If you’re looking for the buzzword of the moment, it’s mindfulness. Our favourite definition is “moment to moment awareness of present events.” Take a second to jot that down on a memo and post it by your computer.
Mindfulness is what Buddha was talking about when he said, “When we sit, we know we are sitting. When we walk, we know we are walking. When we eat, we know we are eating.”
Mindfulness is about learning to be more awake and ready for each moment of your life. It’s not something that just happens. Instead, you have to train to be more mindful every day.
The good news is that you can easily add mindfulness training to your daily routine without burdening your already packed schedule. With a few simple tips and tricks, you can learn to take purposeful pauses and redirect your thoughts to the here and now.
If you’ve never practised mindfulness before, then you need to start with the easy stuff. Mindfulness is a muscle that you need to build up, so it becomes a natural part of your life. Start with your next meal, pay attention to the flavours of not only your first few bites but also a few bites later. Close your phone. Turn off the TV. And only focus on the taste of the food you’re eating.
Begin at the Beginning
Start practising mindfulness at the very beginning of your day. As soon as your alarm clock goes off in the morning, choose to start your day rather than letting the day start you. Begin each day noticing the sensation of your breathing as you lie in bed. Then, notice the sheets against your skin and the light filtering through your window. First, recognise your day and then jump out of bed and get started.
Use Transition Time Wisely
Your day is filled with transitions. Just take a look at your Jot It Down 2016 Diary; your schedule doesn’t have you jumping from one thing to the next without a break in between. No. In truth, your day is filled with travel time between work and home, pauses between meetings, and breaks between assignments. Instead of filling your drive to work with the radio, choose to allow yourself that time to focus on life, the car you’re driving, the air you breathe, and the world around you. Between meetings, instead of checking your texts and emails, feel your feet on the floor, the air on your skin, and anticipate the possibility of talking to coworkers.
Yes, the medical community has warned us against sitting too long or for extended periods of time, and that’s true, but when you do sit, you can sit with a purpose. Sitting meditation is the cornerstone of mindfulness. And you don’t have to sit with your legs crossed and your hands on your knees; you can use your desk chair to practice mindfulness meditation. One time a day, turn off your computer and close your eyes. Notice the sensation of your body in the chair, the sound of your coworkers chatting, the feel of air in your lungs.
You’ll never make mindfulness a part of your life if you don’t make it a priority in your life. If you need to, add a checklist of mindfulness times to your busy schedule. Add in a five-minute break in the morning and afternoon where you’ll spend time being mindful. If that seems like too much, then prioritise mindfulness by changing the items around you. Instead of using a typical pen to write your daily notes, grab a Natural Goose Feather Quill Pen and use it as your hourly reminder to be mindful. Pay attention to the feel of the feather, the smooth motion of the pen, and the evenness of your writing.
Developing the habit of mindfulness doesn’t have to cause extra stress. Just focus on changing a few small things each day until mindfulness meditation becomes a part of who you are.