Technology has brought so much to us at the touch of our fingertips, making this an era of instant gratification. It is easy to be mindless automatons who never have to be in our heads, never have to experience the imagination that comes with boredom, and find it difficult to be mindful.
But with the benefits that come with instant gratification comes the ever-more important need to force mindfulness into our daily regimen or risk losing ourselves altogether. Mindfulness needn’t be scary or time-consuming. It’s simply a way to ground yourself in the present moment enough to appreciate it in a non-judgmental way.
So how do you teach yourself how to be mindful in a world where mindlessness is not only encouraged but is becoming the norm? Here are 4 tips for being more mindful in 2019 and beyond.
Mindfulness in Your Daily Routine
1. Wake up in a determinedly mindful mindset.
How you wake up can make or break your entire day. If the second your eyes pop open you are thinking of the seemingly endless to-do list that you have or the stress that you just can’t seem to fix, your day will likely follow that tone.
However, if you remind yourself when you wake up that the day is going to start and end no matter what you do or how you approach it, it’s easier to allow yourself the time and space you need to collect your thoughts. Take a few minutes to meditate, pray, or just sit quietly over your morning meal with no disturbances.
2. Let your routine activities be your reminder to ground yourself.
Simple activities that you do every day are the perfect time to remind yourself to be in the moment. It’s easy to let your brain get on autopilot during these activities. Instead, focus on what you are doing and thinking.
Examples of these mindless activities can include brushing your teeth, taking a shower, or even driving to work. When you have a few seconds or minutes where your mundane activities are happening, purposefully set your mind in the present.
3. Use waiting time as an opportunity to be mindful.
Look around you the next time you are waiting in line at a store, a doctor’s office, or anywhere you go. How many people are using this time to think quietly and how many are distracting themselves by scrolling through their phones?
It is almost painful for the majority of people today to be at the moment. They have to distract themselves by catching up on social media, responding to emails or texts, or listening to music. But this is the perfect time to be mindful.
4. Go beyond your daily routines.
When mindfulness is something you are having difficulty with or something you want to expand beyond your current comfort zone, think outside the box. Explore the woods in your neighborhood, take a trip to the Grand Canyon, or go on an Ayurveda retreat to learn how to rejuvenate, heal, and transform your body and mind.
Focus and Practice Leads to Automaticity
Every habit must begin with focus, practice, and dedication to it, from learning to walk to riding a bike. Mindfulness, when approached with focus and dedication, will eventually move from daily practice to a regular habit, giving you the peace you need to get through everyday stresses.