Mindfulness is one of the most powerful techniques to center yourself in the present moment and appreciate life for what it is right here, right now, without trying to change it. It’s your ability to pay attention in a specific way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.
Before we get to the actionable tips for being mindful, let me share with you my first mindfulness experience that happened a couple of years ago:
My First Mindfulness Experience
As I was walking back home from work on a sunny summer day, I suddenly noticed some beautiful, pink rose bushes. When I leaned in to smell them, it was like something completely shifted in me.
My whole body filled with gratitude, I felt every fiber in my being, I felt connected to the whole universe in the blink of an eye.
I felt this calmness in my heart, and at the same time, I didn’t want to judge my surroundings, I simply accepted them, while exploring everything I walked by with the greatest of curiosity. I felt like a little kid again!
And, let me tell you, back then and there I knew that I was going to remember this moment for the rest of my life. I felt whole and full of love.
That’s what mindfulness can do for you.
Of course, mindfulness is not always that glamorous and movie-like, but it’s something that you consciously choose to do. If you’re always caught up in your mind, which is going through the same old stories every day, you’ll miss what’s right in front of you. This is exactly why and how mindfulness can shift your focus away from your fantasies and back to reality.
Here’s the thing: none of the mindful exercises that I’m about to share with you are
One of the easiest ways to practice mindfulness is through meditation. Meditation helps you to calm the mind and center yourself in the present moment. If you’re not a fan of meditation or you haven’t found one that works for you, check out these 3 meditation techniques.
If you’re in a hurry, listen to this podcast episode – it covers every single one of the exercises that I’m about to show you:
Now, let’s begin with the first mindfulness tip that I have for you today.
1. Sharpen Your Senses Intentionally
This quick exercise will help you sharpen your senses and become more aware of the present moment. Here’s what you need to do to try it out for yourself:
Pick a material object: such as a pen, your headphones, a glass of water, it doesn’t really matter. Now, focus all of your senses on that object. What is its color? What pattern does it have when you touch it? What is the material that it’s made from? When you tap on it, does it make a noise? Does it smell like anything? Observe without judging.
2. Mindful Walking Exercise
Most of us do several things while walking: listen to music or a podcast, talk on the phone, or we’re just lost in our thoughts. But if you’re walking mindfully, it can completely change the way you perceive your surroundings. Here’s how to practice it:
Stand up and walk across the room. Feel your feet on the floor. Walk slowly, noticing the sensation in each of your legs as you step firmly on the ground. Notice every single step you take, without trying to interpret it. Just let go and observe.
3. Mindful Eating Exercise
For the last mindfulness exercise, find something to eat. I’d go for something fresh, for example, an apple. If you don’t have any food nearby, don’t worry. You can still try it out for yourself later in the day.
Take a good look at the object and have a bite. Say that you have an apple. What I want you to do is feel its taste, enjoy the way it feels, and then notice your teeth while chewing. I know that observing your food and eating slowly may feel weird at first but that’s the foundation of mindful eating.
If you often eat to avoid or substitute a feeling, this is a great technique to incorporate into your daily routine. It will help you observe which foods make you feel good and which ones don’t bring you any energy or nutrition.
Mindfulness is something we all need in our lives because we live in a society where we’re often filled with stuff and rarely think to just stop… and smell the roses.
These are my three quick and easy exercises to get you started with mindfulness. If you’re a beginner, please share in the comments below which one are you going to try or what was your experience after you’ve tried them.