Mindfulness is happiness. But you already know that. But what is mindfulness, beyond the abstract definition of “attentive, aware, or careful” that I gave in that other article? Being more mindful means tapping into all of your senses. If you’re more of a concrete person, here are a bunch of examples of how you can live a more mindful life.
These are things I try to be mindful of every day. I’m hoping that by writing them down, in addition to helping clarify things for you, they will make them more second nature to me. I bolded the ones I’m working on the most right now.
- Do one thing at a time. If you’re on your phone, be on your phone. If you’re watching TV, watch TV. If you’re eating, eat. If you’re spending time with your friend, spend time with you’re friend. But try not to be on your phone while watching TV, eating, and calling it friend time, or you’re robbing yourself of all four experiences.
- Turn everything off, at least once a day, for at least a few minutes.
- Eat slowly. Chew slowly. Smell your food. Enjoy the texture. Bite by bite.
- Check in to your body parts. Where are your hands, how tense are your shoulders, knees, and toes. Flex all of your muscles in your entire body, then relax them.
- Feel your feet in your shoes and the ground beneath them when you walk.
- Walk slowly.
- When you wake up, spend 15 – 30 minutes planning your day. Spend the rest of your day living it.
- Breathe deeply. Exhale slowly.
- Check in to your mind. What are you thinking about and why? Let those feelings go.
- Take note of what makes you want to feel happiness, anger, surprise, disgust, contempt, and fear. Write these things down throughout your day if you have a hard time remembering.
- Focus on what you have in this instant — in experiences, relationships, and possessions.
- Smell more things, but not in a creepy way.
- Stand up straight (okay, Mom).
- If you’re walking or riding (car, bus, train, plane), take in the sights. Even if you’re in a place you’ve been a thousand times. Take in the sights.
- If you’re driving, focus on the sights in front of you. You know, to not die.
- Touch things (consenting things, or inanimate things, please).
- Notice light. Notice color. Notice shape.
- Live right now. In this moment. This one. Not that last one — it’s over. Don’t worry about the next ones that might be coming — they’ll get here. Live in this one.
Have any tips for living mindfully? Please please please let me know. I’d like to hear them for myself, but also to add the to this list for others.