Mindfulness is a way of letting go of the daily stresses that lead to headaches and worry. It is now recognized as a helpful tool to alleviate depression, anger and anxiety—issues that typically come with the stresses of modern living.
A philosophy with Buddhist origins, mindfulness is a technique used to empty the mind and become more aware. It aims at slowing down your thought processes. By concentrating on just one thing, very deeply, other aspects of your mental world become quieter, and whatever’s insignificant tends to fade away.
You don’t always need to indulge in a conventional meditative session to practice mindfulness. Here are quick ways to become more mindful—anytime, anywhere.
- Notice Your Breathing Process: Engage more fully in the current moment. Spare a few minutes to sit back and track your breath. Feel the air slide down your wind pipe into your lungs, and slowly exhale. This is best practiced right when you wake up, as it sets the tone of your nervous system for the rest of the day, explains Marsha Lucas, PhD, psychologist and author of Rewire Your Brain For Love.
- Eat To Savor: Being mindful when you eat will make even a simple soup seem exhilarating. Pay full attention to the process of eating—to all the tastes, smells, textures, thoughts, and feelings that arise during a meal. Don’t eat hastily, enjoy your meal and its individual ingredients. In doing so, you satiate not only the body but also the mind.
- Pay More Attention To Daily Chores: Daily tasks like brushing your teeth, taking a shower, and doing the dishes often go unnoticed. Observe as and when you do these tasks, and pay close attention to the finer details. “You might find the routine activity to be more interesting than you thought,” adds Lucas. If you put just a little bit more into what you do, chances are, you’ll be able to do it better.
- Allow Your Mind Wander: Always keeping busy hampers your thought process. Spend some time doing nothing; take a couple of minutes to let your mind dawdle. This can be done while you commute, or during a quick walk after meals. Keep it short, and drive your mind back to work gently. Remember that it is just a mental exercise and you need not examine these thoughts later.
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