Seven days of mindful living
If you’re feeling a bit rundown this month you may benefit from mindful living.
Mindfulness is a state of heightened awareness where you can tune into your thoughts and the present moment in order to see clearly what is happening in your life.
It can be all too easy to fall into a pattern of living mindlessly, but mindfulness encourages you to step away from habitual, often unconscious feelings and thoughts. Instead you can discover a whole new level of insight and understanding.
To help you insert some mindfulness into your life, here’s seven days worth of mindful living activities to try:
Day one – Focus on doing one thing at a time
Multi-tasking seems like an efficient way to get things done but it can cause added stress. Taking time to enjoy one thing at a time is key to feeling more in control of your life and your health. As the Zen proverb goes, “When walking walk. When eating, eat”.
Day two – Take your time
Rushing around and doing things at random is also guaranteed to cause stress. Mindfulness is all about enjoying the present moment, so take your time with every task today and make sure your actions are deliberate and slow. It takes practice but will help you to focus and get things done more effectively.
Day three – Do less
Filling your day with several tasks will see you rushing around and stressing yourself out. Prioritising what is important and limiting your load is key to better health and well-being. You will also find it easier to relax and enjoy the moment if you are not worrying about where you need to be next.
Day four – Spend five minutes doing nothing
When you get a chance, sit in silence and focus on your breathing. This simple act is a key aspect of mindfulness, for it allows you to connect with your thoughts and relax. Be comfortable with the silence and stillness; you will feel surprisingly refreshed afterwards.
Day five – Really listen to what others are saying
When we’re constantly worrying about what we need to do in the future, we can often neglect the things that are most important for our well-being – including friendships. Making an effort to really listen to someone and show that you value them and what they have to say is a great way to focus on being present.
Day six – Eat slowly
Rather than wolfing down your dinner, take time to chew slowly and savour the flavours and textures of your food. This will make you feel more relaxed and will aid better digestion.
Day seven – Turn cooking and cleaning into meditation
Cooking and cleaning can be boring chores, but changing them into meditation will make a big difference. Put your entire mind into these tasks and concentrate – doing them slowly and thoroughly. You will end up with a clean space and a clearer mind.
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