If you are already familiar with the fundamental concepts of mindfulness and its practice, this is not for you. Feel free to close the tab and enjoy your favorite beverage with a nice breath of I’m too good for this.
This content is for those of you who are considering taking Tylenol to keep up with the stresses of life. This content is for those of you who wished for a little more oomph in your day so that you can keep up with the hundreds of items on your to-do list. This content is for those of you who want to begin to understand what slowing down to speed up means.
To start, I want you to imagine a time when you did a task you were so familiar with that you didn’t have to think about it. A common phenomenon of this is when people are driving somewhere they frequently go to. One day, you are to go somewhere else, only to find yourself at the usual location anyways without missing a beat. This is what happens when we lose mental sight and are not mindful of our surroundings. This is a tell-tale sign of when we are giving up control of our lives, our time, and our ability to enjoy it.
1. Pay Attention to How You Breathe
Take a moment and breathe in deeply, followed by a long exhale. Do this for 15 seconds, and notice the feelings in your body. Now switch to a rapid panting with a shallow breath for 5 seconds. How does your body feel now compared to the deep breath? Not only can paying attention to how we breathe allow us to be more aware of our feelings, it allows us to immerse into the moment. When we are concentrated on how we breathe, we can determine the rate at which we breathe. Controlling this allows us to alter our emotional state. Once we alter our emotional state, we begin to gain control of our lives in the moment. Once we have that, taking a minute to pay attention to your presence is easy.
2. Silence your Shower
We are so occupied and preoccupied that we don’t even give ourselves the right to a fair shower. I challenge you to not sing, talk, or even voice things in your head for one shower. Simply observe how the water feels as it splashes onto your skin. Notice the little bubbles as you lather your body wash. Hear the sound of shampoo swashing through your hair as you comb through it. Look at how little droplets of water glide off your shower curtain. Give yourself one shower of tranquility to wash away all the extra thoughts. You can have them back, just after the shower.
3. Eat Away From Your Seat
A buddy of mine always eats at his office chair. Every lunch is mashed into his face along with all the work emails. Is it just me or is this spoiling your appetite, too? Taking time away from your work while you eat to enjoy every bite of food not only increases your productivity when you return, it also gives you time to connect yourself to the world. Savoring food is a sacred way to connect to the hard work you have put in to earn that food, along with every little ounce of effort that it took to prepare the food. Eating is a great time to be reflective on the things you are appreciative of and settle down your 160 mph brain.
Again, these are the very basic things you can action to begin getting a sense of mindfulness. More to follow in the posts to come! Thanks for reading. 🙂