mindfulnessWhen we ruminate on the past, we aren’t enjoying the now. When we worry about the future, we don’t appreciate the present. Neither ruminating nor worrying solve a thing. When we learn to appreciate the moment, we are home! Sounds good, but how do we manage to do that? Here are seven easy tips for including mindfulness in your day.

Walk With No Destination

I  walk daily. For me it is a moving meditation. Interestingly enough, driving reduces the angle of your field of vision by up to 75%, depending on speed. Walking allows you to see more of your surroundings, so take it in, but remind yourself as you walk: there is nowhere more important for you to be than right here, right now.

Put The Phone Down

Place your phone in a drawer for an hour or two. Ignore social media, the television, anything that might distract you from quiet enjoyment. You just might be surprised and delighted by the results!

Create A Mindfulness Trigger

Choose a cue that you encounter on a regular basis to shift your brain into mindful mode. For instance, you might pick a certain doorway or mirror or use drinking coffee or tea as a reminder.

Wash Dishes Slowly

Wash dishes by hand and take time to notice the soothing warmth of the water on your hands. Be aware of the bubbles and the scent of the dish soap.  Let yourself enjoy the experience of making something dirty clean again. Don’t think about finishing or what you’ll do when you’re finished. Focus solely on the doing.

Eat As If It Was Your Last Meal

Even if dinner was a cheap frozen dinner,  how would you eat that same meal if you knew it might be your last? Would you slow yourself down and savor it more? What would this do for your appreciation of what you consume.  Would you take the time to ponder about and perhaps feel gratitude to everyone involved in creating the meal, from the farmer to the retailer to the chef?

Deep Breathes At Every Stop Light

I often encourage my clients to take a deep breath at each stop light. This can allow you to be less angry when the others in traffic are rude. It also gives you the opportunity to notice the interesting things along your route.

Practice Mindfulness As Soon As You Wake Up

Mindfulness practice first thing in the morning helps set the ‘tone’ of your nervous system for the rest of the day, increasing the likelihood of other mindful moments. Don’t read the paper, turn on the TV, check your phone or email, etc. until after you’ve had your quiet moments of reflection. During that time, just allow the mind to wander, then bring it back to your breath.