If you have tried to practice mindfulness, you know exactly what she’s talking about. In the moment, sensations are quite accessible–feeling your body, listening to sounds, hearing your thoughts, and feeling your emotions. But, it is truly amazing how we can block out our entire experience of being present with the busy activity of our lives. You can go all day without really being present for it.
So, here are a few ways that you can make mindfulness more accessible on a regular basis. These are particularly well suited for practicing mindfulness throughout the workday.
- Pause Practice: In between tasks and activities, take a moment or two to check in with your body, your feelings, and your thoughts. Not judging what’s happening or needing things to be different, but simply know what is happening in you and around you.
- Answering the Phone Practice: Before you answer your phone, take a moment to check in with your breath. Take two or three breaths before you answer. And, before you answer, put a smile on your face. The person on the other end of the line will greatly appreciate you presence when you say “Hi.”
- Driving the Car Practice: When you drive, just drive. Seriously folks. I don’t know how many times you’ve heard it, but it is not safe to text and drive. When you get into the car, hide your phone. Use this precious time to be with yourself and the sights around you, particularly the cars that you are sharing the road with!
- Walking Down the Hall Practice: Many people tell me they don’t have time to practice because they are too busy at work. This is a perfect practice to weave mindfulness into your workday without taking any extra time. As you walk down the hall from one office to another, to the copy room, and to the bathroom, pay attention to the lifting, moving, and placing of your feet, the movement of your legs, and the rest of your body as it walks from place to place. When your mind wanders to thoughts, bring yourself back to the sensations in your body.
- Three Breath Practice: If you find yourself getting stressed, frustrated, or anxious, stop and take three breaths. You might be surprised at the effect of three breaths on your body and your state of mind.
- Kindness Practice: I left the best for last! Mindfulness is about being in the present moment with kindness and compassion. It is an attitude that we often forget about as we get caught up in the incessant demands of our lives. Throughout the day, sprinkle yourself and others with kind wishes. You can use any phrase that you want and the phrase may change from situation to situation. You can say things like, “May I be safe. May I be happy. May I be peaceful and content. May I be healthy. May I live with ease.” Don’t forget to send these phrases to others, particularly the difficult ones. “May you be happy.” Let’s face it. When we are happy, we are much easier to get along with and work becomes so much more fun.
Enjoy your daily mindfulness!