How To Practice Daily Mindfulness and Be More Present
Mindfulness, which refers to a conscious state of awareness, yields numerous benefits. From decreased stress to improved focus to greater relationship satisfaction, simply being present can help you make tremendous strides towards bettering your mental health.
But mindfulness doesn’t need to be a formal or lengthy process to be effective. You don’t need to devote hours a day to meditation. Instead, practicing small acts of daily mindfulness can make a profound difference. Let’s get into some of the top tips.
Start Your Morning Without Technology
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? If you’re like most people, you probably reach for the phone charging on your nightstand.
This automatic habit may seem fairly unassuming. But we’re not wired to open our eyes and scroll through a barrage of emails, texts, and other related messages. Within just a few seconds, it can leave us feeling anxious and unsettled.
Instead, commit to waking up and taking a few deep breaths with your eyes still closed. Set an intention for the day. It doesn’t need to be complicated- an intention can be as simple as, I will be kind to myself today. Repeat that mantra with each breath you take.
Put off looking at your phone or laptop for as long as you can in the morning. Once you start integrating technology into your day, it’s hard to remove it—practice delaying as needed.
Eat Without Distractions
Mindful eating allows you to recharge and enjoy your meal. Most of the time, people graze through the day without even tasting their food.
That said, eating can be so pleasurable. It can also be an excellent way to practice daily mindfulness and become more aware of your mind-body connection.
During your next meal, turn off the TV. Put away the phone. Chew your food and try to taste it fully. Embrace the sensations that arise. Your mind and body will thank you for the act of daily mindfulness.
If you are eating with others, you can enjoy both the food and the conversation. Over time, you’ll notice how wonderful it feels to carve out this time to socialize.
Practice Single-Task Mindfulness
Do you consider yourself a die-hard multitasker? If so, you might want to reconsider your title. Research shows that only 2.5% of the population can really multitask effectively. Even then, multitasking can impair judgment, cognitive strategy, and attentiveness.
If you want to feel productive, it’s much better to focus on a single task at a time. Likewise, if you want to feel more present in your life, this habit is especially important.
Think about all the necessary tasks you complete in a day. We all need to brush our teeth and do the dishes and fold laundry. Fortunately, these tasks provide easy, built-in opportunities for mindfulness.
The next time you do them, engage in all your five senses. Pay attention to the thoughts that arise. Try not to judge them. Instead, become a curious observer of your internal experiences.
Engage in Active Listening
It’s essential to learn how to be present in our daily interactions with others. If not, we risk coming across as inauthentic, distracted, or even standoffish. Over time, this dynamic can lead to serious relationship problems.
Meaningful relationships require active listening. Active listening refers to attuning to the other person. With this kind of listening, you give your undivided attention and hear them as closely as possible.
If you don’t understand something, ask for clarification. And don’t be afraid to express your support, compassion, and empathy. Emotional intimacy entails a sense of vulnerability, and we have to listen to others to be able to offer that truly.
Identify Your Gratitude Each Night
Daily gratitude allows you to put life into perspective, especially when things feel challenging. The more you practice gratitude, the more you will start to recognize the small virtues each day.
You can complete this task by yourself or with your partner. Before you go to sleep, write down, or describe the best parts of your day. Start with three, but feel free to add more.
Remember that gratitude isn’t just about the monumental things. While those big moments are special, they don’t happen every day. We can find joy in a simple phone call with a friend, a warm cup of tea, or watching a favorite movie.
Final Thoughts on Practicing Daily Mindfulness
The benefits of mindfulness are undeniable. Mindful people tend to feel happier and more confident. They also tend to feel less depressed and anxious.
Mindfulness is usually part of a comprehensive care plan. At Willow Counseling, we teach our clients how to practice this skill to improve their emotional health. We are here to help you on your journey towards wellness. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.
Willow Counseling, LLC – Nashville, TN
Willow Counseling, PLLC exists to provide quality trauma-informed mental health counseling to the Nashville community, recognizing the interconnectedness of our emotional, spiritual and physical selves. We work together to alleviate symptoms, learn better coping skills, relieve burdens, remove the pain of trauma, and so much more. However, our greatest desire is for you to know what it means to feel purpose and joy again and to recognize the strength and worth you have to offer the world.