Does it ever seem like mindfulness just comes easier to some people? You know the people I’m talking about—the ones who always seem calm, present, and engaged. I know a few of those folks, too. But I’ll tell you a secret: Mindfulness is both an inherent ability that we all possess, and a skill that can be strengthened with practice.
Mindfulness is both an inherent ability that we all possess, and a skill that can be strengthened with practice.
I know the term “practice” may sound overwhelming, but I promise that creating a daily mindfulness practice doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, you can easily incorporate it into your daily chores. You just need to start with one small behavior and when you’re ready, add another. This is how you create new habits—break it down into small steps, and then stack them. We call this “habit-stacking” and it’s how you can make your mindfulness practice sustainable and lasting.
You can start by uncovering some of the mindful moments hiding in your day. I find them everywhere, like in the first cup of coffee in the morning, when I start my weekly team meeting, when I walk my dog. And I find new ones daily, in my personal life and at work.
Here are a few simple ones to start with.
3 Habits That Add Up to a Mindful Day
1. Show Up Fully for Breakfast
Eating is a basic human need, so we often don’t pay much attention while we’re doing it. But consider this: Mindful eating not only helps improve your mental state, it can also help you enjoy your meal more! Here’s how to do it.
- Sit somewhere intentional whenever you’re eating, away from your laptop or mobile devices to limit distractions.
- As you’re eating, try to notice what you’re tasting and name at least three flavors of your food.
2. Lighten Up Your Lunch Break
It’s lunchtime and maybe you decide to go for a walk. Here’s how to use it as an opportunity to tap into joy.
- As you walk, start to mentally name the things (focus on what you can see, smell, hear, or touch) in your surroundings that bring you joy.
- Extend your reach to the people and experiences in your day that are bringing you joy, too.
3. Create Space Between You and Your Work
Many of us may be struggling with all-virtual work environments and allowing ourselves to shut down at the end of the day.
- Create a boundary by moving away from your workspace and take a moment to ask yourself, “What energized me today?”
- Then connect with your loved ones at home by giving them your undivided attention.
There it is! A mindful practice broken down into small bite-sized behaviors throughout the day. But these are only three of so many more you can do. I’ll be providing you with more ideas and tips for mindful moments that you can add to your practice.