There are times during the day where it’s easy to just blank out and go on autopilot for too long. Have you ever caught yourself staring at a document wishing for inspiration and then all of a sudden, it’s half an hour later and your document is still blank? That’s called mindlessness.
We all fall into our daily habits and go through the motions, but our brains are somewhere else meaning that it’s possible to miss out on great, funny, or crazy moments that happen. This is why it’s important to be more mindful.
What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a form of self-awareness and an active way of thinking and paying attention on purpose in the present non-judgmentally. It helps you connect what’s happening around you with how you’re feeling. By paying close attention, you can identify what’s happening and how you’re feeling. That means that if you’re waiting in line and someone steps on the back of your shoe for the millionth time, instead of just being annoyed, you can think of what to do next to remedy the situation.
Why Be Mindful?
For a lot of people, daily life can be stressful. The commute, work, and then the few hours at home before bedtime can be a difficult routine to bear knowing that it’s what you did the day before and what you’ll be doing the next day and then the next. It’s easy to avoid it all and allow yourself to tune out and just get things done.
But through mindfulness, you can take any moment and “appreciate the little things” that we always seem to forget. That could be enjoying a podcast or some of your favorite music in the car during your commute or telling your coworker that they look nice. Then as you make your way home, you can look forward to when you can sit in your favorite chair and enjoy just how cozy it is.
How to be More Mindful in 2020
Busy schedules and a mountain of tasks can make it hard to take the time to step back and pay attention, but really, it changes your thinking patterns and is beneficial to your mental health. Try a few of these ways to practice mindfulness:
For people who can’t seem to sit still, meditating might seem like a challenge. But practicing it can help you become more mindful as you focus on the present and your breathing. It minimizes your stress as you get better at focusing.
- Write your top three priorities at the start of the day.
Before you check your e-mails, write down what you need to get done that day. So, if something unexpected happens, you can adjust your day accordingly to your priorities.
- Breathe deeply.
Taking deep, slow breaths gives your brain more oxygen and just focusing on that can make you calmer and ready for whatever’s next.
- Keep it short.
Experts have found that whenever you do things in short bursts, it’s better for your brain. It helps your brain’s memory as it’s easier to recall than a longer action.