Mindfulness has been a word frequently used over the last decade in conversations surrounding mental health and quality of life, and it’s not just a buzzword. Mindfulness is a type of meditation that deepens our understanding of ourselves and how we interact with the world around us. To do this we create a space in which we become present and look at how we feel at that specific moment in time.
‘The average person spends 47% of their lives ‘mind wondering’!’
The benefit of mindful living is the time spent working through one’s thoughts and how we process events. This means less time spent on wandering thoughts. Many people describe their minds as busy, never off or racing with thoughts. By beginning to mindfully live in many aspects of life, you can begin to subdue these issues for a more enjoyable, stress free time.
We’ve put together our top 10 mindful living techniques to help give you a head start to a quieter life.
- Practising Mindfulness
The first step to mindfulness is just taking more time to think about what we’re doing. By breaking down what we do and thinking about how each thing either nourishes or neglects our minds and bodies. Immediately you will start to become more mindful about these things. As we begin to train our minds in this way, we may make the decision to take this up to the next level and make time for meditation. Spending more time with these thoughts and developing them to be even healthier.
- Developing Awareness
Developing awareness is key to mindful living. The more aware we are of our surroundings, the things we touch, the things we need to successfully complete in our day, the higher appreciation we have and the more mindful we become. By making sure we consider what we’re doing, by slowing down a little and thinking about our movements, our mindfulness increases.
- Taking Time With Experiences
Another key to the practice of mindfulness is considering our responses to certain events. When something occurs from a conversation with another person, taking the time to think about how we felt and what our emotional response was, we learn more about how our minds and bodies are wired. This also gives us the opportunity to work out if we think we had a rational response or one that needs more work.
- Decision making
Our decision making is equally important. By taking a step back before we make a decision and considering more options and repercussions, we make better decisions. Often decision making is hard, but even the smaller decisions, like choosing an apple over a chocolate bar, have better consequences.
- Daily routine
The easiest starting point for being mindful every day is thinking about our daily routine. From cleaning our teeth to the clothes we choose to wear. Each and everything we do, we go through a decision process. By not rushing this and being more aware of what we’re doing, we instantly and very easily become more mindful in the process. When cleaning your teeth later, simply try analysing the process you go through.
- Achievable goals
We often set ourselves unachievable goals without really considering them. It’s more likely better described as our ‘ideal’ goals. Maybe our ideal house, or job, or soft-top sports car. We don’t realise that we so often pick things that we would ‘like’ and don't give ourselves a chance. Constantly feeling worse because we’ll never be able to obtain them or it will take too long. By taking a step back, breaking down those goals and making them achievable, we once again make our lives more mindful and ultimately happy.
- Unwanted desires
Being mindful can also help us decrease habits and things that we aren’t so fond of in our lives. For example, after a long day at work or a particularly stressful day, there is a point where a glass of wine would specifically make things better. What was this level of stress that caused that desire? What can you do differently to avoid this feeling? The answers lie within these questions.
- Forget expectations of yourself and others
Another way to a peaceful mind is losing expectations. Maybe you believe a parental figure wants something specific from you or you’ve always wanted your friend to act in a certain way. By letting go of this expectation, you enjoy the time you spend with these people more and put less pressure on yourself and them.
- Always be curious
Remain open and positive about the world. Keep exploring new places, find new literature, search for new tastes. You never know what you might find, discovering a new passion could lead to new adventures that you’d never even dreamt of. Be mindful by never losing curiosity.
‘Truly humble people are able to offer this kind of gift to us because they see and accept their own strengths and limitations without defensiveness or judgment—a core dimension, according to researchers, of humility, and one that cultivates a powerful compassion for humanity.’ Mindful.org
Being grateful for things and the world around you is key to positivity and mindfulness. Your awareness of what you and others have, how you use it and what you’ll do with it in the future all make for a rounded and humble person. If there’s only one commitment you can make to mindfulness, writing a sentence or two of gratitude a day hits many of the mindful points we’ve discussed above.
Becoming mindful takes time and dedication. It reduces the busyness of the mind, stress, anxiety and helps to make a better and more fulfilling life. These are our top 10 ways to introduce mindful living into your life in a non-taxing way. Just practicing one or two of these points could increase your focus, attentiveness and creativity!