Last week, I shared some meditation tips for beginners. This week, I’m sharing some different ways to practice mindfulness.
If you’re still having a hard time making meditation a regular part of your routine, though, you might need to start even smaller. Maybe you need to work on just trying to be mindful throughout your day, without sitting for a more formal meditation session.
If this sounds like you and you’re struggling to be mindful, here are three tricks you can use. Give these a try to start practicing mindfulness without having to sit and do a formal meditation session.
1. Take 3 Deep Breaths at Every Stoplight
I don’t condone closing your eyes and trying to tune in to your breath when you’re driving. No. That’s a recipe for disaster.
I do, however, recommend taking a second to check in with yourself when you’re in a less-than-ideal situation, such as when you’re at a stop light or when you’re stopped in a traffic jam.
Next time you’re stopped while you’re in your car, for whatever reason, resist the urge to check your texts or start flipping through songs on the stereo. Instead, sit up straight, keep your eyes on the road, and take three deep breaths.
Think about how you’re feeling and what you’re experiencing while you’re sitting there. Are you irritated that you’re stuck in traffic? Are you anxious about getting to your destination on time?
Don’t try to push those feelings away or change them. Just breathe and focus on how you’re feeling at that moment.
When you’ve taken your third breath, you might find that you’re a little less stressed or anxious than you were before. And, even if you’re not, at least you still took a minute to be mindful.
2. Cook or Clean Without Distractions
What do you typically do when it’s time to cook dinner or clean the house? Do you turn on the TV, or listen to music or a podcast?
There’s nothing wrong with this — I do it all the time. But, there’s also something to be said for carrying out everyday tasks without distracting yourself in some way.
Next time you have to cook a meal or wash the dishes or vacuum, try doing it without anything else in your ears or vying for your attention.
I get that’s not always possible, especially if you have kids who constantly try to get your attention. If you have some time, though, I recommend giving this a try.
Just focus on how it feels to be cleaning and what you’re experiencing. Don’t get mad at yourself if your mind wanders, either. Just return to your breath and the task at hand when you notice that your mind has wandered.
3. Watch TV and Do Nothing Else
That’s right. I’m telling you that you can practice mindfulness while you watch TV.
Here’s the catch, though. You can’t do anything else while the TV’s on.
You can’t scroll through Instagram or Twitter. You can’t fold laundry or pay bills. You have to just sit there and focus only on the show that’s playing in front of you.
I really think this can be meditative, and meditation expert Jeff Warren agrees!
You might find that it’s hard to just focus on the experience of watching a show without distraction. Resist the urge to multitask, though, and just enjoy the show.
You have my permission to do this without feeling guilty or as though you’re being unproductive.
What are Your Favorite Ways to Practice Mindfulness?
There you go! Three ways that you can practice mindfulness without having to sit and do a traditional mediation session.
If you absolutely can’t stomach the idea of sitting quietly with your eyes closed, start by trying one of these tips instead.
Do you have any other ways that you practice mindfulness as you go about your day? If so, let me know in the comments down below!