We hear that being more mindful is important, but it isn’t all yoga mats and new age music. CounselorLisa Sussman explains that mindfulness is just the practice of being fully aware and grounded in the present moment, and paying attention to your feelings and thoughts without judging them. Being in the moment without judgement is a skill that requires practice, so try working on it as you do these everyday things.
Try walking mindfully - It’s pretty simple, walking mindfully just means concentrating your attention completely on the act of walking. It’s easiest to do in a contained space, like a garden, where you can fully focus on the act of walking, instead of where you’re going. Pay attention to your steps, your feet hitting the ground, and specifics like that.
Write down your feelings in a diary- It helps you keep track of how you feel in the present moment and allows you to track your feelings over time and look for patterns.
Eat mindfully during your next meal - Start with just not scarfing down your food while scrambling to return emails during your lunch break. From there, slow down and let all of your senses savor your meal, not just your taste buds. Take in the smell of your food, focus on the variety of textures and colors you see, and chew each bite slowly and mindfully.
Use The STOP Technique - Sussman says a big part of mindfulness is finding and working on ways to help you cope with uncomfortable situations, from a salary negotiation to a messy breakup. She recommends the STOP technique, which requires stopping, taking a step back, observing your feelings, and then proceeding mindfully. It might sound easy, but try doing it next time you’re about to say something snappy to your kid.
Listen to your favorite playlist - An easy way to practice mindfulness is to do soothing things like taking a bath, reading a book, or listening to music you enjoy. Try not to multitask while the music is playing and instead focus on the rhythm, the beat, the lyrics, the singer’s vocals, and when you can do that, you’re practicing mindfulness.