Even though it’s summer and things may have slowed down ever so slightly at the office, chances are you’ve filled up any potential downtime with rushing kids around to sports or day camp, or hosting colleagues over for a summer BBQ. Busyness seems to be the norm, even during summer, so how can we become more attentive and present day to day? While sitting in meditation is one hugely beneficial way to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine, it’s not the only way to gain the benefits of mindfulness in our everyday lives. Here are three ways to live more mindfully today.
Practice Gratitude. When we are conscious of our blessings, we are more content with our lives. Especially when having a particularly stressful day, noting a few of the things we appreciate can make us immediately realize that things aren’t so bad at all. Whether it is a morning ritual of mentally reciting three things we’re grateful for as we sip our tea or coffee, or a gratitude journal we reflect in each night before bed, practicing gratitude makes us aware of everything we have in this very moment.
Pause & Breathe. How often do you find yourself rushing through the day? Is multitasking your typical work mode? Whenever you notice that you’re on auto-pilot, stop whatever you are in the middle of and take a few deep, purposeful breaths. You don’t need to leave the office or take an extended lunch break to pause for a minute or two to breathe. Briefly pause in your busy work day to look out the window and appreciate the view, admire a family portrait sitting on your desk, or notice the vase of fresh flowers on the meeting table. This mindful pause and few deep breaths will do wonders to refresh and renew you without ever leaving your desk!
Learn to sit with uncomfortable emotions. It is so easy to jump into our habitual reaction every time we are in situations or conversations that are difficult for us in some way. With mindfulness meditation, something that even new meditation practitioners notice is that we begin to see our reactions more clearly and in turn can pause before reacting. Although we may continue to react more harshly than we’d like as we practice choosing a different, kinder path, we almost immediately learn to sit with the uncomfortable feelings we are experiencing rather than jumping to fill the space, if only for a few moments. The more we practice staying with uncomfortable emotions everyday, the more natural it becomes for us to slow down and reflect before reacting.
Meditation instructor Alice Lash offers mindfulness meditation in Miami. Interested in trying mindfulness meditation this summer? Contact Mindfultime today, or take a look at our schedule online.