Mindfulness is a practice that begins from the moment you open your eyes each day. It’s a skill that you learn and build upon with use. Just like doing pushups builds muscle, doing “things that you don’t feel like doing” has the same affect on your mind.
It may seem counter-intuitive for many of us, but certain actions that seemingly bring us so much pleasure or convenience can really be hurting us in the long run. If you find yourself hitting the snooze button every day, rushing through meals to focus on work, stressing about the past and future, or dismissing anything that doesn’t serve you, you’ve started reading this article for a reason. As you read the tips below, start thinking about how easy they can be to implement – all you have to do is want to.
Zen Mindfulness Tips
When your alarm goes off each morning, how many times do you hit snooze? If the answer is any number other than “0,” you’ve got homework.
For many of us, just peeling off the covers and rolling out of bed is the hardest, most depressing parts of our day. Train your brain to silence the voice inside that says, “stay cozy” and empower the voice inside that says, “let’s do this!” If you can get out of bed without hitting snooze, you can pretty much change the world.
Taste your Food
The food that you eat is literally the fuel for your body, mind, and subsequently your soul. We all know that we should eat healthy, whole foods rich with nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. While we agree that’s certainly important, we also argue that to be mindful, it’s just as important to taste your food.
In today’s society, we’re always in a hurry to keep on keepin’ on. Sometimes, having to eat is simply seen as an inconvenience. Something we rush through in between meetings, deadlines, work, or chores. Eating can be a meditative, spiritualistic ritual in and of itself. Your tongue is an explosion of nerve endings and taste buds all being filled with a blend of tastes and textures and temperature. When chewing, allow yourself to slow down and experience each bite. Chew more slowly and remind yourself of the nourishment your body is receiving with each swallow.
Not only will this help your mental state, but it actually assists your body with digestion reduces your chances of overeating! It’s great for your body AND your mind.
Be Here and Now
The old saying goes, “If you’re depressed, you’re living in the past. If you’re anxious, you’re living in the future.”
Train your brain to live here – in this moment. When you find yourself worrying about the future or reliving painful moments of the past you’re placing your energy and intentions purely on what’s out of your control. The only moment in time you have absolute control over is this moment right now.
A quick tip to try when you feel you’re losing control of the moment, is to stop, think, and listen.
1. Stop what you’re thinking.
2. Ask yourself, “What time is it?” and answer, “The time is now.”
3. Listen to the sounds around you, or even better, listen to the sound of your voice as it washes in through your nostrils and cleanses every nook and cranny inside your body before leaving your mouth in a gentle release. If you’re surrounded by sound, then it’s even easier to focus on your breathing (plug an ear if you have to) because no one else can hear what you’re doing. It’s your own private moment of “now.”
Embrace an Attitude of Service
There a growing trend to Let Go of what no longer serves us, but what about what we do to serve others? Sharing with others, helping, and coming together as a community is an incredibly uplifting, internal cup-filling, therapeutic process. When you know that you’re taking real, positive action to make life better for someone else, there’s truly no greater reward out there.
The world has enough people looking to serve themselves. Take a moment to serve someone else – just for the sake of helping – and watch your ego simply melt away.
Which one of these tips will you try first? We know ignoring the snooze, checking out for lunch, living in the now, and serving others seem like it leaves no time for the smaller pleasures in life. We promise – you’re just getting started.