Today I am going to challenge you and I really want you to win this challenge. Let’s see how it goes, the results will be out by the end of today. The success of this challenge truly depends upon how badly you want to change your life. So get ready for it…here it comes.
I am first going to ask you some direct questions (so that you are warmed up).
- Do you know what is Mindfulness ?
- Do you know how to practice Mindfulness in daily life ?
If your answer is NO for above questions, then I don’t think you are prepared for the challenge. Take 5 minutes and read the suggested post below. Do come back as the challenge is awaiting you.
If your answer is “Yes” to above questions or if you are back after reading the suggested post then get ready for the challenge.
I am going to show you in this post “4 Powerful Ways To Practice Mindfulness”. Further, I will be showing you a Daily Routine which will enable you to practice mindfulness in your daily life.
My challenge to you –
I don’t want you to just skim through this post and move on with life. I want you to take action. I want you to get started. Today, you will set up the practice of mindfulness after reading this post.
Maybe, this is the first post you are reading on mindfulness or this might be your 100th post on mindfulness. My point is today without fail, you must sow the seeds of mindfulness.
You must have read about the benefits of mindfulness but my question is – Have you implemented it in your daily life ? The problem with majority of us we do not ACT and even if we act we give up soon if we don’t get results immediately. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, your success depends upon “How badly you want to change your life”.
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Get ready my friend, you are in. First let’s understand 4 Powerful Ways To Practice Mindfulness in your daily life.
#1: How to eat mindfully ?
If you ever thought practicing mindfulness was difficult, today I shall walk you through a very simple practice which you can adopt right now and practice mindfulness while eating.
Before you practice these steps keep in mind the core principle of mindfulness – It is a deliberate focus on the present moment by acknowledging thoughts, feelings but not engaging in them. Everytime your mind wanders you bring it back to the present moment.
In mindful eating, you are going to deliberately put your attention on the food as and when your mind wanders. Let me elaborate:
- Observe your food, before you eat: Before you take the first bite, first thing you must do as soon as the food arrives on your table is to take a moment and observe it. Notice the colors, the aroma, the way the food is presented and texture.
- Take a moment to appreciate, before you eat: As you observe the food, take a moment and silently appreciate the meal in front of you. Create the feeling of gratitude by thinking about the amount of work put behind by people to get the food on your plate. Remember, someone got the food from the grocery store, someone prepared the food for you – Just for a moment before you take the first bite cultivate feelings of gratitude.
- Take the first bite (with your eyes closed): This really sets the tone for mindful eating. When you close your eyes, you automatically elude all the visual distractions and can fully focus on the taste of the food. As you chew the food, notice the flavors in your mouth, notice the sensations in your body. It truly sets the tone to eat the rest of the meal mindfully – Do not skip this step!
- Chew slowly (use this as your anchor): Chewing is the simplest way to develop the habit of eating mindfully. Whenever your mind wanders during eating, bring the focus on chewing and you will notice a certain degree of calmness. Use chewing as an anchor to bring the mind to the present. I have noticed the food tastes better if you chew more. Put your fork down between bites, as it slows down the mindless eating process and gives you an opportunity to focus on the taste of your food.
- Avoid all electronic devices: You are trying to bring your attention on the moment of eating and you can achieve this faster, if you turn off your mobile, phones, TV and other gadgets. I know you want to multi-task, you want to reply to your messages as you eat, check out statuses – I suggest you resist this temptation and designate this 15 – 20 minutes for a quiet and mindful practice of eating.
#2: How to walk mindfully ?
Walking is another simple form of activity which can help us develop the habit of mindfulness. As stated earlier keep in mind the basic principle of mindfulness and use walking to develop the habit of mindfulness. Mindful walking and brisk walking are not same. In mindful walking the objective is to bring our mind (when it wanders) to focus on the activity of walking.
- Identify a quiet place to walk: Before you decide to walk, find a quiet place where you can walk comfortably back and forth. It can be indoors or outdoors. Walk at a slightly slower pace as usual.
