With the ongoing demands that many of us face it can seem hard, if not impossible to increase mindfulness and live live to the fullest.
Stress from work life, family life and the incessant never ending list of chores can take its toll on our mental health and well-being, but the truth is that even the most banal tasks can be amazing if you are truly present.
More important, to increase mindfulness is indeed the only way to enjoy life to the fullest.
10 Ways to Increase Mindfulness
1. Do One Thing at a Time
Doing too many things at once can cause pandemonium. Single-tasking is an art. When you’re pouring water, just pour water. When you’re eating, just eat. When you’re bathing, just bathe. Don’t try to multitask. This can be very hard for many people. Try to spend at least some part of your day without multi-tasking.
Also, when completing a single-task do not rush that task. Instead, take your time, and move slowly. Make your actions deliberate and mindful, not rushed and random. It takes practice, but it helps you focus on the task at hand.
2. Less is more
If you do less, you can do those things more slowly, more completely and with more concentration. Thinking less makes you more creative! If you fill your day with tasks, you will be rushing from one thing to the next without stopping to think about what you do. But you’re busy and you can’t possibly do less, right? You can. It’s simply a matter of figuring out what’s important, and letting go of what’s not.
3. Put distance between tasks
Manage your schedule so that you always have time to complete each task. Don’t schedule things too close together. Instead, leave room between things on your schedule for unforeseen interruptions. This allows a flexible schedule, and leaves space in case one task takes longer than intended.
4. Do a 10-minute-nothing once a day
Absolutely nothing. Just sit in silence and become aware of your thoughts and feelings. Focus on your breathing and simply notice the things around you. Become comfortable with the calmness. You will be surprised of its benefits for such a short time.
5. Focus on the Present
As you become more aware of your thoughts you may notice that you are constantly deliberating about the future. Learn to catch yourself doing this, and practice bringing yourself back to the present.
Just focus on what you’re doing, right now. Enjoy the present moment, as you will never get it back. Notice the sights and the smells, track your body and how your body feels. And just remember “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength.“
6. Be present in Personal Interactions
This is one that is not only a way to practice mindfulness, but also applies to just about everyone.
How often do you see a group full of people all engagingly staring at their phones? Beyond technology many of spent time with someone but have been thinking about what we need to do in the future? Or thinking about what we want to say next, instead of really listening to that person?
Instead, focus on being present and really listening and enjoying your time with that person. It’s a refreshing shot at life and it feels good too! (7 handy phone habits that WILL save your time)
7. Have Positive People Around You
While it may be impossible to fully evade all interactions with negative people in your life, you can put limitations.
Being around negative people unravel feelings of peace and happiness and generates the fight or flight response removing us mentally from the present moment.
This response causes the sympathetic nervous system to release stress hormones within our body. Spending the majority of your time with positive people helps to empower you to grow.
If you have a negative person in your life who you cannot avoid it is best to try to solve the underlying issue behind the negativity.
8. Eat Slowly And Appreciate Your Food
Turbulent schedules can mean that most food is crammed down our throats in a rush. Where’s the joy in that? Eating mindfully is to taste each bite, slowly, and really appreciate the food on your table.
By the way, you’ll eat less this way, and digest your food better as well. In addition, eating the healthiest possible food that is available to you, helps our bodies and mind to function better and proper.
9. Taste Your Life
Just as you would taste your food by eating it more slowly, do everything this way. Try to sit down and taste each and every moment. Life is passing slowly, but as we turn back we see that literally years have passed through our fingers.
The cure would be to enjoy the paradox of life! So slow, yet so fast.
10. Turn Banal Tasks into Meditation
Cooking and cleaning are often seen as sweat and struggle, but actually they are both great ways to practice mindfulness, and can be great rituals performed every day.
If cooking and cleaning seem like boring things to you, try doing them as a form of meditation.
Put your entire mind into those tasks, concentrate on them, and do them slowly and completely. Taking this time to become mindful become a exceptional time and could change your entire day. Instead of thinking negative thoughts of the activity you bring yourself a sense of peace and relaxation.
Soak and Repeat
You have to continually practice the suggestions daily. When you notice yourself getting thwarted, just inhale deeply. Ask yourself these questions.
Ask yourself “What should I do now?”, the answer is to keep practicing. It takes 21 days to establish a habit so practicing daily will help to establish mindful habits. Increasing mindfulness is something that should be practiced often and is important for everyone in all stages of life.