How do you become more mindful everyday?
Practice, practice, practice!
Here are 5 mindfulness practices that are extremely popular among practitioners in the West. You can practice any of these everyday. There are many variations of the following 5 practices. Find the ones that resonate with you the most and try to practice them regularly. This will help you set a mindfulness routine more easily.
1. Mindful Breathing
Perhaps the most well-known practice is paying attention to our breath. It is very popular because it is accessible any time and you don’t need any gadgets. Simply paying attention to our breath can help us ground ourselves, stay calm, and become more present. There are many different techniques: counting 10 breaths, focusing on the air coming through the nose, or repeating a word on each exhale. You can try different ways and see what is most comfortable for you.
Here’s a quick 3-minute guided mindful breathing exercise on YouTube (Run time – 3 min 14 sec):
2. Body Scan
This is my favourite mindfulness technique and I bring it to my mindfulness group every week. It helps re-connect my mind back to my body. I can feel where I have accumulated tension or pain. We live in such a busy world that we often forget how our body feels. This practice helps me to relieve pain and stress by releasing tension and sending my breath to it. It also reminds me to honour my body as a whole and calms my busy mind.
Here’s a popular YouTube body scan meditation (Run time – 10 min 40 sec):
3. Loving Kindness Meditation
Whenever I ruminate on a negative thought or person in my life, Loving Kindness Meditation seems to do the trick for me. Sometimes, I get wrapped up in my own life that I forget about the rest of the world. This meditation helps me get back into the present and acts as a reminder to connect with others and the community in a positive way.
Here’s a simple loving-kindness meditation (Run time: 13 min 25 sec):
4. Mindful Walking
Also known as “slow-motion walking”, this is a practice where you walk at a snail pace and focus your attention on your feet. When I start to notice the sensation of the ground, I stop “being in my head” and start observing what my feet is actually doing. It also helps bring up feelings of gratitude, as it reminds me that I am alive and I can still walk today. Try it out!
Here’s a good video explaining mindful walking (Run time: 3 min 7 sec):
5. Mindful Eating
We have to eat everyday, otherwise we don’t have energy. Taking a moment to notice our senses while we are eating can be very liberating. You can try paying attention to the smell, taste, texture, and sensations that come up when you eat. When I eat without talking or surfing the internet, it becomes a more joyful experience for me.
Here’s a cartoon video on 6 tips to mindful eating (Run time: 2 min 33 sec):
To recap, the 5 popular mindfulness practices I have introduced here are:
- Mindful Breathing
- Body Scan
- Loving Kindness Meditation
- Mindful Walking
- Mindful Eating
Do you have experiences with these 5 practices? Has it work for you?
Share your experience with us below!
(Title photo made by Jennifer Ma with canva.com)