“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it. ” Thich Nhat Hanh
How is your day today ? Are you drifting through it without fully living it ?
For years I did just that, always waiting for an elusive ‘something’ to come along. While I was waiting for this future something to appear in my life, I felt as if life was passing me by. My life felt like I was just waiting for some future event to occur in order to make my life better.
What we do today is preparation for tomorrow. Our tomorrows are created from what we do today. Surely then it makes sense to be fully alive in each moment of today in order to create a future we want to live. We can do this by practising Mindfulness. Mindfulness is all about being present in the moment, helping us to appreciate life as it is rather than constantly looking forward and waiting for some better time or better place.
Here are a few of my favourite Mindfulness exercises which have now become a part of my daily life. When practised regularly they become a life enhancing habit. Take what you want from them and leave what you don’t.
Begin the day slowly: When you get up in the morning, whilst your day is still new, allow yourself a few minutes to just be in the moment, five minutes out of your day is all you need. Sit quietly on a chair, or take a cushion and sit on the floor and take your focus to your breath entering and leaving your body. Each time your mind wanders, and it will, take it back to your breathing. This is a very peaceful place to be.
Tune into your body: Take your attention to the top of your head and consciously move down your body, asking every part of your body how it is feeling, right down to the tips of your toes. slowly awakening to the day.
Walk slowly. Take a short break from what you are doing, and go outside for a walk. With each step practice awareness. Pay attention to your breathing, to everything around you, to the light, to the air, how does it feel ? Pay attention to your surroundings, the sounds, the smells and the colours and textures of the things you see around you.
Work with focus. Prioritise your workday and choose the task that feels the most important and concentrate on doing only that task, putting all other tasks from your mind until the priority task is finished. Single-tasking is a great way of finding focus and lessening stress.
Read in silence. Find a quiet time and a quiet spot, and read a novel. Switch off the TV, the radio and the computer and just absorb yourself in the realm of the novel. It might seem contradictory to take your mind from the present into the era of the novel, nevertheless it’s a great practice in focussing the mind.
Eat mindfully. Eat slowly, paying attention to eat bite and mouthful of food. Become aware of the taste and texture of the food. This not only makes the food taste better, it gives you a better awareness of how soon your stomach feels full. A good habit to get into when watching your weight.
Be grateful: Each day, instead of seeing what you always see in those you are close to, really look at the people in your life. See their qualities and skills and become aware of how they manifest in your life. Tell people how thankful you are for their existence and their presence in your life.
I look forward to hearing how you get on via the comments box below …..
Have a good day.