Mindfulness is about living in the present moment, using the power of observation and introspection to experience the now in a non-judgemental way.
For example, non-mindful eating might mean multi-tasking while you eat so you don’t notice anything about the food, or the way it makes you feel.
Mindful eating might mean turning off the television and putting your phone down, so you can experience the flavours, textures, colours and aromas of your food.
Although simple, mindfulness can be challenging to practice! We need to make the decision to continue bringing our run-away thoughts back to the present moment, where we can pay attention to what is actually happening.
However, persisting with your mindfulness practice can be incredibly rewarding! I have experienced many benefits as a result of being more mindful including reduced stress, better sleep, stronger relationships with the people around me and more gratitude (to name a few!).
Below, you’ll discover three simple, meaningful and quick mindfulness practices you can try today! These are all practices I use daily to give myself plenty of opportunities to experience the now and cultivate my mindfulness practice.
The beauty of a breathing technique is that we can choose to use it at any time! This is a simple practice, but it can be a really powerful way to quieten a busy mind and focus on the present moment.
The most beneficial times I’ve used breathing techniques include when I was co-hosting my first workshop (and trying to manage my nerves!) and when I was waking up multiple times during the night and having no control over my racing thoughts.
There are many different breathing techniques to try and you can listen to an episode of my podcast, The Mindful Kind here for more ideas.
However, an easy way to practice a breathing technique is to simply take a few deep breaths, paying attention to the way it feels as you inhale and exhale. Notice how your body expands and deflates and follow the journey of the air as it moves in and out. Repeat as many times as you like!
Once again, you can explore different types of mindful walking to find one which suits you the best! In this article, I’ve described how to go for an environmental walk, experience the senses and follow your movement to shake up your mindfulness practice.
A beautiful and simple way to go for a mindful walk, whether it’s a thirty second walk to the mailbox and back, or an hour long stroll around the neighbourhood, is to pay attention to your feet. Tune in to the sensations of your feet as they contact the ground and move through the air. Feel the pressure from your shoes and how this shifts and changes as you walk. Try playing around with the speed of your walk to change the sensations and give yourself new experiences to focus on.
Nourishing Your Body Mindfully
Eating and drinking are both wonderful opportunities to practice mindfulness by slowing down and tuning in. There can be a real depth of experience in eating and drinking, such as temperatures, flavours, aromas, textures, colours and sensations within your body.
For this mindfulness practice, choose a meal or drink to experience mindfully. Switch off technology and sit down, creating an atmosphere of relaxation, calm and quiet (if possible!). As you nourish your body, pay attention to all the information coming in through your senses, particularly noticing what you can see, smell and taste.
Here are a few bonus tips to help you nourish your body mindfully:
- Choose a special cup to be your “mindful cup” and every time you use it, practice being mindful as much as you can.
- Enjoy your treats mindfully! Slow down and savour every moment, listening to your body for when you’ve had enough.
- Cook your own food when you can! Explore with different spices, herbs and flavours to create new mindfulness experiences.
- When waiting for your food or drink to be ready, take some time to do a simple mindfulness practice, like a breathing technique or a body scan.
I hope you enjoy trying out these mindfulness practices and welcoming the moments of simplicity, calm and consciousness they can bring!
If you would like to learn more about mindfulness, feel free to check out my website at www.rachaelkable.com and sign up for my newsletter to receive weekly updates of mindfulness inspiration and access to my free gifts library. You can also listen to my podcast, The Mindful Kind, via my website or iTunes!
Rachael Kable is a mindfulness mentor, blogger and host of the top-rated podcast, The Mindful Kind. She loves sharing her own journey with mindfulness and inspiring others to live more mindfully in fun, simple and meaningful ways. Rachael’s website at www.rachaelkable.com is an adventure-filled online space, with eBooks, articles, podcast episodes, interviews and free