34 Tips to Live More Mindfully in Everyday Life
Written by Christoffer Kaltenbrunner
Life can be hectic with never-ending todo lists, stressful working conditions, and a feeling of always being on the go.
Even though the modern world is fast-paced, you don't need to become a monk to live a mindful life.
How to Live More Mindfully
Mindfulness is a skill that can be learned with some practice.
The first step towards being mindful throughout the day is to bring mindfulness into everything you do.
- Bring mindfulness to the task at hand.
- Bring awareness to your daily chores.
- Bring attention to the people around you.
The second step -- and this is the hard part -- is to bring your attention back whenever you lose focus. After as short as a few days of practice you will find that your mind wanders less often.
If you find this hard, try to put "mindfulness reminders" throughout the day to remind you where to bring your awareness.
For example, you can put a note at your workspace to remind you to do some mindful stretching.
Now, let's dive right into the tips...
Simple Tips for Mindful Living
Here are 34 tips for living more mindfully in everyday life.
- Do less. Decide on your essentials and do less of everything else. It's better to do a few things excellent than many things mediocre.
- Practice meditation. Practicing meditation helps relieve stress. You don't have to practice for hours every day, five to ten minutes is enough in the beginning. Increase the time to 15, 20, and 30 minutes after some weeks of regular practice. If you can't find time for meditation, consider micro mindfulness.
- Slow down. Only when we slow down, we can see things as they are. Slowing down and enjoying the little things makes life more pleasant.
- Use your mornings to be mindful. Begin your days slow to ease into the day. I like to spend my mornings enjoying a cup of tea. That makes me ready for whatever I have to do that day. Additionally, a morning meditation helps me focus my mind.
- Do one thing at a time. When multitasking, we switch attention between two or more tasks, which actually makes us less productive. Instead, focus on only one thing at a time for a specific time or until you are done, then move on to the next task.
- Do your chores mindfully. Mindfulness is easy to incorporate into your daily life: only focus on the task at hand. Whenever you lose focus, note that your mind has wandered, and gently bring it back.
- Learn to listen. Often we don't listen to others. We become so caught up in our counter-arguments, so we forget to listen to what they say. Fortunately, mindful listening is a skill that can be learned with practice. A good rule of thumb is to listen more than you talk.
- Eat with awareness. Eat slowly and with awareness. Pay attention to the taste of the food, the colors and form.
- Go for a walk. Leave your phone at home and go for a walk, preferably in nature. Instead of listening to music or a podcast, enjoy the sounds around you.
- Do nothing. Often we fill our days with errands and tasks. We don't have any time left to just be. When doing nothing, we can become aware of our feelings and thoughts. At first, that might seem scary, but if we just continue to pay attention to them without judging, they slowly disappear.
- Stop and watch. When arguing with someone, stop, and watch your body and feelings. Take a deep breath. Be mindful of your body.
- Read a book. Find a book you'll enjoy reading and let yourself get lost in the story. You can also check out some of the best meditation books.
- Take a break. Take breaks throughout the day. Use your breaks to take some deep breaths and be mindful.
- Spend time in silence. Light a candle and spend a few minutes in silence. Note any thoughts or feelings that arise, then, gently bring your attention back to the present.
- Get rid of distractions. I've removed social media, installed programs that block my browser, and removed distractions from my phone. Take action: Remove one distraction from your life right now.
- Enjoy the moment. Don't worry about the past or the future. We only have the power to change what is happening right now. Enjoy every moment.
- Accept things as they are. Most things in life are outside of our control. That's the way it is, so be mindful about it and accept it as it is.
- Accept people as they are. Everyone is different, and that's something beautiful. Don't try to change others, but accept them as they are.
- Explore. Don't be afraid of exploring new things. When starting a new project, be curious about finding out how it all will turn out. It's a joy to be curious.
- Be grateful. Life is a miracle. Let's be grateful that we are alive.
- Play. Kids are playing all the time, but when we grow up, we almost forget how to play. That's a shame -- we should be playing more. Life is at its best when work is play.
- Accept thoughts as they are. We tend to judge our thoughts. But thoughts are just thoughts -- they are neither good nor bad. Instead of judging, we should note them and move on.
- Breathe. Take a deep breath into your belly. Breath out and let all the things that worry you pass away.
- Live slowly. Life is not a sprint. So live more slowly and enjoy every moment more.
- Set intentions. For every day, week or year, set intentions. What do you want to accomplish?
- Drive slower. Drive slower and enjoy the surroundings. It's safer, too!
- Write in a journal. Spend ten minutes every day writing in a journal. It's nice just to sit down and get your thoughts on paper.
- Walk places. Walk places instead of driving, if possible. It's good for the environment, too.
- Spend time in nature. Spending time in nature reduces the experience of stress. Why not learn how to make a fire and make some tea in the woods?
- Practice yoga. Yoga strengthens both the body and the mind. There are many different flavors of yoga, so I guarantee that you will find one you like. (I prefer yin yoga myself.)
- Listen to music. Listen to something you like and try to hear all the different layers and instruments. I promise that you will hear things you haven't noticed before.
- Let go of expectations. Most things that happen in life are things we can't do anything about. Letting go of expectations can be hard, but it makes life easier.
- Let go of judgment. We should show love instead of judging. That's how we change the world for the better, starting with ourselves.
- Practice two-minute mindfulness exercises. Have two minutes? Practice one of these two-minute mindfulness exercises.
You don't need to do all of these things at once.
Pick the ones you'll enjoy doing, and the ones you think will have the most impact on your life.
When you have incorporated these things into your daily life, come back to this list and pick some more.
Published on 2020-07-26