When starting your mindfulness journey, figuring out how to make time for mindfulness can be a struggle. You realize what a benefit it will be to your health, but you don’t necessarily think you can put in a full thirty minute meditation session. Honestly, you might even still be hesitant about the whole concept of meditation.
This is especially true if you don’t always have time for a full blown meditation, or maybe we just don’t think we do. An article in the Huffington Post about finding time to meditate states that most of the time we just don’t think we have the time, even though many of us spend plenty of time scrolling through social media. Honestly, this is something that even the seasoned pros of mindfulness struggle with.
So, today I’m going to give you five different ways to make that time. Some of them would allow time for meditation, others would allow you to simply have time to be mindful of the present moment. Don’t worry if you’re confused about how to be mindful without meditation. I’ll explain this in more detail later in the article.
This has to be one of my favorite times to meditate. Just think of it, what better way to greet the day than meditating and enjoying the present moment? I personally enjoy using guided meditations, many of which can be found on various apps and websites. There are even specific morning meditations, but you don’t necessarily have to use them. Another way to meditate in the morning is to simply set a timer and just be still. Notice how your body is feeling that day, without being judgmental, and just let your thoughts be as they are. I have found that it’s best to do this meditation in the same place every day. I find that doing this puts me in a better place throughout the day.
Alright, I know this probably sounds weird, but this is a great example of a mindfulness moment that really doesn’t need guidance. The first time I’d heard of this meditation was from a mindfulness class that I took. The premise revolves around preventing your mind from wandering. What are you usually thinking about when you brush your teeth? Probably everything but brushing your teeth, right? Well, for this exercise, when you go to brush your teeth try to actually focus on what you’re doing. Notice what you feel, taste, hear, etc., and just let thoughts come and go without judgement. It’s a great way to train your mind to stop racing, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Those few minutes can train your brain to be more mindful throughout the day.
This is also a very simple way to incorporate mindfulness into your day. I’m sure when many of us take a work break, we tend to reach for our phone so that we can mindlessly scroll through social media for a few minutes. Well, instead of doing that, practicing mindfulness is a great way to use your time when taking a break. There are plenty of guided meditations for work breaks. I know I’ve found a few that I like on the app, Simple Habit. Again, if you’d rather do an unguided meditation, that’s perfectly okay too. I recommend simply checking in with how you’re feeling in that moment, noticing the breath, while not making an effort to change or judge anything. As I mentioned before it’s also important to just let thoughts come and go during the mindfulness practice.
This is another one of my favorite times to be mindful. You can approach this a number of different ways. If you’re walking, you can try a walking meditation (Simple Habit has these too). You can also just take the time to notice your surroundings. Focus on what you see, hear, smell, etc. I Personally love doing this while I’m walking to class. It really gives me an opportunity to clear my head throughout the day. You can also do a similar practice while driving. Of course, it is important to make sure that you remain aware while driving, you wouldn’t want to lose yourself in your thoughts and risk hurting yourself or others.
I also really like practicing a mindfulness meditation at this point in the day. The concept is very similar to meditating in the morning. There are many different kinds of meditations that can even help you fall asleep (Simple Habit has these too, can you tell I like that app?). Many professionals say it’s bad to fall asleep while meditating but personally I think it’s a great way to fall asleep. Even if you don’t use a guided meditation, you can simply focus on your breath. You know the old expression of counting sheep? Well, they might’ve been on to something. Many mindfulness professionals recommend counting breaths to relax you. This is of course also a great way to fall asleep.
I hope at least one of these ways to be mindful has resonated with you today. It’s also important to note, that you don’t have to do all of these in one day (although if you do more power to you, I can assure you that it’s worth it). Maybe just start out by dipping your metaphorical mindfulness toe in the water by trying one of these exercises. I can say from experience that even just one of them can make a difference.
So what do you think about the ideas I’ve given? Have any of you tried them? What did you like or dislike about it? Do you have any other ways to incorporate mindfulness into your day? Let me know in the comments!
A Mental Health Journey through Mindfulness
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