As much as mindfulness is there to improve our general wellbeing, sometimes it can feel like another thing to add to our to do lists. It can be another thing to feel guilty about if we don’t feel we’ve dedicated enough time to focusing on our own wellbeing.
But mindfulness doesn’t have to be complicated or take up a lot of time in your day. Mindfulness should be simple and slot into your routine, adding something positive to your life rather than adding more pressure.
Here are five really simple things that you can do to practice mindfulness.
We all breathe thousands of times every day. There is a yogic saying that we should aim to take 100 conscious breaths a day but your breathing doesn’t have to be that structured to have a positive impact. Simply taking a minute or two to focus on the breath, noticing ‘inhale’ and ‘exhale’ as you breathe will help quieten the mind. After all if you are focused on your breath, you are focused on the present moment.
2) Have a real conversation
When was the last time you had a real conversation? When did you last listen to someone, respond honestly and stay with them throughout the conversation? Our minds often drift as others speak and when we reply it is to discuss our own concerns. Try to have one heartfelt conversation a day and truly listen and respond. Even a phone call can work for this, although no texting allowed!
3) Notice colours
The next time you are walking, whether in the countryside, by the sea or in the city, notice what is around you. This can be overwhelming so try simply to notice the colour of the things around you. You could try to name the colour of the sun reflected in the sea, or the colour of paving stones underfoot. Take a few moments from your next walk to simply notice.
4) Read something new
I’m an avid reader and I truly believe stories hold comfort and happiness for everyone. There is something particularly mindful about going and choosing a new book and starting to read as soon as you get home. Set aside some time just to read, allow yourself the luxury and turn off the TV to enjoy the written word.
5) Make something
For thousands of years humans have created and crafted and innovated. Whether it’s sewing, cross-stitching, knitting, painting or drawing there is something both mindful and fun about crafting and creating. Plus there is always joy in the end result of having made something yourself. Try a new craft and just like with reading, allow yourself some guilt-free time to simply enjoy.
Let me know your favourite mindful activities in the comments below.