A path to calm: 6 simple ways to practice mindfulness

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Jeff B., MS, CWC, AbleTo Behavioral Coach, is back to share tips on how you can get comfortable with mindfulness by working it into your daily routine. Check out Jeff’s first blog on his journey from chronic stress to living in the present moment.

By Jeff B., MS, CWC, AbleTo Behavioral Coach

Think of a time when you “mindlessly” completed an activity. A common one is snacking while watching TV, only to be shocked when you reach for another bite and find that there’s nothing left. Were you even craving it or just going through the motions? Was your mind busy with thoughts, thinking about all the things on your to-do list?

There’s a way to be much more present. Mindfulness is the practice of bringing close awareness to what you’re experiencing without judgment. The goal is to increase focus on present moments in your day-to-day life that can help relax your body and reduce stress. But the concept of mindfulness can be new or uncomfortable for many of us. That’s why starting small by being mindful of everyday activities is a great way to see how it works for you. And you can gradually work your way up by practicing more frequently and even for longer periods of time.

Here are a few tips that can help you get started. Since you most likely practice at least one of these activities, it’ll be easier to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine. For each one, instead of letting your mind wander, practice being more in the present moment.

Brushing your teeth

A great, simple activity to start with. Focus on what you feel, taste and see.

Taking a shower

How does the water sound and feel? Relax and observe all the sensations.

Eating breakfast

Engage all of your senses to focus on your meal. Slow down, relax, and savor every bite with a clear head.

Getting dressed

As you’re choosing and putting on clothes, bring your attention to the details like the colors and textures. See if you notice things you haven’t before.

Taking a walk

Breathe gently, feeling your lungs fill up with air and then release it. Notice how your legs feel as you lift them off the ground to move forward and place them down again.

During a meeting

Sitting on a call? Try mindful listening by not multitasking and reducing distractions. Listen with curiosity and carefully process what you’re hearing.

As you practice mindfulness:

  • Don’t worry if your mind wandersthat’s normal
  • Notice wandering thoughts non-judgmentally and bring your focus back to the present moment
  • Be gentle with yourselfit’s ok if it feels unnatural or difficult

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