Aside from a mat on the floor or a pillow with a window view to the ocean, there are plenty of moments along the day that come as a perfect pause to watch closely what is going on inside our minds and keep in touch with how we are feeling. Learn how to seize every pause we come to find as we go to work or while doing the chores at home that will tune us back with ourselves and the world that surrounds us.
- Watching your mind
Take a look, literally, at what is going on with your thoughts inside. Are you happy or perhaps agitated and anxious? Watch your mind as it wanders and don’t judge. You can do this first thing in the morning to begin your day with a clear idea of what you’ve been through in the past week and how you’ve been feeling, or maybe before going to bed, going through all the things you did and how they make you feel.
- Feeling your breath
The eternal flow of the simple act of taking a breath of air, feeling it as it comes in and out of the lungs is an exercise for learning how to let go. To feel the moment and let go of attachments that leads to suffering.
Every step you take is a new beginning. It allows us to reconnect with ourselves, reminding us that we are here in the present moment. Walking is also an excellent low-impact exercise that keeps the blood flowing and our hearts healthy. Taking a walk through the woods or around the neighborhood keeps us in touch with what surrounds us.
- Let it Flow
There a few things we can control and we need to let go of those we can’t. Popular wisdom states that anxiety comes from our unceasing need to control the future, a concept that, technically, doesn’t exist. Acknowledging these principles will help reduce your general tendency towards physiological over arousal and calm your nervous system.
- Feel your Body
This perfect machine that functions every day to keep us alive and going, take a minute and try to feel it. Doesn’t matter whether you’re standing on your feet, sitting in front of the computer at work, lying down on a beach towel with the summer breeze; be conscious of every posture you take.
- Taking a bite
Think about where the food you have in front of you comes from. Try to imagine the different ingredients in their original form and even the types of people who looked after the crops or animals. Appreciate the fact that you have food on your plate. This feeling of thankfulness is the heart of a mindfulness practice. Now, when taking a bite, notice how your mind responds: Is it salty? Do you wish it was more spicy, or sweeter? Are you comparing it with previous meals? When we focus on the main act of eating, we’re less likely to overeat and consume things that don’t truly nourish us.
- When Sleeping
While lying down in our beds, without the weight of our bodies, sleeping comes as a formidable moment for meditation. It’s important to shut down all our devices before hitting the big pillow. Lie down under the covers, stretch your legs, and rest your palms on your stomach or by your head. Take three deep breaths. If your mind is wandering, it’s no big deal. Just take notice and return your thoughts to your breath, letting the inhale and exhale guide you into a calm, deeply relaxed state.