- Count and focus on the movements: As you walk focus on these three movements viz; lifting the foot —> swinging the foot forward —> placing the foot back down. To make it more effective, you can count on every movement. Count 1 as you lift the foot, count 2 as you swing the foot forward and count 3 as you place the foot back on the ground.
- Observe & notice – No judging: As you walk, notice the surroundings, the floor, (if you are walking outside) notice the grass or pebbles, feel the air. Just acknowledge things as they are, your mind might start to wander, just notice it, don’t get swept away by thoughts of future or past. Everytime you notice your mind drifting away, bring the attention back to movements of walking and start counting.
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#3: How to listen mindfully ?
There is difference between normal listening and mindful listening. There must have been instances wherein you are talking to someone and your mind has drifted in thoughts of past or future ? I will show you how mindful listening will keep us grounded to present moment.
- Clear your mind, curb the impulsive habit of judging: Before we listen to anyone, we judge. This is root cause of why you are not able to listen mindfully. Our minds are quick to arrive at conclusion. For instance, if you meet someone of the first time, we notice how they dress, talk, behave and form some sort of impression about him or her. With this impression we often start our communication and tend to listen halfheartedly.
- Don’t stare at your gadgets, make eye contact with the person: If you keep looking at your phone now and then or are engrossed with your gadgets when someone is talking to you – You are in some sense hurting the other person. Focus on the person talking and get rid off all electronic gadgets and other distractions. Maintain an eye contact (please don’t stare) and show you care and are listening.
- Listen to the feelings behind the words: How often are you able to do this during the day when you speak to people ? Are you listening only to their words. For instance, if someone says “I lost my job recently and had a tough time managing money and family” or “I was diagnosed with this aliment and forced to sit at home for 2 years” – What would you do if you hear such words ? Listen to their feeling – If you reciprocate saying “I understand it would have been hard sitting at home for 2 years” and truly mean it, then you have just become more empathetic.
- Never interrupt…let them complete what they have to say: How often you interrogate or interrupt during a conversation ? Many a time a simple “Yes” or “I understand” will allow you to connect with the other person. Rather than thinking about a response, try to connect at an emotional level. Save your commentary to the end.
- Remind Yourself Often – To Be Present: How many times have you asked the person to repeat what they just said during a conversation ? I have told many times, however these days I remind myself the above rules before I am getting into any conversation and I can notice me getting more mindful during the conversations. I suggest you also do the same thing and be patient with yourself, you will see the results.
#4: How to breathe mindfully ?
This is by far the most popular practice to mindfulness, I was introduced to mindfulness via “mindful breathing”. It is a simple method to focus your attention on your breathing for few minutes.
1 Minute – Mindful Breathing
- Sit on a cushion or a chair. Make sure your back is straight, rest your hands on your thighs with palms facing down.
- Take 3 – 4 deep breaths and relax your body.
- Now close your eyes and put your focus on your breathing. Inhale deeply (3 seconds), hold your breath (for 2 seconds) and exhale through your mouth (3 seconds).
- After you complete one cycle of breath (I.e. inhale & exhale) count 1. Go up to count of 10.
- When mind wanders (which it will), just notice and bring the focus back to your breathing and bodily sensations (I.e. chest moving up during inhalation and stomach contracting during exhalation)
The Challenge is on…. Get Ready ?
It is very important, that you take action, if you want to change in your life or if you wish to experience benefits of mindfulness then you must make it your priority and practice it daily. You need to somehow make it a part of your daily routine.
I have shown you 4 practical ways to practice mindfulness in daily life. I want you pick up any one activity and practice it daily for the next 2 weeks without a break.
You breathe every second, You eat at least thrice a day, You walk at least 5 minutes a day daily, You converse with at least 3 – 5 people daily ? Isn’t it? My challenge for you is to perform any one or all 4 activities mindfully, I have shown you how to do it – Are You Ready For The Challenge ?
Feel free to share your comments and let me know if you are crushing and winning this challenge.
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