Danielle Ibelema, MD
Easy Ways to Add Mindfulness to Your Daily Routine
Mindfulness can be achieved through a variety of techniques. Meditation, and yoga are great options, but you can also practice mindfulness through regular daily living. Adding mindfulness to your life does not need to be difficult or time consuming. You can find a technique that is meaningful to you and aligns with your lifestyle.
Add Mindful Moments
Add mindful moments to your daily routine in your daily life:
Slow down: We often rush through our day and by extension our lives. Take the time to be present in the routine, mundane moments of your day. Try to be aware of your thoughts as your brushing your teeth, as your dressing walking into a building. Try to notice the small things around you, and try to find some calm appreciation in them.
Be present: Focusing on the present moment and quieting the inner chatter can be helpful. Try to allow the thoughts about the past or future to float away. Focus on the thoughts that relate to the now. You may find that your mind tends to worry about have happened in the past or on projections of the future.
Focus on your breath: For as long as you are living, your breath will always be with you. This makes breath work one of most reliable forms of mindfulness. You can start by simply bring your awareness to your breath. You can observe your breath as it come in and out without trying to control it. Pay attention to the natural sensations and movement of the breath.
There can be meditation in movement:
Mindful Walks: Walking tend to be a great way to practice mindfulness. Walking outdoors in nature helps. As you walk you can use your senses to think about how your body feels as you walk. You can take in the images and smells around you. You can even practice progressively "letting go" of tension in your muscles as you walk.
Yoga : Yoga was initially created to prepare the body for meditation, but the act of yoga in itself can also be meditative. Consider in person yoga at a studio near you. If you are short on time consider using an app to access yoga classes from home.
Mindfulness, is great, but there are anxious patients that have a hard time settling their mind to allow for meditation or yoga. If that's the case a guided practice may be best. There are many great guided meditation, progressive muscle relaxation exercises and yoga routines available online.
Developing a daily mindfulness based routine is healthy habit to adopt. Meditation is a great component to a healthy lifestyle plan, but it doesn't replace medical treatment. If you find that you are experiencing anxiety, excessive stress or a decline in your mental health, you should contact a psychiatrist, therapist or other medical professional.