So you’re looking to be more mindful, eh? Great! Basic rule of thumb: mindfulness is simple, if you remember to do it.
Just like anything else this practice is about forming habits and the easiest way to do that is to incorporate things into your life that don’t derail your already existing routine.
It’s gonna require a little change to transition to a mindful lifestyle but I’ve put together a killer lazy-list for beginner mindful habits to kick-start this transition without going through withdrawals of your existing everyday life.
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Take 3 Conscious Breaths Whenever Your Remember
That simple. From here forward when it crosses your mind stop what you’re doing and take 3 deep breaths. It doesn’t matter where you are this can be as exaggerated or discrete as you’d like. The key is mind, body and breath connection.
Consciously visualize the cleansing and pure energy entering your body through the life force within inhalation and releasing all the dark, unsettled and unwanted energy with each exhale. Each time you do this, you will begin remembering to practice this exercise more frequently.
Oh and if you weren’t aware, this is meditation as well tehe. So by taking time to experience 3 conscious breaths you are training your brain to get better at meditation, slowly but surely.
Eat Meals Without Checking Your Phone
Gasp I know, the thought of shifting attention away from social media while eating is foreign, but really just give it a try. You’ll be surprised how much better food tastes when you actually pay attention to it. Challenge yourself to completely put away your phone during food-times and really connect with your environment during this time.
If you are eating alone have a one on one relationship with your meal. Pay attention to all the details the look, smell, texture and taste; notice how it feels going down your throat to your stomach and how it settles.
If you are eating with company still focus on the important food details but try to give your company your focus as well. Practice the act of listening as you interact with your food completely un-wavered by notifications and interweb distractions.
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Designate Yourself a Bowl
Grab your favorite bowl, or find a special bowl just for you and claim it sacred. Eat all your meals from this bowl, yes you can eat most anything out of a bowl. If you’re one of those humans that can’t have their food touch then add a plate to your sacred dish collection.
This practice is to continue your mindful mealtime, once you’re done with your bowl/plate wash it immediately. As you rinse away the mess visualize all of your worries, stress or unsettling thoughts with it. Once you’re done go back to your day and I promise you’ll feel full, satisfied, achieved and ready to keep on keeping on.
Drink a Glass of Water Right When You Wake Up
As soon as you leave your bedroom in the morning go straight to the kitchen, pour yourself a tall glass of water and take. it. down. All of it. Literally chug as much water as your body will physically let you before you have to come up for air.
From the moment you begin, be aware of how this impacts your body from the moment it touches your lips all the way to the bottom of your belly. Notice how your body feels when you’ve finished vs. when you started.
This kick starts your metabolism, helps move and flush built up toxins built up overnight and assists with mental clarity. I personally find that mindfulness is easier to maintain when I’m hydrated, plus mindfulness and holistic health go hand-in-hand and this is the perfect way to serve both body and mind to start your day.
Do Less, With More Attention
Begin to notice how often you multitask and then cut out unnecessary busy work.
It helps to write down a to-do list to keep focus on what’s important, then for each task set yourself a 20 minute timer when you begin. Once the timer is set, like a monk, dedicate yourself whole-heartedly 100% to the task at hand. Phone notifications, TV shows, that thing over there can wait 20 minutes.
Take your time and see yourself in everything you do calmly and without judgement. Give your best effort in all you give your energy too and take genuine pride in your actions. This exercise will train your mind to priorities your attention over time it will also help you get through a to-do list without feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
Remind Yourself to Stay Mindful
I mean this in the most literal sense. Every night as you complete your night routine before bed, set your alarm for the morning and instead of it being labeled something generic, actually write yourself a note, and actually do it with care.
This is the very first thing you see as you open your eyes in the morning, make yourself smile while reminding yourself what to work on.
I like to set mine with reminders from the day before of something I noticed there’s room for improvement for – but in the form of a positive affirmation for example:
“Good morning you positive intuitive listener, you.”
Starts the day with a smile because I always forget what I set the night before and all day long I can’t help but think “positive intuitive listener”.
If you’re the type of person who has a set alarm that never changes, choose something more broad but equally necessary for you personally such as:
“Good morning, Sunshine! You are the light of my life.”
Set yourself up to succeed from the moment you open your eyes. You are the light.
Check Your Notifications At Certain Points of the Day
Now there’s no need to set an alarm for phone time, but create mental phone times within your daily routine. It’s so easy to get sucked into the internet and next thing you know it’s 2 hours later, you’re stuck on some video stream on auto play and don’t even know how you got there.
Or even worse, you find yourself bogged down checking emails constantly throughout the day never getting your head out of the cloud. Don’t, just don’t do it to yourself. It will help you remained focused, attentive and calm when it does come time to check those emails.
Detox From Technology One Day a Week
This is a tough one, especially when today it can be debated whether some coffee makers are considered technology. But I’m talking about the basics: TV, video games, social media or any electronic entertainment. If you can’t go 24 hours without this stuff, you may need it more than you realize.
Find a hike or lake to explore, start that project you’ve been meaning to around the house, hell, finish that project you started way back when. It’s a healthy reminder to feed your mind, body and soul from sources other than behind a screen.
You’ll be surprised how rejuvenated you feel after a break.
Meditate While You Poop
Yep I said it .
It’s so common to not know what do with your life if you forgot the phone on your trip to number two. A little time by yourself shouldn’t be a disappointment, even if there is absolutely nothing to entertain you.
Remember this: one thing that never leaves your side all the way up until the day you die, is your breath. Make friends with it, get to know how it effects the different parts of your body; nose, lips, throat, chest – everything.
Train yourself to just exist during a time you can’t get away from if you tried. Some people say they’re too busy to meditate.
To that I say
Choose the Active Route
Most things you read about mindfulness will say “do 30 minutes of exercise a day” which yes, that’s true, but unfortunately deters people from trying anything at all because meh, exercise.
Mindful secret: You don’t have to do 30 consecutive minutes of activity to give your body it’s daily dose of movement. Here are a few ways to bring more activity in your day:
Park Farther Away
Take The Stairs
If it’s close Walk or Ride a Bike Instead
Stand When You Can
Now Go be a More Mindful You Every Day!
Mindfulness is a practice and as you stick with it you’ll realize how much clutter is in your life within your routines, social groups and most importantly your head. Don’t be afraid to fall, every minute, hour and day count despite it as long as you keep trying. It starts with one step in the right direction!
If you have any other mindful habits to add to list list be sure to add them in the comments! I would love to know what you did to help you transition to a mindful lifestyle!