If you want to know how to practice mindfulness throughout the day, you’ll love this article.
It should give you a basic understanding of what mindfulness is and what are the basic mindfulness habits. You will also learn how to meditate and how to make your habits stick.
Remember that knowledge is not a power. Knowledge is only a potential power. You must apply what you learn. Your time, energy and money are wasted if you do not take action.
I want you to succeed and change your life! Mindfulness is a keystone habit when it comes to improving yourself.
Mindfulness is a mental state of being aware of the present moment while accepting feelings, thoughts, and sensations at the moment.
Proven benefits of mindfulness:
- Improved concentration.
- Increased happiness.
- Decreased stress.
- Better physical health and health choices.
- Helps to overcome anxiety.
Once you have mastered mindfulness, it is easier to build new habits.
How To Practice Mindfulness Throughout The Day
Meditation is essential if you want to achieve mindfulness. The whole purpose of meditation is to become better at being aware of the present moment, become happier and reduce stress.
More you meditate, better you become at controlling your thoughts and emotions. Meditation and mindfulness are inseparable. Meditating for 8 weeks increases brain size in areas responsible for learning, concentration, and empathy. It also decreases the size of amygdala which is responsible for fear, anxiety, and stress. Meditation can also slow your aging process.
But what is the best time to meditate? I recommend meditating in the morning. You will stay in better mental state for rest of the day. There are benefits to meditating in the evening too. Meditation can help you fall asleep. Arnold Schwarzenegger meditates 20 minutes in the evening and 20 minutes in the morning. Maybe you should too.
#2.Wake up early.
Waking up early will increase your mindfulness and boost your productivity. Many successful people wake up between 4 a.m and 6 a.m. As Benjamin Franklin said once: “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”. Benjamin Franklin himself woke up at 5 a.m.
Your sleeping routine is a habit. In order to wake up earlier, you must change your sleeping habit. You must force yourself to go earlier to bed and to rise earlier. It will become automatic at some point.
If you find waking up earlier hard, make sure that you put your phone further away. Once the alarm goes off, you will be forced to get up to turn it off.
#3.Start your morning with a routine.
Like waking up early, morning routine prepares you for the day. Organized morning routine brings you closer to the mental state that you need for a mindful day. A morning routine is also a productivity booster. I have not heard of a successful person who does not have a morning routine.
Morning routine does not have to take long. It can be as short as 15 minutes. My current routine takes me about 45 minutes. There are different habits that you can include in your morning routine. Ideally, you have at least one habit for the body, one for the mind and one for the spirit.
If you do not have the time to practice a morning routine, consider waking up earlier.
Key to mindfulness is being grateful and happy about the things that you already have. When you wake up, write down at least 3 things that you are grateful for. By focusing on positive things, you are attracting more positive things in your life.
You can do this same exercise for other emotions too. You can experience gratitude, happiness, passion, and love simply by asking yourself the right questions. What am I grateful for? What am I happy about? What am I passionate about? Who do I love? Who loves me?
#5.Drink water after waking up.
There are many benefits to drinking water right after you wake up. It will rehydrate you after your sleep, jumpstart your metabolism and make you feel less tired. Drink at least one glass of water after you wake up.
Because water is fuel for your brain, it is also fuel for your mind. You can add few drops of lemon juice into your water. Lemon will make this habit even more healthy. Lemon has a positive effect on the digestive system, skin, immune system, and brain health.
#6.Define your most important goals.
Rather than cluttering your mind with many little things, pick the most important goals and focus on them. You have probably heard about 80/20 rule. It basically means that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your activities. You should spend 80% of your time on the top 20% activities.
Write all your goals down and decide which of them are in the top 20%. Focus on them. You should do this for all of your goals. 10 year, 5 year, 1 year, 3 month, 1 month and daily goals. 80/20 rule is one of the most effective productivity tools.
Define your top 20% daily goals during your morning routine and commit to them.
It does not have to be 80/20 necessary. Sometimes it can be 90/10 or 95/5. 80/20 is only a rule of thumb.
#7.Develop a beginners mind.
Even if you are an expert in your field, you still should keep a beginner’s mind. It allows you to be open to all possibilities. This applies to all areas of life. You will never be perfect. Repetition is the mother of mastery. If you think that you know it all, then you have literally a limited growth potential. But if you are ready to learn, improve and make mistakes, then your growth potential is unlimited.
#8.Develop a growth mindset.
Growth mindset basically means that you do not see a mistake as a failure. You see mistakes as learning experiences. With the growth mindset, you strive to constantly improve yourself. You strive to go beyond your limitations. You can practice growth mindset at work, in your relationships and other areas of life.
Look constantly for new opportunities to learn and improve. Read books, go to seminars, watch YouTube videos and throw yourself in new situations.
#9.Commit to one habit until it becomes automatic.
Use 80/20 principle to pick an important habit. Practice your habit until it becomes automatic. It depends on the habit and on the individual but reaching automaticity line can take anywhere from 3 weeks to 2 months.
