We live in a wired world. Whether it's answering texts or calls, struggling to meet the demands of others or at a stage where everything we once knew seems to have changed. Life can feel very stressed and rushed and if we're not careful we end up living on high alert and feeling like we're constantly ‘on.’
Mindfulness practices help us slow down as we go about our everyday routine. Meditation practice is where we take a little more time to be still and quiet and come to know ourselves more deeply.
Over time instead of running on automatic pilot, feeling our body is in one place (the car) and our mind in another (next week) and we are loosing ourselves in the struggle, we reconnect with ourselves and we begin again in each moment more renewed, revitalised and often with a fresh perspective.
Mindfulness offers us a way to step off the hamster wheel, tame the monkey mind and keep ourselves balanced and on track. We become aware of patterns of behaviour that cause inner unease and we learn to change or manage these depending on the situation.
It's widely recognised that how you start your day is important. (However if you get off to a stressful start, don't worry. Now is always the time, which means anytime is a good time to begin!)
Here are some simple tips you can begin to incorporate into your day:
When you wake take 5 slow mindful breaths
Feel your feet on the floor
If possible meditate if not think of 5 things for which you are truly grateful
Listen to the kettle boil
When you drink your tea/coffee - savour the experience
Take a walk
Meditate for 1 - 3 minutes after lunch
Practice doing one thing at a time
If you notice your inner dialogue is unkind - ask yourself, is this useful?
If your thoughts are racing, stop for a moment, if you can imagine your thoughts are a radio playing in the background and you can turn the volume right down. Breathe.
Punctuate your day by stopping, notice for tension. Breathe and as you exhale imagine your whole body melting
Take some YOU time, everyday to do something you love, or nothing at all
Practice your listening skills
Smell, taste, touch, listen, taste, senses fully alive. You'll be surprised at what you discover
Engaging in simple everyday mindfulness practices means our stress levels decrease, we experience more balance and perspective and we can get on with living our lives despite any drama! That's not to say we run away from drama but we are better equipped to manage the stressful events in our lives.