Mindfulness, or simply being mindful, is the ability to direct our attention to the present moment. In many cases, the term mindfulness’ is used with the term meditation’. This is because for years meditation has been one of the most popular ways of practicing mindfulness. While mediation has amazing health benefits, sitting down on a meditation cushion is not for everyone. The good thing is that there are many mindfulness activities that can help improve overall your well-being. Here are six different ways to be mindful without mediating.
1. Making your bed
It takes a couple of minutes to make a bed, but your daily mindfulness practice will greatly benefit from straightening those sheets. Basically, this activity sets the pace for the day. Your bedroom will be neater, more peaceful, and it says you will fully experience and enjoy the day without rushing just to get things done.
Transform your daily household chores into moments of mindfulness. Instead of cleaning just to get it over with, let yourself become completely immersed in the task itself. If you are sweeping, listen to your body as you move around the room, hearing the swish of the broom on the floor. Don’t just see a pile of crumbs, see yourself sweeping yesterday’s stress out of your life. When you are washing dishes, savor the feeling of water in your hands, the lightness of the bubbles, and the sound of dishes in the sink.
Whether it’s your own meal or for your loved ones, mindful cooking begins right from the preparation stage. Deciding on what to cook, shopping for the ingredients, and the actual cooking are all amazing opportunities to be mindful. It’s also an opportunity to be creative. When you peel and chop, appreciate the aromas, the colors, the sounds, and the textures.
Tune into your senses; feel the water as you rinse your vegetables, the sound of water as it boils, and the smell of onions on the frying pan. As you continue cooking, notice how adding a new ingredient affects the color, texture and fragrance of the dish.
Walking is easy, doesn’t require training, consumes little time, and has lots of health benefits. It has the ability to give you an emotional boost, rejuvenate your mind and make you feel more in sync with nature. It’s one of the best ways to practice mindfulness without sitting down on a meditation cushion and closing your eyes.
To transform a walk into a mindful experience, pay attention to your body and feel your weight transferring to your feet. Walk slowly, paying attention to every step and feel the weight of your feet shift as you walk. Notice how the rest of your body feels as you move; arms, chest, neck, and back.
The best thing about walking is that it can be done almost anywhere and you can easily fit it into your day to day life. For example, walking to the office, to the bus stop, or even walking home.
The word dance’ might seem intimidating to some people. However, you don’t need to be the best dancer, you only need to be present at the moment. By being present through the practice of dancing, we learn about our bodies.
You can dance in silence, or you can select a piece of music you love and let your body move naturally. Don’t force anything: mindful dancing is never about being perfect; it’s a process that unfolds naturally. As your hips sway and hands rise above your bobbing head, feel the temperature rising and your heart race. Lose yourself and experience the joy.
One of the best ways to practice mindfulness is to observe your present experience and try to write about it. Such writing helps you become more aware of your surroundings. You can write a ‘thank you’ list. Take your time to appreciate the tiny and big things in life. The list doesn’t need to be long; it can be as short as three things you are grateful for. Maybe it’s your phone, your children, the cup of tea on your dining table, or your job.
The list of ways of practicing mindfulness without mediation is endless. Basically, mindfulness can be incorporated into your daily habits. You don’t need to change your routine; all you need is pay a little more attention.