By Maria Miller, MA, PLPC
When most of us think about mindfulness, we picture someone peacefully sitting with their eyes closed in a quiet place for an entire hour. If you’re like me, it can be hard to carve out even fifteen minutes in my busy day for mindfulness, much less an hour! Luckily for us, the many benefits of mindfulness can be enjoyed with far less time than an hour. Here are a 3 ways you can incorporate mindfulness into your day with the kinds of tasks you’re already doing.
3 Ways to Be Mindful That Take No Extra Time
- Breathe while you brush your teeth. You’re already brushing your teeth at least twice a day (I hope!), so why not use this time to get a boost in your wellbeing by practicing mindfulness? As you brush away, take a few deep breaths. Notice the smell of your toothpaste, the feeling of the toothbrush bristles against your gums, and treasure these quiet few moments between tasks.
- Focus on the present moment at a red light. Your daily driving, biking, or walking routine can be an excellent time to sneak in some mindfulness. The next time you’re at a red light, take a few moments to soak in the sights, smells, and sounds surrounding you. Notice the colors on a tree nearby, the sound of your engine humming, and the smell of your morning coffee or the smell of the air out your window.
- Savor the flavors of your first bite at each meal. Eating is a special time to become present with the food in front of you. It doesn’t even have to be for the entire meal (though that can be lovely)! The next time you have a meal, place a special focus on that first bite. Take a moment before you put your food in your mouth to look at the colors, to smell the aroma, and to feel a sense of gratitude for all the work that went into this nourishing meal. Savor that first bite, noticing the texture and the flavor in your mouth. Then carry about your meal as you normally would.
The many benefits of mindfulness: Higher wellbeing, increased quality of life, and a healthier nervous system are available to you. Even if you have no extra time in your day to practice mindfulness, these three ideas will help you use the tasks you already do each day to get in the present moment. You deserve to treat yourself to the pleasures of the present moment, and you can do it throughout your busy day.
Interested in learning more about mindfulness? We have a short course starting next week to help you learn to practically introduce it into your life. Koru: A Mindfulness Class for Busy People. Koru Mindfulness is a four-session virtual mindfulness course that focuses on tools for stress reduction, relaxation and focus. It is held via Zoom on Wednesdays, August 23rd to September 13th from 6:30 pm – 7:45 pm. Please click here to find out more.