Mindfulness is proven to reduce stress, can lower blood pressure, helps boost immunity, lets us sleep better, and it’s free! That’s at least five wins by my count so why isn’t everyone talking about using mindfulness to come back to the present moment?
I think it’s because some people are afraid that it’s too spiritual, too new age-y, too hippie dippy, too out there. But mindfulness doesn’t have to be. Honestly, it’s not even weird once we know what it is.
Mindfulness is basically just our ability to be fully present. It’s being aware of what we are doing in the present moment and where we are. That doesn’t seem too weird.
When we are mindful, we stay in the present moment, which helps us avoid being overwhelmed or reactive. That actually sounds pretty awesome!
Here are three techniques to weave into your day-to-day life to be more present through mindfulness.
1. Replace Multi-Tasking with Single-Tasking
Many of us love multitasking. We feel like we’re getting so much accomplished but there are two problems there. The first is that when we switch back and forth between projects, it actually takes us longer to finish.
The second issue is that it’s much, much more difficult to stay in the present moment when our attention is bouncing all over the place. This can lead us to feeling out of control, frazzled, or overwhelmed. And none of us want that!
Here’s a simple way to ease into single-tasking:
Set a timer for 10 minutes and work solely on the one thing you need to accomplish most. It could be writing a tough email, folding the laundry, scheduling doctors’ appointments, or playing with your child. Do only that one thing for those 10 minutes. Resist scrolling through social media, mindlessly checking the news, or anything else that might distract you from the task at hand until your timer goes off.
Ten minutes might be all it takes to finish, or it might get you into a rhythm that inspires you to keep going until you finish. Either way, your focus kept you on the task at hand and moved you closer to your goal.
2. Give Thanks
Another way for a reset is to practice gratitude for the people and things we already have in our lives. The small things count, too, so try to acknowledge them when they happen.
At the end of the day, write them down or just take an extra moment to think about them again. Here are some examples most of us can relate to: I woke up today, my car started on the first try, I have a phone/computer to read this article, I can read, people care about me.
We often get so stuck in our heads thinking about the things we don’t have that we forget to appreciate the things we have. And many of the things we are thankful for today are things that we dreamed about having in the past.
Take time to appreciate them now that you have them.
Listen to my guided gratitude meditation anytime you want to feel better. It will help you use mindfulness to come back to the present moment:
3. Meditate Without Sitting Down
You can bring mindfulness into anything.
If you stop and appreciate the letters on this page or how your device feels, you are being mindful. Turn something you do repeatedly into a meditation by bringing your full awareness into it.
Here’s an example that I learned from a doctor who constantly washes her hands:
Next time you wash your hands bring your full attention to it. Notice how the soapy bubbles feel against your skin and the temperature of the water. Pay attention to the smell of the soap. Listen to the sound of the running water. Finally, feel the texture of the towel as you dry your hands.
Doing this turns the simple act of washing our hands into a moving, mindful meditation that brings us back to the present moment and helps us feel better. It’s as if some of the stress or anxiety we were feeling washed down the drain while we focused on the present moment.
Use these three mindfulness techniques to find peaceful moments throughout your day.
Don’t forget to read last week’s article for three other mindfulness techniques to weave into your day.
For more information, check out our monthly membership program where we focus on mindfulness and living in the present moment. And sign up for our newsletter to get free access to my Guided Gratitude Meditation, which will also bring you back from stress and overwhelm and into the present moment again, and to always be the first to know when a new article is published.