The pandemic has inarguably changed the way we live. After the emotional rollercoaster that most of us have experienced in the last year. A large percentage are learning to adjust to the new normal and that is a lifestyle that mainly involves indoor living.
If you are still struggling to keep an optimistic view amidst the challenges and chaos, it’s time for you to give mindfulness meditation a try. Instead of getting stuck in the vicious cycle of stress and despair, incorporating mindfulness in your daily life will help you effectively cope and maintain a greater sense of control, focus, and wellness.
In this post, you will learn how to apply the principles of traditional mindful therapy into your daily routine so you can live happily and meaningfully during these trying times.
What is Mindfulness?
In essence, mindfulness refers to one’s ability to maintain a moment-by-moment awareness of his or her bodily sensations, emotions, thoughts, and the surrounding environment with genuine curiosity. It can be a practice, a state of being, a sustained experience, or a trait that manifests in various activities, forms, and postures.
In this day and age, using mindfulness to manage stress is fast becoming popular. Gone are the days when mindfulness was only reserved for those who want to dig deeper into their unconscious and unleash their full potential.
Based on science-backed research, practicing mindfulness delivers a host of positive benefits to our health and wellness. Apart from stress reduction, mindfulness also boosts resilience, memory, and concentration, among many other things. Simply put, mindfulness, in all of its many forms, can help us achieve our full potential.
On the other hand, mindfulness meditation is a technique that aims to train your attention to achieve a higher level of mental calmness and positive emotions. Becoming mindful means intently tuning in to your personal experiences and focusing on what’s happening at the here and now.
Mindfulness redirects your awareness to your breath, physical sensations, feelings, and thoughts in the present moment. Instead of immediately responding to internal and external stimuli, mindfulness teaches the inherent value of recognizing your experiences and letting them go.
In a traditional mindfulness therapy session, you are given tools that enable you to apply its fundamental principles into actual practice. A standard meditation program consists of activities, including yoga, guided meditation, and breathing exercises. All of these are meant to help you become more aware of yourself.
How to Cultivate Mindfulness Meditation in Daily Life?
Instead of sitting in front of your computer screen for hours on end, experts recommend building habits and practices that will help bring ourselves back to what really matters – the present.
Although nothing comes close to a calm and peaceful mindfulness meditation session, many find it challenging to squeeze in a 20 to 30-minute session into our busy schedules.
If you aren’t ready to commit more time to mindfulness therapy and mindfulness meditation, you can cultivate micro habits throughout the day to sharpen your attention. Here are some of them:
1. Always Practice Gratefulness
Genuine gratitude helps narrow down our attention to the positive things in our lives at the present moment. Practicing gratitude automatically inspires more positive emotions coming from deep within.
It is easier to be present when we practice genuine gratefulness and help us avoid looking back at our past and worrying about our future.
2. Mindful Eating
We are all guilty of mindless eating. We pick up our favorite food items and consume them without a complete sense of control over our emotions and actions.
On the other hand, mindful eating refers to becoming more aware of the sensations and feelings that we feel while eating. It means becoming more considerate of what you consume daily.
If you have a sudden urge to scan through your phone or speaking with others while eating, it’s best to resist the temptation and focus on what’s on your plate. Be it breakfast, lunch dinner, or a simple afternoon ask, becoming present with your food will make you appreciate things that you may not have experienced in the past.
3. Only Focus on the Now
Working or schooling from home can get overwhelming at times. Chores, errands, and childcare can get in the way of you taking some time for yourself. It would be best if you resisted the urge to think ahead and allow at least 20 to 30 minutes a day to be in a calm and peaceful state.
Take deep breaths and ask yourself if you are living in the now. Applying this practice, you are essentially refocusing yourself on the things surrounding you at present.
4. Mindfulness Running
Mindfulness and running may seem Yin and Yang to you, but this practice helps balance your mind and body. The crucial premise of mindfulness running is to focus your attention on running to enhance stress management, improve sleep, and boost your sense of creativity.
If you haven’t done this activity yet, start concentrating your efforts to quiet the mind and center your focus on breathing. You can run alone and be totally alone with your thoughts or listen to calming music.
5. Engage in Mindful Activities
Do you have a hard time recalling things that happened a few minutes earlier? Or do you have trouble remembering why you walked into a room? These are clear signs that your mind is filled with many things and that you aren’t mindful of your thoughts, emotions, and surroundings.
The good news is that you can still improve at sharpening your focus. You can practice mindfulness throughout the day while doing other activities, such as walking, listening to music, gardening, taking a bath, cooking, washing the dishes, and reading, to name a few. The key to mindfulness is to perform daily activities with a heightened sense of awareness.
Keep a positive outlook on every aspect of your everyday life. For instance, look at work as a positive event or a way to relieve yourself from stress, rather than a chore that you need to accomplish fast. Slowly focus your attention and work and clear your mind of other things while you work.
Always look for opportunities to apply mindfulness throughout the day. By becoming fully aware of what you’re doing and what’s happening in your environment, you are gearing yourself towards mindfulness.
If you fail a few times, don’t give up too quickly. Mindfulness meditation and mindfulness therapy applied in real-life take practice and effort. Nobody is innately good when they began their journey. Over time, you will slowly notice leading a happier and meaningful way of life with practice and patience.