Mindfulness Practices That Fit Into Your Life
Written By Lisa Azzopardi
By now, you’ve read and heard about the many benefit of mindfulness including how it can improve your mood, help your relationships (including team dynamics at work) , increase your productivity and even get you some sleep!
Often times one of the thoughts ( it’s okay to have many!) that get in the way of us engaging in Mindfulness practice is simply this… “ I don’t have enough time”. You know what, this is probably true!
This is why we’re sharing 3 practice exercises on how to integrate Mindfulness Practices into your daily (busy) life. All of these practices can take as little or as much time as you’re willing. Willingness is the key here. The skill of doing “ One Thing Mindfully” is a mindfulness practice that can literally take as little as 30 seconds! Actually!
The more we practice do one thing and fully emerging ourselves in that particular experience, the more awareness ( Body + Mind) we create in ourselves and our environments. This is what contributes to all of the benefits and rewards of Mindfulness. When we have awareness we can better curate our responses to triggers, the direction we want to head, and feel okay with being still and silent. Being still and silent is especially challenging when we’re working through feelings of anxiousness.
So, here it is! 3 mini mindfulness practices to stimulate areas of your brains that produce those feel good hormones! Feel free to give 1 a try, and if it doesn’t suit you perhaps try out another. Know that these practices are always challenging to start and becoming distracted during the practice is sooooo normal! Simply notice when you drift off and when these thoughts creep in: “ I suck at this” or “ I can’t do this”. Notice your judgements on your practice. Be gentle with yourself as you guide your awareness back to the present moment.
Commuting ( By TTC, Car, Bike, or On Foot)
Begin by bringing your awareness to your eyes, your vision and sight.
As you’re on the move, look for something visually uplifting. This could be as simple as the colour of a really great pair of shoes that the person sitting next to you on the TTC are wearing. Or maybe it’s the greenery and wild flowers on the highway as you’re moving slowly ( or not at all) in traffic. Perhaps your eyes wander to the facial features of a person laughing.
Bring your visual senses to something you find beautiful.
Try this at your next team meeting. Listen to the voices around you. The voices of colleagues who are near by and the ones at the other end of the table ( or on the other end of the phone). Notice the variations of their tones, pitches, cadence and syntax. Bringing your awareness simply to the voices in this meeting. Notice your internal responses when you hear individual voices. Notice your urges to jump into the conversation, to add, correct, challenge or validate another’s ideas. Bring your awareness back to the sounds as you watch your urge to participate verbally drift away. This urge has now been moved to your junk mail (Mindfulness can do that too!)
Practice Noticing Feelings & Emotions
Experiencing our emotions can be challenging to do for some ( being cut off from our emotions), and exhausting for others ( feeling emotions all day everyday).
Wherever you may be on the spectrum of experiencing emotions, in this present moment of time, bring your awareness to your emotional alphabet. Have a walk through these ABC prompts and notice which feelings or emotions designate with you right now.
Important ( I am or they are)
Mad ( Anger)
Needs ( Identify need to be met)
Stimulated (over or under)
Lastly, I invite your attention to the word practice. Mindfulness is a practice. When we practice, we are allowed to make mistakes. We are learning. Our attention WILL drift off, and this is okay! Remember, we are practicing. Insert self forgiveness, non-judgement of self, and lower your expectations. We are all learning just how to live more mindfully- and we are all imperfect.
If you’re new to mindfulness, you might be interested in reading our post on “ What is Mindfulness” here: https://thebodymindclinic.com/what-is-mindfulness/