Mindfulness means living in the present, being fully conscious of each moment and savoring life. Most of us want to be mindful—we just forget. We get caught up by work, worries, and the constant influx of noise from the TV, internet, our ringing cell phones. Here’s how even the busiest people can practice mindfulness on even the most stressful days (when we need mindfulness the most).
Take it one task at a time
Multi-tasking is an illusion. We can’t do many things at once, we just shift from one to the other—and end up confusing and exhausting ourselves. So just accept that we can only do one thing at a time, and enjoy it. When we’re eating, just focus on each bite. When we’re emailing, concentrate on each thought. Be slow, deliberate, and fully committed to each action.
Prioritize and delegate
We can’t do everything, and we certainly can’t do everything well. Let go of some tasks. Delegate, adjust standards, not because we ‘give up ‘ but we decide to give more to what matters most.
Pause between tasks
Leave room between tasks to breathe, clear your head, savor an accomplishment or let go of any anxiety or stress that has accumulated in our bodies.
Devote some time to doing nothing
Doing Nothing is what allows you to do other things well. If that sounds strange, consider your cell phone: how can it work if its battery is discharged? Give yourself even just 20 minutes each day to recharge. Just sit outside and appreciate the clouds drifting by. Or even if you’re at your desk, close your eyes while listening to music.
Be aware of your thinking, and rein it in
Pay attention to your thoughts. Which ones help you and which ones drain you of energy? Catch thoughts of worry and anxiety, and stop yourself. Bring yourself back to the moment, knowing that worrying can not change or affect the future or the past.
Be thankful for small blessings
Smile as you taste a perfectly seasoned soup. Look in a person’s eyes as you talk, thankful that he or she is part of your life.
Turn chores into meditation
Repetitive tasks, like cleaning or cooking or even doing your nails can be mindfulness exercises, since they absorb you and let you empty your mind.
Photo from http://www.breathworks-mindfulness.nl/