One of the things that I mention frequently as a something that can help us to maintain balance and achieve alignment with what we want in life is the practice of mindfulness. But have you ever wondered how to be more mindful in your own life?
Mindfulness can help with everything from decreasing anxiety and stress, to helping you find clarity with respect to your direction in life. Finding ways to be mindful within everyday life is sometimes challenging, however. Today I have three simple techniques that you can use to help you become more mindful in the everyday.
Mindfulness Technique #1: Find something thought-provoking
One of the methods that I like to use is the Tao Te Ching. I find it extremely useful as a kind of meditative tool, as there are so many layers of meaning within each of the teachings therein. I like to open the book at random, read the verse that appears, and then take some time to think about what it means. (Incidentally, I also use this technique fairly often in my Facebook discussion group, and I am always fascinated by the various interpretations my tribe members come up with for the passages I post there. 🙂 )
When you immerse yourself completely in the verses of the Tao Te Ching (or any other material you feel connected to), you allow yourself to still the runaway voices and endless task lists running through your head and instead focus on one thing alone. You become mindful of that which is in front of you and let everything else go, if only for a few minutes.
Mindfulness Technique #2: Connect with your breath
A second technique that I personally like to use to help with mindfulness is taking time to focus on breathing exercises. I use a specific technique that begins with several deep breaths and then works through a particular pattern of focusing my incoming breath on each area of my body in sequence.
It’s an effective relaxation technique that also doubles as a mindfulness practice by keeping you focused on your breathing and letting everything else flow out of your mind for the duration of the exercise. (Side note: I actually give away a guided audio meditation of this technique as a bonus when people purchase my Kindle book, Seven-Minute Stress Busters.)
Mindfulness Technique #3: Lose yourself in colour
Finally, one of my favourite mindfulness techniques of all is really the simplest one: colouring. I love colouring, and I actually have a colouring book and a box of crayons of my own that I keep hidden away from the kids (they have tons of crayons and markers of their own). Sometimes, when I feel particularly stressed, I like to take out my colouring book and my crayons and just enjoy working with the colours.
I’m seeing more and more stuff out there about the benefits of colouring in mandalas, and that’s something I do intend to try at some point, but my current colouring book is just a standard kids’ colouring book that I picked up at the dollar store. Plain, simple, easy… and most importantly, soothing. For some reason, when I’m colouring, I am able to let everything else go and just focus on the act of colouring itself.
Keep it simple
If you’re wondering how to be more mindful in life, the most important thing to realize is that it doesn’t have to be complicated. Mindfulness is meant to help you – not make you more stressed. So find something simple that works for you and your particular personality. And above all – enjoy it.
photo credit: pixabay.com cc (modified by me)