Mindfulness Practices For Every Schedule

Mindfulness is essentially just a fancy word for awareness. Mindfulness practices are not confined to those who are deeply invested in meditation. Keep reading for some surprisingly easy mindfulness practices for every schedule.

Upon hearing the word “mindfulness,” one may conjure up images of meditation stools, burning candles, and bare feet on yoga mats. The word may elicit feelings of stress, as it can shine a light on how hectic our lives are and how crowded our minds feel.

It may get categorized as a lofty goal, or an “I’d love to get into that someday!” type of practice. But the truth is that mindfulness is essentially just a fancy word for awareness. It is the practice of being fully immersed in the present moment, without expectation or judgement. Which means that some surprisingly easy mindfulness practices can blend into everyday activities.

Mindful exercises are not confined to those who are deeply invested in meditation, and they do not require a certain skill level or wealth of knowledge.

Here are some examples of three mindfulness practices for every schedule:

1. Mindfully practice getting out of bed in the morning

Alarm clocks have the tendency to abruptly jerk us out of dreamworld and throw us head first into the realm of reality. It is easy to rush through the waking process and head straight for the shower without a second thought. The transition between sleep and waking, however, provides a perfect opportunity to clear your head and set yourself up for a positive day.

Try setting your alarm 10-15 minutes earlier than you usually would and select a sound or song that is more calming than jarring. After silencing it, spend a moment taking note of how your body feels. Are you comfortable? Do you feel any pain? Feel the weight of the blankets on top of you and the comfort of the mattress beneath you. Stretch your hands far above your head and feel the stretch in your shoulders. Then reach them out to your sides as far as they will go and wiggle your fingers. Feel the sensation of waking spread from head to toe. Become aware of any sounds that you can hear. Is there a ticking clock or rain against the windows? A snoring partner? Are the sounds loud or soft?

Spending just a few minutes in the morning to notice the present moment can be an effective tool against allowing racing and worries to narrate your day.

2. Practice mindfulness driving to work

Those of us who have a morning commute know that it can be among the more fury-invoking and anxiety-producing activities in our day. From heavy traffic, to bad drivers and counting down the remaining minutes before you are late, it is very easy to get lost in a whirlwind of stress and racing thoughts. This is exactly why driving to work can be an excellent time and place to practice mindfulness.

While driving to work, try slowing down your breathing. Instead of groaning internally about how annoyingly slow that truck in front of you is driving, try noting what color it is instead. Is it bright? Does the color evoke a feeling in you? Is it a good feeling?

If there is a song on the radio that you’ve heard a million times, try to find something about it that you’ve never noticed about it before. What does the backup singers voice sound like? What instruments were used to create this song? How many layers does the song have?

Simply taking stock of some of the infinite aspects of the moment you are in can help diminish impatience and frustration.

3. Mindfulness practices while walking your dog

Going for a stroll is likely one of your dog’s very favorite times of the day. The unveiling of the leash or the word “walk” itself may send them jumping up and down and running towards the front door. This is because dogs live in a world of mindfulness. They continuously observe and react to the present moment.

Dogs can be excellent teachers when it comes to mindfulness. Try taking a lesson from your furry friend, and notice details that you wouldn’t typically give a second thought to. As you walk, notice the color and texture of the pavement, and the way it feels beneath your shoes. Look at the trees and houses you pass. How many windows do they have? Do they have trees in their yards? What does the light look like as it filters through the leaves?

Notice the smells. Can you smell the flowers? Or the fall leaves? The rain shower in the distance? Allow your self to walk at a slower pace (if your dog will let you) and breathe deeply with each step. Allow thoughts to flow through your head without labeling them as good or bad, simply let them pass. If you guide your mind towards saying in the present, walking the dog can be an incredibly refreshing experience rather than a chore.

As you are likely beginning to notice, mindfulness can be incorporated into just about any activity. Mindfulness is an often-overlooked tool in fighting depression and anxiety, decreasing stress, and increasing focus. If you would like to learn how to incorporate mindfulness into your day, reach out today for a free phone consultation! We can help!



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