Reading has similar mindfulness effects as meditation. It can relax and help you to concentrate better. Reading is also an important self-improvement tool. Feed your mind with information that you need to solve your problems and change your life. You do not have to read only nonfiction. If you read fiction books, you will have mindfulness benefits too.
Read at least 30 minutes a day. If you are an average reader, then you can read about 250 words per minute. That makes 52 500 words per week. You could read an average self-help book in about a week by reading 30 minutes a day. I think that this is amazing! It takes only 30 minutes a day to get started improving your life.
#11.Use positive affirmations.
Speak out loud or recite them in your mind. Positive affirmations are phrases that describe what you want to achieve and who you want to be.
Your thoughts affect your actions. In order to change your life, you have to reprogram your subconscious mind.The subconscious mind does not know what is false and what is true. And yet it is the subconscious mind that drives your habits.
You can be brainwashed or you can brainwash yourself. Sometimes you are brainwashing yourself without noticing it. You are saying negative things to yourself. Even if those things were false, your subconscious would still take them in. It does not care what your affirmations are.
Think about an apple tree next time you want to achieve something. The seeds are your thoughts. The water is your actions. Apples themselves are your results. If you want to improve yourself and become more mindful, make positive affirmations a habit.
#12.Use visualizations to change your state.
Whenever you are going from one activity to other, you should change your mental state also. However, if you do not make effort to change your state, you will carry same mental state from the previous activity.
You should use visualizations to change your state. Before you leave your home to work, try to visualize what you want to accomplish during your work hours. Before you leave your work, use your visualization to relax and let go of the stress. Just visualize that you are relaxing somewhere. This way you will be relaxed and in a better mood once you arrive home.
This can be applied to anything you want to achieve in life. Like positive affirmations, so do visualizations affect your subconscious mind. Just visualize what you want to achieve.
#13.Spend more time outside.
With many physical benefits, being in nature will improve your mindfulness. Humans are meant to be in nature. Spending a little bit more time outside is a top 20% activity. You will notice that you feel a lot better when you make going outside a habit. Being in nature has the power to cure depression and relieve stress.
You do not have to make big changes in your daily routine. Just 10 minutes outside is enough to lower your blood pressure and make you feel better. On the long-term, you should develop a habit of being at least 1 hour outdoors every day.
Eating more mindfully can help you make better food choices in the future. It involves what you eat and how you eat it. There are few practical ways to eat more mindfully:
- Chew more. It will result in less overall food intake.
- Put your fork down between each bite.
- Focus more on the taste of the food in your mouth before you devour it.
- Put food on a plate even when you are eating snacks. If you eat from the plate, you are more aware of how much you are really eating.
- When you are eating in a restaurant, try to identify all ingredients in the food.
- Sit at a table.
- Eat everything with chopsticks for a week.
- Eat in silence.
- Put away your phone. Shut off the TV.
- Listen to your body, stop when you are full.
Driving mindfully requires few steps:
- Take few deep breaths before you start driving.
- Do not distract yourself with radio or phone. Drive in silence.
- Notice your surroundings with more effort than before. Silence gives you the ability to concentrate better.
- Practice deep breathing in traffic lights.
- Do not drive faster than the speed limit is.
- Take few deep breaths before you get out of the car.
Driving is a great opportunity to practice mindfulness. Make mindful driving a habit. Practice it every time you drive. These practices can lower the risk of a car accident and save your life.
#16.Take breaks to get up from your chair.
If you are doing your work sitting in a chair, you should take breaks. Long periods of sitting can be unhealthy. I recommend taking at least 5-minute break for every hour of sitting. Do a little exercise, move around and stretch. If it is possible, do part of your work standing. You can even buy a treadmill desk. Take also longer breaks now and then. Go for a walk after long sitting periods.
#17.Be mindful of your body language.
Your body language tells a lot about you. You want to send the right message using your body and facial expressions. Practice body language in every social interaction. Use your body according to what you want to communicate. You can improve your gestures, posture and facial expressions.
Controlling your body language is a powerful skill. You can change how others see you by changing your body language.
According to a study at Florida State University, mindful dishwashing can lower your stress. You can use dishwashing to your advantage if you approach it as a mindful activity. You do not have to hand wash your dishes every time. Do it at least once a week. You can increase it from there.
Other chores could be done as mindful activities too. Doing all chores mindfully brings you closer to the present.
#19.Pick a new hobby.
I do not mean any hobby. Your hobby should involve doing something with your hands, and concentration. Handwork is a great way to develop your mindfulness. If you pick a handwork hobby that you really enjoy, it can be a relaxing and fulfilling activity.
#20.Be mindful of what you watch online and on TV.
This is very important. You should really take care of what you put in your mind. What you watch affects your subconscious. If you want to improve your life, you should watch self-improvement videos.
There is a room for entertainment too. Just be mindful of what kind of entertainment you watch. I can not decide for you, what is junk and what is not. You should simply be mindful of what you expose yourself to.
#21.Review your day.
More you measure your success, more you improve. Before you go to sleep, you should review your successes and failures during the day. Did you achieve your daily goals? What were the important lessons? What can you do next time differently?
This is very important if you want to become a better person. Write your improvement ideas on a paper and apply them at the next opportunity.