Mindfulness is another term for meditation; it simply means being present in the moment.  It’s easy to say that you don’t have time to sit down and meditate, but we can bring mindfulness into our daily routines.  All you have to do is be fully present in whatever you are doing at that moment.  Instead of switching into autopilot, you can use simple activities as an opportunity to practice mindfulness.  If sitting for 20 minutes just doesn’t seem feasible, two minutes here and three minutes there can be just as beneficial.  Meditation is a practice and every breath helps.
There are many routines we go through daily without much thought.  Rather than thinking about what you did last night or what needs to be done tomorrow, remain fully present in the moment.  Mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress, improve memory, and foster compassion.  So try paying attention on purpose the next time you find yourself in one of these activities:

  • Waiting in line:  Before reaching for your smartphone, notice your posture.  How are you standing? If you are holding anything, can you balance out the weight?  If your mind wanders, observe the thoughts and then bring yourself back to the present.  Use the breath as an anchor.
  • Washing the dishes:  Move with intention, focusing on each item as you are washing it.  Notice the feeling of the water and the soap. Notice how you are standing; ground evenly through both feet and relax your shoulders.  Observe your breath.
  • Brushing your teeth:  Bring your attention to your arm as you are brushing your teeth, feel your shoulder and the muscles in your arm. Close your eyes and focus on each tooth as you brush it, moving with intention.  Become aware of your own posture.  Notice the sounds and taste.

~ Chelsea Brasel

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