Here are six ways that you may already be practicing mindfulness in your everyday life:
1.Talking to your child about his day. When we talk to our children and attend to the details of our child’s story, we are living in the present moment. With the stresses of parenting and juggling schedules, we often rush through our days. But, if we are able to stop and enjoy our children in the moment, it creates memories and strengthens are relationships with our children.
2. Taking in a sunset after dinner. Being able to take in the beauty of the sun setting, sitting on the deck sipping wine after dinner, or watering the garden allows us to experience the present moment and the beauty of nature.
3. Taking a bedtime shower. What better way to wash away the stress of the day than a bedtime shower? The warm water of the shower flowing over you can relax and calm you, freeing you from the stress of the workday even if it’s just for a few minutes.
4. Playing on a softball team. Professional teams today teach their athletes mindfulness exercises to help improve performance. Many sports require focus in order to keep up with the fast pace of the play or to improve skills of the game. Likewise, when we as adults engage in recreational sports, like being on a coed softball team, we have to focus on the present moment and what is happening on the field or we may make an error, miss a catch, or get clocked in the face if we are focused instead on our never ending “to do” list or work responsibilities.
5. Savoring dessert. When we are able to slow down and savor each delicious bite of that cheesecake, we are practicing mindful eating. And, mindful eating has been shown to be linked to better eating habits, weight management, and overall health. Conversely, if we rush through our meals or fall victim to eating in front of the tv, we often don’t recognize signals from our stomach to our brain that we are full.
6. Cooking Dinner. When we cook dinner for ourselves or others, we are in the moment focusing on ingredients and steps to food preparation. If not, we risk chopping our finger instead of the veggies or leaving out a crucial ingredient. Many people enjoy cooking as a past time and find it an outlet for stress.
As you can see, the practice of mindfulness doesn’t have to be a super involved and tedious task! It can be as simple as the everyday avenues mentioned above. Any amount of mindfulness benefits us. Simply slowing down, taking a deep breath and focusing on the present can have great benefits!