How To Practice Mindfulness Every Day

how to be mindful, what is mindfulness, mindfulness, practicing mindfulness tips

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is about becoming aware of our conscious being and focusing on the present moment. It's about channelling a mental state where we accept and acknowledge our feelings, thoughts and sensations.

'Mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment.' - Professor Mark Williams

Here are 9 mindfulness tips to bring into your day.

1. Be fully present in the moment

Limit distractions and put away things that are drawing your attention away from where it needs to be. Fully immerse yourself in the present moment and be aware of your surroundings. What sounds can you hear? What can you smell? Take it all in and check in on where your head is at.

2. Choose your 'higher self'

Your higher self is the version of you which wants a healthier and happier life for yourself. When you make a decision that's going to benefit your future self, you're acting as you're higher self. If you make a decision that's only going to benefit you in the short term, such as ordering a fast food takeaway when you're trying to get in shape, you're succumbing to your lower self. When you're about to make a decision, ask yourself, 'Am I acting as my higher self or lower self?'

3. When your mind wanders, bring it back

Accept that your mind will wander when you're practicing mindfulness and that's ok. When you notice your attention drifting to somewhere like your phone when you're in a conversation, acknowledge that you've lost track of your thoughts and bring yourself back to the moment.

4. Eat mindfully

Mindfulness doesn't just apply to emotions and thoughts, but to what you physically do too. If you scoff down a load of food and find yourself reaching back into the fridge shortly afterwards, chances are you were distracted while eating and weren't fully paying attention to the tastes and feeling of being full. You were 'distracted' by the fact that you ate. Focus your attention on the food in front of you.

5. Fully listen to the person in front of you

Do you find yourself listening to a friend or co-worker talking and you just nod and say 'yeah 'really?' 'no way' throughout the conversation? Are you actually listening to what they're telling you? If someone is giving you their time you should take it as a huge compliment. They could be giving it to anyone else but they're choosing to spend this moment solely with you, so show them thanks by being fully engaged with what they're saying. Ask questions and delve deeper into the conversation and don't glance at your phone or let your thoughts wander to something you deem more important.

6. Put the damn phone down

Our phones are one of the biggest stealers of happiness. How many times per day do you put your phone down and actually feel happier from the content you've just consumed? Social media can be a dangerous place for the mind, from dealing with self-comparison, body image issues, terrible news and just bringing stress into our lives that we didn't need before. Seriously, promise yourself to limit the time spent on your phone and stop reaching for it on auto-pilot.

7. Be aware of your thoughts

What's troubling you? What's stopping you from living happily in the present moment? Jot down what you're feeling and assess what changes you can make to make your mind a happier place to live.

8. Meditate, even if you're 'too busy'

Pick a regular time to meditate every day, such as on the commute to work on at the end of your lunch break. Meditating is as simple as a breath in and out. You can meditate in the car, on the bus, on a lunch break or any time that you have a few minutes to disconnect from the stress of life. Download some podcasts or apps about meditation and they will guide you on what to do. If you can spend hours scrolling on social media every day, you can spare 10 minutes to check in with your thoughts.

9. Take in your surroundings

Tune in to the world around you. Notice the sound of rippling water on your walk, take in the fresh air, even acknowledge the bustling traffic.

Read more: 30 self-care gifts for someone who needs TLC