I have been practising mindfulness for a few months now, but I am the first to admit that I am not overly motivated to sit down with my eyes shut in the middle of a busy day, so here are my favourite ways to be mindful. They are all things I was doing already, so they fit nicely into my day and mean that my practice is spread throughout the day. I hope you can give some of these a go, and that you enjoy them and find them beneficial.
A Mindful Cup of Tea
I am a big tea drinker, so this one was a no-brainer! I normally do this with my first cuCredit: By Vanderdecken (Author's original own work.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commonsp of tea in the morning. I simply try to concentrate on what I’m doing rather than letting my mind wander. This process starts when I fill the kettle and finishes when I put my cup back in the kitchen. Once you get started with this, it’s amazing how much there is to focus on in a simple cup of tea: Feel it in your hands (the heat, the weight, what it makes your hands and arms feel like) What does it look like, smell like, taste like, feel like in your mouth? If you enjoy tea there is no way you won’t enjoy this practice.
A Mindful Walk
I try to get out and about at least once a day and spend a few minutes walking mindfully. This one is really easy. All you have to do is leave your house or office and start walking! Instead of thinkingabout what’s for dinner, what time your partner will be home, what your child did yesterday in school or any of those things which we get so distracted by every day, just concentrate on 2 things: What is happening inside your body (your breathing, the feeling of walking) and outside your body (what can you see, hear, smell, feel?). This is a good lunch break activity, it gives you a moment of peace in the middle of a busy day.
Interact with others mindfully
When I first started practicing mindfulness I was convinced that it was something I would do on my own in a quiet room. But now I am realising that to get the full advantage of mindfulness it needs to be a part of my everyday life, which most definitely does not take place in a quiet room! Mindfulness is about focus, so next time you talk to someone try to focus fully on them, rather than on your own thoughts. Look at their face, listen to what they are saying, focus on the gaps in their speech, basically give them your full attention. It is easy to think we are already doing this, but just consider it next time you are having a conversation with someone and you might be surprised by how much you are absorbed in your own thoughts.