How to be mindful to live life more fully

Mindfulness is a tool that you can use to know about your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. Practicing mindfulness can help you feel relaxed, creative, and focused. People talk about mindfulness and being more mindful, but what does it look like and how do you do it?

Mindfulness IS:

    • Being fully there and aware of what you are doing, thinking, and feeling.
    • Taking short pauses throughout your day when doing your daily motions. This will help you take a step back from what you are doing, to see the big picture and refocus.
    • Using all of your senses (hear, see, touch, smell, and taste) to enjoy and take in each moment.
    • Cleansing your mind and getting rid of the clutter.

 

Mindfulness is NOT:

    • Getting stressed or overwhelmed by what is going on around you or by things out of your control.
    • Letting your mind wander while you do a task (even while walking) or while listening to someone talk.
    • Clearing your mind or thinking of nothing.

 

Try these mindfulness exercises next time you:

  • Go to a park. Close your eyes. Notice the sounds around you. Are there children playing? Can you hear wind rustling through the trees? Are there footsteps walking past you? What do you smell? Is the air warm or cold? Is the air dry or moist?
  • Eat dinner. As you gather food on your fork, notice how much you are taking. Is your fork full, not full enough, or just right? Take a bite. Notice the taste of your food. Is it sweet? Is it salty? Is it full of flavor? What is the texture of your food? Creamy? Chewy? Crunchy? Notice how your jaw and mouth moves as you chew each bite.
  • Crawl into bed. Turn the lights off. Take slow deep breaths and listen to your breathing. Notice the air in your room. Do a full body scan. How do your feet feel? Are they warm, cold, achy? Notice how your legs feel. Notice how your knees and hips feel. Notice how your back feels. Is it comfortable? Is it sore? How do your arms and hands feel? How do your covers feel? Are they smooth? Are they silky? How does your head feel on your pillow? When you feel your mind start to wander, listen to your breathing again.