Last Updated on November 9, 2021
What is mindfulness and how do we bring it into our day practice? Mindfulness is the act of being present, of consciously being involved in the current moment.
To practice mindfulness some people have developed meditation routines where focus on the breath or the body is maintained throughout the practice. However, mindfulness can be practiced throughout the day as well.
Mindfulness can be practiced while showering, cooking, eating. Pretty much every activity we do during the day can be done mindfully. Research has shown many measurable benefits of mindfulness practice.
Benefits of Mindfulness:
- Reduced Anxiety
- Reduced Rumination
- Boost to Working Memory
- Less Emotional Reactivity
- Improved Focus
How to practice mindfulness
Practice mindfulness by fully experiencing each moment that you’re living. Notice the smells, sensations and stay present! If your mind wanders off which, it will, bring it back into the present moment as soon as you notice.
5 Places To Practice
Mindfulness in the Shower:
Become aware of how the warm water feels on your skin. Notice the shower setting and the sound of the water splashing off the tiles. Be mindful of the smell of the soap, and the sensation of your hands passing over your skin. Notice all the small things that occur while showering that we don’t usually appreciate; the sound of water going down the drain, the feel of different soaps, and the sensations on your feet.
Mindfulness at the sink:
Take you time brushing your teeth. Notice the sensation of the toothbrush, the smell and texture of the paste as it goes over your teeth. Notice how different parts of the gums feel distinct. Stay focused while flossing and shaving or applying makeup. Notice how each activity feels, smells, and sounds.
Mindfulness with meal preparation:
Preparing a meal mindfully is a lovely experience. Taking the time to thoughtfully choose foods that go together, smelling the vegetables while they are begin cut and feeling the sensation of the knife as it passes through different vegetables are all great ways to build your mindfulness practice. It’s also a time of the day with lots of pleasant sounds, smells and sensations. Generally cooking is a good transition from work where mindfulness can be more difficult.
Mindfulness while eating.
Slowing down and being mindful while eating can actually improve your digestion. The parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated when we’re mindful. The parasympathetic nervous system is associated with rest and digestion. Focus on the flavors and sensations in your body. Notice how your stomach responds to the food before you even begin eating. There is a lot of opportunity to experience eating in a new way by bringing mindfulness to the table.
Mindfulness of the daily walk.
Walking has long been used to improve mindfulness practice. It’s a great way to experience mindfulness while exploring your neighborhood. Feel the sideway through your shoes. Notice the sounds in your neighborhood. There are probably plenty more sounds than you usually notice.
Having a daily or weekly mindful walking practice is a great way to move mindfulness off of the meditation cushion and into action.