I’m sure you’ve heard of ‘being mindful’ before. From mental health experts to athletes, it’s being looked at as the next big shift in psychology. The truth is that mindfulness has been around for hundreds of years, practiced in the Eastern parts of the world. The West is slowly catching on. Don’t worry, it’s not too complex. The main idea involves focusing your attention to the present moment with an open minded and compassionate attitude.
These techniques could help you cope with many difficult situations in life. Here are 7 techniques to practice mindfulness. They might seem difficult at first, but if you keep at it, they’ll benefit you for life.
1. Practice Gratitude- Being grateful for the blessings in our lives is one of the most important habits you could develop. It reminds us to enjoy what we have, rather than desiring what others have. To practice gratitude, write down 3 things you are grateful for as soon as you wake up. Be as specific as you can be—specificity is key to fostering gratitude. It’ll only take 15 minutes. The goal of the exercise is to remember a good time, person or experience in your life and enjoy the good emotions that flow.
2. Feel your feet and palms- This will anchor you to the present moment. Draw your attention to the pads of your feet and palms. Notice the pressure of your feet against the floor, the heat and or cold, the comfort or discomfort, feel it all slowly. Once you’ve become aware of your feet and palms, then clench your hands into tight fists and release. Clench. Release. Clench. Release. This focuses the mind on your body, which will put you in the present moment. You can expect your mind to wander, and when it does, return your attention to your feet.
3. Notice the environment- When practicing mindfulness, you don’t have to manipulate your emotions to stay in the present moment; just take in your surroundings. Allow your mind to let go and relax. Then you can notice the wonderful sites, and sounds around you. Even as you’re reading this article, perhaps your hand is touching a mouse, or a phone, feel this sensation. Notice any objects near you, such as the items on your coffee table. Expand your awareness to encompass your entire environment. Notice the colors of your surroundings. Become aware of any sounds happening around you. Without mentally or verbally commenting on what you notice, just take a moment to become aware of these things.
4. Breathe Deeply- Most meditation techniques focus on breathing and for good reason: It’s a great way to relax and center your energy. To begin, inhale for 3 seconds and exhale for 3 seconds. As you get more practice, you can increase the amount of seconds, which will enhance the centering and relaxation process.
5. Listen, don’t just hear- Next time you’re talking to someone, try to notice the time in which you judge the person you’re speaking with. Once you’ve noticed, you can attempt to avoid judging and focus on the content of The conversation. Judgments cause us to be bias and not really listen to what others have to say.
6. Watch what you eat- Mindful eating means paying full attention to the experience of eating or drinking everything. Both on the inside and outside of the body. Pay attention to the flavors, textures, colors, smells, temperatures, and even the sounds of your food. Pay close attention to the experience of your body. Literally try to feel your body and use all of your senses as you eat. You’ll begin to realize what food your body thrives on, and what foods to avoid.
7. The Mindful Shower- The shower is the perfect time to practice mindfulness. Simply watch the beautiful water hit your skin and embrace the wonder of life. Next you have a shower, become aware of how good the hot water feels as it washes your skin. Take in the smell of the bodywash, and the sensations of your hands passing over your skin.