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  • Alainnah Knight

7 Ways To Practice Mindfulness Every Day

Mindfulness is a word that I am sure we have all heard. But what is it? What does it mean? The American Psychological Association describes mindfulness as an "awareness of one's internal states and surroundings." But easier said than done, right? So let's dive into what mindfulness is, the benefits of mindfulness, and different mindfulness practices you can do every day.


What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is being aware of your thoughts, sensations, and surroundings with no judgment or opinion, just noticing without labeling. It can be so easy to get swept up in the busyness of thoughts and feelings, just operating from a state of autopilot and going along with the motions. Think of those times that you may have walked or driven somewhere for a long distance but were so lost in your thoughts that you can't fully remember getting to your destination. Or when you couldn't remember if you locked the door on your way out of the house. Or if you are not sure if you already salted the soup. Those are times when we are NOT being mindful!


Benefits of Mindfulness

Incorporating mindfulness into our day can contribute to better mental well-being and overall quality of life. When we are mindful, we begin to notice more about ourselves, others, and the environment around us. We can begin to notice things, habits, cycles, or people that are no longer serving us. We can begin to notice how we respond to certain emotions or feelings and can do further exploration and healing. We can better understand our needs and communicate those needs. We can stop ourselves from ruminating and spiraling from our thoughts. We can give ourselves compassion and understanding rather than judgment and opinions that do not help us.


Mindfulness is a practice that needs to continuously be strengthened. It is a muscle that needs to be moved and strengthened to build upon itself, just as if you were lifting weights. Let's explore different ways to begin practicing mindfulness every day.


7 Ways To Practice Mindfulness Daily

Practicing mindfulness while drinking coffee in a hot spring in Colorado

Mindfully Eating

It's inevitable, we have got to eat, so this is a perfect opportunity to practice mindfulness. Eat a snack or a meal with no electronics or distractions. Bring your awareness to the flavors, textures, and smells of the food. Chew slowly and notice your experience of eating your food. If your mind starts to wander or you become fidgety, take note of this experience. Notice your autopilot wanting to kick in and just become aware.


Mindfully Walking

A walk out in nature while engaging all five of your senses is a wonderful way to explore mindfulness. Notice the sensation of your feet hitting the ground, the sounds around you, the smell, what the air feels like on your skin, what you see, and what you may taste. Just notice what is around you without any judgment. Again, take note if your mind starts to wander!


Mindfully Breathing

We often take for granted the power of our breath. Even just taking one big mindful breath right now can help in so many ways. Whether it is one breath or a breathing practice, mindful breathing can be done anywhere at any time.


Morning Routine

Practicing mindfulness in the morning can set the intention for the remainder of the day. When we have a morning routine that we engage in mindfully, we can set our minds and our nervous systems up for a good day.


Body Scan

A body scan can be done through either a guided meditation or just through checking in with each part of your body starting with your toes and moving to the top of your head. This can help us to become more aware and mindful of any sensations that may be present in our bodies, allowing us the opportunity to meet our needs!


Evening Reflection

Taking time in the evening to reflect (maybe even journal!) can help us in becoming aware of anything that we may still be holding from that day. Allowing ourselves space to reflect in the evening can increase our sleep quality and help us to start fresh the next day.


Reminders on Your Phone

It can be very easy to get caught up in the busyness of the day and not be mindful. A tool that I suggest to many clients is setting reminders on our phones to check in with ourselves, maybe even taking a deep breath. These reminders can be however frequent you would like, just something to remind you to take a moment and be mindful.


Lastly,

Remember, mindfulness is about being present in the moment without judgment. Mindfulness is a practice, it is so beneficial to practice daily.

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