How to Practice Mindfulness in Daily Life
Mindfulness strengthens one’s ability to focus. Typical ADHD symptoms – like impulsiveness, distractibility and hyperactivity – are greatly reduced as the mind learns to draw continual attention to the present moment. When this purposeful attention is sustained over time and applied to everyday activities, mindfulness becomes a way of life. The more one practices, the greater the life enhancement potential.
To practice mindful living, all that is required is the daily application of the three basic steps of mindfulness:
- Step 1: Bring your Attention to the Present moment
- Step 2: Embrace the Experience with an Open and Interested Mind
- Step 3: Observe the Experience without Judgment
As you proceed through the day, make a conscious effort to embrace each and every moment. Be sure to observe your experiences without judgement. If you catch yourself being distracted or lost in thought, simply observe what’s happening. Then gently bring your awareness back to the present moment and focus on the here-and-now. Use all your senses to engage the moment – listen to the ambient sounds that are surrounding you, see the details of nearby objects, feel their textures etc…
Always Return To The Breath
Even though mindfulness doesn’t require you to focus specifically on one’s breathing, it’s helpful to keep in mind that the breath is always a useful anchor. During times of stress or when your mind is feeling scattered, remember that your awareness can quickly be restored through breathing.
As I’ve mentioned previously, a few slow, deep breaths can do wonders for the soul – there’s no better way to return energy back into the body.
Fun Ways To Increase Mindfulness
As I’ve mentioned in before, the brain’s structure is formed through a process of experiential learning. To give us the ability to deal with unpredictability and unforeseen threat, daily life’s repetitive tasks are relegated to the subconscious mind. As a consequence, many of our thoughts and actions become automatic. Mindfulness helps us become more aware of these automated, often repetitive “programs”.
Here are some entertaining exercises to stop the ‘robot mind’ in its tracks:
- Brush your teeth with your opposite hand
- Take a bath with your eyes closed
- Focus all your attention on every first bite you eat during each meal
- Take a moment to look at the color of the sky… enjoy its vastness
- Sleep on the other side of the bed
- Take a moment to enjoy a flower’s fragrance
During these activities, make sure to concentrate on enjoying the process. Engage all your senses! Experience the magic of life’s moments again as if for the first time. Enjoy!