Mindfulness habit introduction
There’s a popular buzz around the mindfulness habit these days, and for all the right reasons.
After all, the past is gone and the future lies unknown ahead. The present is all we really have and focussing on it can greatly relieve stress and help us enjoy life.
Mindfulness and Meditation offer great personal benefits to those who understand the potential and create an awareness of how to bring it more into their lives.
But while there’s tons of people telling you to be more mindful in your life, there’s a distinct lack of specific actionable tips you can use to make it part of your daily life.
Mindfulness is a skill that can be learnt, just like many others such as reading.
But while you can learn the skill and know the mechanics of reading, it’s a different thing to be an avid reader.
It’s the same with mindfulness. You can know the principles and benefits of mindfulness but you need to know ways to incorporate it into your daily life before you get the benefit of the skill.
We acquire habits when we do things repeatedly, either on purpose or not.
If you want to make being mindful a habit, then you need to practice being mindful at every opportunity during the day.
Here’s some tips for you to start to see how you can introduce it into your daily activities to make it a consistent habit that sticks.
On this Page
- 1 Mindfulness habit introduction
- 2 #1 Begin your day being mindful
- 3 #2 Use routine activities to cement your mindfulness habit
- 4 #3 Be mindful of your body during the day
- 5 #4 Listen to music mindfully with a purpose
- 6 #5 Resist giving in immediately to cravings
- 7 #6 Put your phone out of reach
- 8 #7 Set timers to remind you.
- 9 Get a mindfulness habit summary
#1 Begin your day being mindful
Start every day being mindful before you even get out of bed.
Firstly, start by making a list in your head of the things in your life that you are grateful for.
Being grateful on a regular basis trains our brain to always look for the positive in things that happen in our life.
You don’t have to come up with many things but really feel them. If you are grateful for your spouse or your kids, really experience the gratitude you feel for having them in your life.
Secondly, when that’s done, do a body audit to properly experience how you are feeling at that moment.
Start at your feet and work up through your body to the top of your head.
Notice anything that comes up from this focus of attention.
What physical sensations do you have? Are there any aches and pains? Can you feel the pressure of the bed on any parts of your body in particular? Are you cold? Do you feel refreshed or sleepy?
Do this for as long as you can manage. How long can you lie still and focus on this task before your mind starts to drift away and think of the things you have to do today?
#2 Use routine activities to cement your mindfulness habit
It’s often during times of routine activities that our minds wander aimlessly, starting what-if scenarios and following paths that lead to worry and anxiety.
Take advantage of routine activities to spend time being mindful instead.
Then you will be in the moment, focussing on it and enjoying the moment for what it is instead of allowing yourself to become worried about things that may or may not happen.
You can use the activity of brushing your teeth, for example, to practice being in the moment. Focus fully on the activity as you do it instead of drifting away.
Showering is another brilliant example where you can stay in the moment during the activity. In fact, many people say they get their best ideas in the shower!
Try to eat mindfully. Focus on the food and how it feels and tastes. Chew it slowly to allow you to fully experience it.
If you are chatting with someone, give your full attention to that person and really listen to what they are saying. Fully listen to their words and process what they mean instead of just waiting impatiently until it is your turn to speak.
#3 Be mindful of your body during the day
Continue to be mindful of your body during the day as a way of bringing your attention back to the present.
At random intervals make a point of halting your thoughts and anchoring yourself back to the present moment.
Put your focus on something you are experiencing at that moment. Notice your breathing. Is it shallow or deep? Were you holding your breath? Make yourself slow it down if required.
Notice your environment. Move your feet to feel the ground beneath your feet or tense your thigh muscles to feel the chair you are sitting on.
I found a program that trains you to be more mindful in just 7 minutes a day and is really low cost.
Read my 7 Minute Mindfulness Review here or click the image below for more details.
#4 Listen to music mindfully with a purpose
You can use music to practice mindfulness whenever you can sit and close your eyes for a while.
Limiting sensory input is a great way to focus on what’s going on now and bring you to the present.
Close your eyes and focus on your sense of hearing to really listen to and appreciate the music you like.
Try to pick out individual instruments and the melodies or harmonies they play in the song. Listen to the volume as it gets louder or quieter.
Do this for as long as you can to keep other thoughts from intruding and stopping your appreciation.
#5 Resist giving in immediately to cravings
At times in the day you may experience an urge to do something or eat something that you shouldn’t.
It may be that you know it won’t move you any closer to your goals. Or it may be that you will get a short term gain but a loss in the longer term and you have decided not to partake in that.
Your first response should be to resist the urge!
Examine your thoughts leading up to the urge. Notice the thoughts you were having and any feelings in your body.
If you want o eat something, did you feel hungry. Or were you just bored?
Keep your attention on the thoughts, keeping in mind the benefits of resisting the urge and soon the urge will fade away under your analysis. It will happen quicker than you think.
This can be helpful when you have the urge to eat something you have decided you don’t want to eat, or perhaps indulge in wasteful social media activities. See next point too.
#6 Put your phone out of reach
These days many people are easily distracted by the lure of spending time on social media. Your phone can provide a distraction to you spending time on mindful activities and pull you away from them.
Avoid the urge to check your phone any time the thought comes into mind. Instead, allocate a specific time to check emails and/or social media and only do it at that time.
Experiment with your resolve and see how long you can go without checking your phone. With practice, it will get longer each time before you get an urge to check it.
Each time you resist, give yourself a pat on the back. You may be surprised at how well you do!
#7 Set timers to remind you.
When you are at first trying to be more mindful, it can be easy to get caught up in your daily life and forget.
Use the trick of setting timers to prompt you to return to being mindful. When a timer alerts you, take note if you were being mindful or not.
If not, then gently remind yourself of your resolve to be more in the moment and allow yourself to refocus on whatever it is that you are doing at that moment.
By the way, most people would want to use the convenience of using the timer on their smartphone. That’s okay so long as you remain aware of #6 and don’t be tempted to use it for anything else when you’re not supposed to!
Get a mindfulness habit summary
Spending more time in the moment and being mindful is a wonderful thing.
It can provide so many benefits you may wonder why everyone doesn’t practice it.
It can help you worry less, relieve and reduce your stress levels, improve your productivity and generally enjoy life more as you spend more time enjoying the now instead of being somewhere else.
I firmly believe it can improve your overall level of happiness and help you become more compassionate and better able to deal with all the challenges of today’s lifestyles.
But getting back to the skill distinction, knowing it won’t make it happen. You have to set yourself up to make it a habit that you come back to again and again during the day.
But don’t believe me. Try it for 30 days and see the transformation that happens.
Get yourself a mindfulness journal like the one above and write down your achievements during the day. Note you emotion as you bring yourself back to now and reward yourself with something small for doing well.
Get the mindfulness habit!
I hope you enjoyed this article. Please consider leaving a comment. It would be great to hear from you.