You might be surprised at how easy it is to manage your stress levels by incorporating mindfulness into just one part of your day. Particularly for those dealing with anxiety or depression, mindful moments can help you focus on your body and ease difficult symptoms. How can mindfulness be applied to your life? You don’t need special equipment or materials. All you need is yourself, some time, and a willingness to try new things. Here are some mindfulness tips to incorporate into your routine.
Notice your breath
Breathing is an essential part of mindfulness, and it’s something you can do at any time. The next time you’re feeling stressed, take a few deep breaths and focus on how it feels. Try counting each breath in increments of five (example: 1-2-3-4-5) until you feel relaxed.
As you start noticing your breath more, learning a few breathing exercises to incorporate into your day may be helpful. Here is a real-life example of mindfulness while breathing:
- Try counting your breaths up to 10. As you breathe in and out, count the number of times you inhale and exhale, then repeat this process until reaching 10. Do this several times daily to practice focusing on one thing at a time instead of multitasking.
Focus on your posture
One way to incorporate mindfulness into everyday life is by focusing on your posture. Adjusting your posture anchors you back into your body and the present moment. Good posture can help you feel more confident, relaxed and in control of your body, leading to greater well-being. In addition, we must maintain an upright position when sitting or standing so that our breathing remains healthy. If we slump forward, it becomes more difficult for air to travel through the lungs properly, constricting the body’s respiratory capacity.
Talking to a friend, family member, or counsellor about your daily stressors can help you tap into mindfulness through connection. By getting your thoughts off your chest, you’re creating more space for your mind to be in the present moment. Speaking your thoughts out loud is also a great way to organize them and process the accompanying emotions.
Try a guided meditation or yoga class
Yoga is an excellent way to begin incorporating everyday mindfulness. Most gyms, community centers, and yoga studios offer classes that are open to all ages and levels of experience. You can also find guided meditation apps that you can use on your own time, wherever you feel most comfortable.
Take a daily walk with music, podcasts, or audiobooks
When you’re walking, your mind may start to feel overwhelmed with intrusive thoughts. Listening to music or podcasts while walking can allow your mind to relax, which can lead to more creativity, problem-solving, and stress relief. Choose a piece of audio that you find interesting, calming, and enjoyable. This will help you pause the screens in your life for a little bit and focus on the world around you.
Let go of negative thought patterns
It can feel impossible to let go of negative thought patterns like catastrophizing, personalizing, or filtering. When negative thoughts arise, focus on what you are feeling in the present moment. You can share these thoughts with a loved one, counsellor, or write them down in a journal. Don’t try to change things, but accept them as they are and acknowledge what you’re grateful for. Over time, this will help reprogram your brain towards a more positive way of thinking. This is an excellent way to incorporate mindfulness into everyday life.
Tune into your senses
Being mindful is all about having a heightened sense of awareness throughout your day. You can practice this by tuning into your senses by making an effort to notice how things look, smell, feel, and taste throughout the day. Some examples of mindfulness include:
- When you’re on the bus, notice how the people around you look and act. Notice if any of them look tired or excited. If you’re sitting, notice how the seat feels or if the temperature on the bus feels warm or cold.
- When eating breakfast, pay attention to each bite as you chew and what it feels like to swallow. What does your breakfast taste like? Can you smell anything interesting while eating (e.g., coffee brewing)? What can you see around you?
Start being more mindful today
You don’t need special equipment or even to leave home to incorporate mindfulness into your everyday life. It can be as simple as noticing your breath while sitting in traffic, focusing on your posture while walking from place to place, and taking time out of your day for a guided meditation or yoga class. Over time, you will notice changes to your habits and daily routine that allow you to be present without judgment or expectation. Feeling like you need support in your mindfulness journey? A Wellin5 counsellor is available. Get matched with a counsellor who meets your specific needs, and start feeling better today. Learn more.