A Mindful Life in 5 Measures
As creatures of habit, we have a natural tendency to fall into familiar routines and time can easily become a blur of repetitive motions—running on a steadfast (and often stale) schedule that feels as if we’re just getting through a day rather than enjoying what it might have to offer. Simple steps to living a more mindful life can turn a humdrum routine into an everyday ritual that paves a path to greater appreciation of a small moment instead of constantly pushing for the next great event.
I. TAKE ONE TASK AT A TIME
Multi-tasking may seem efficient, but it is also the fastest way to drain energy. Taking on more than one thing at a time can lead to mistakes, exhaustion and unnecessary chaos—manifesting in a needless mental and physical drain on our bodies that often proves counterproductive. Try tackling one task at a time with full awareness. Focusing on a single activity at a time promotes greater productivity and higher levels of performance. Remember, life is for living and enjoying, not just getting through a to-do list.
II. DISCONNECT TO DETOX
People who live a mindful life know when and how to disconnect from the persistent bombardment of ever-present communication that can dull our senses. An easy first step to take is to turn off the automatic notifications on your phone or tablet and allow yourself to be in charge of when to be contacted and when to communicate. Unplugging allows you to limit the number of things that are constantly competing for your attention and foster greater focus on the things that really matter to you.
III. GO OUTSIDE
Connecting with nature every day is an exercise in mindfulness that has been proven to elevate your mental and physical state. Take the time to appreciate the world around us and seek out the calm and divine beauty of nature and everything it has to offer us in the way of colors, textures and scents. Whether it’s a two-hour activity or a 10-minute walk, getting outside and engaging all the senses is always time well spent and vital to our mental well-being—paving the path for vital moments of tranquility and wonder.
IV. ACKNOWLEDGE EVERYDAY MOMENTS
Being mindful of the moment is being aware of the moment. Consider all of the smells, textures, gestures and sounds involved when preparing a meal. Slow down and you begin to appreciate the vibrant green hues of the salad you’re making or the solid and natural feel of the wooden spoon in your hand or even the hypnotic quality of light flickering from the stove burner onto the bottom of a metal pan. Staying in tune with the moment is a foundation for a more mindful life that honors the simple joys surrounding us.
V. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
Too often we tend to overlook our most basic human needs, ignoring the most reliable barometer we have—our bodies. Small, but simple changes can make a huge difference in our everyday routines. Consider eating when you are actually hungry and not just out of boredom or resting when you are tired rather than trying to push further to get yet one more task accomplished. Remember to slow down when you feel overwhelmed and remind yourself that tomorrow will offer time enough to get caught up. Ultimately, respecting and understanding your body’s fundamental needs and wants can bring you the peace and calm humans crave in our fast-moving world.