.
  6. Create. Draw, paint, invent, cook, write, compose. Pick your poison and create. Acknowledge your inner critic, and then send him on his way. Not only will creating something awaken your senses, it also relieves stress and anxiety, decreases negative emotions and improvement in flow.

I am doing ok. I pride myself on being very efficient and productive. This is hard to let go of. I am trying to avoid multitasking and put more energy and effort into one thing at a time. My projects will take a lot longer, but the rushed feeling might dissipate the more I practice.

How do you practice mindfulness?