Well we're nearly halfway thru May and I am feeling energised and fantastic, having now done a couple of weeks of Mindful in May.
Every day I’ve done the suggested meditations in the program, listened to the interviews with experts about mindfulness - and followed the exercises and prompts in my beautiful new Mindful Journal.
It’s working – and it’s such a good feeling!
So let me share with you what's working for me - my 7 Simple Mindfulness Practices For Daily Life - and see what feels right for you to try.
You can also listen to me talking these thru in this weeks episode of my Dream Life Podcast here.
I’m hoping by sharing this, you'll find something new that you can start practising to improve your own wellbeing.
And let me start with what I've learnt is one of the biggest misconceptions that exists about meditation - 'you only need to practise mindfulness when you formally stop and meditate'. So not true!
In fact, your whole day can incorporate mindful experiences as you simply bring an intention to stay present to what you are doing from moment to moment - and these tips will help with that...
1. On waking, start every day with 5 slow deep breaths…
Do this before reaching for your phone or doing anything else. Just 5 simple deep breaths.
It’s such a simple thing to do. Anyone can do it. And it really is a wonderful way to start the day.
After I do this, I think about things I’m grateful for. Simple things. A good night sleep. Being in a warm safe house. The joy of the day ahead. The walk I’m about to go on. Being alive. There is no end of things to be authentically grateful for – and it’s a beautiful habit to get into.
If you want to keep it simple, just start with the 5 deep breathes - and then add the gratefulness once you've got into the habit of that.
2. Meditate daily for 10 mins. (Go on, it’s time we all did this…)
I think it’s essential to meditate daily in todays connected world. To disconnect and go inwards for even a few minutes a day.
Before we were all so addicted to our phones, we had many moments where we did nothing, had to wait and even got bored. That’s no longer the case. We are constantly on the phones - so meditation is more important than ever in my view.
If 10 min is too long for you and if you are new to meditation – just start with 2 minutes. It’s more important that you get into the habit of doing it daily than doing one long meditation every now and then.
3. Walk in nature…
If you're a frequent listener to my podcast, this will not come as a surprise.
I just love walking. Walking in and connecting with nature where possible - and without fail, it makes me feel better.
I start every day with a walk, because I just love it. It clears my head. It makes me more inspired, grateful and mindful.
Walking is more for my head than moving my body and is an essential part of my day.
Go on, even if you just walk around the block. Do it daily and feel the difference.
4. Try single tasking vs multi-tasking (Yes, I know, that sounds counter-intuitive…)
I know most of us strive to get so much done, and even take pride in our ability to multi-task. But it’s something I’ve had a real re-think about lately.
While we think we’re being more productive, research says that multi-tasking can actually hamper our productivity (by reducing our comprehension, attention and overall performance).
So, if you’re a long-time multi-tasker, try the Pomodoro Technique – something I’ve been doing for some time.
Choose one thing and one thing only to focus on for 25 minutes (you can choose the time that best suits you and the task).
Put on a timer for 25 mins... and work on just that one thing. That’s it.
Sounds so simple, but you’ll see - it’s a game changer!
5. Put your phone away for a break…
It’s a fact – most of us are addicted to our phones.
Research has shown that people check their phones on average around 96 times a day — which is about once every 10 minutes we're awake!
We see it in others... (yes it’s frustrating when catching-up with people who are constantly checking their phone!) ...but take time to reflect on the impact your own phone usage may be having on your own life.
I’m not saying to never check your phone. Just try putting it away from time-to-time and see how good that makes you feel.
Start with doing it for 15 minutes at the end of your day - or for the first 15 minutes after you wake. Notice how you feel.
Be intentional. Choose when you want to check your phone versus doing it so regularly out of habit.
Doing this will have a big positive impact - helping you be more present and mindful - and giving you energy.
6. Choose one task a day to do ‘mindfully’…
This can be making your bed, drinking your first coffee or tea of the day, showering, putting on make-up, getting dressed, driving …or any regular task you do daily.
Put all of your attention into doing it. Stay present with the activity. Look at it as if it’s the first time you’ve ever done that task and you're fascinated by it. Notice the details. What you see. How it feels. How it sounds.
Do it slowly and mindfully – and notice how it feels.
It sounds so simple, but I've found this to be quite meditative, calming, interesting and fun! And it can feel so good!
OK, this is probably no surprise – I’m a life-long fan of journaling – but the fact is that it has made an enormous positive difference in my life and is a practice that brings calm, presences and mindfulness.
Many times when interviewed over the years, I've been asked the question “How did you work so much and achieve so much but avoid burn out?”
My answer is always the same. It was daily journaling that kept me sane, clear and feeling good!
So where can you start?
The perfect place is with a mindfulness journal, and I am particularly excited about the one we’ve created in collaboration with Dr Elise Bialylew, an expert in mindfulness and the wonderful founder of Mindful in May.
It’s more like a guided one-month mindfulness course in a journal – and a brilliant and simple place for you to start - which will guide you to journal daily and help you welcome more calm and mindfulness into your life.
Find out more about it and how to use it here…
So there you go. That's my 7 Simple Mindfulness Practices For Daily Life.
Now that you've been inspired, take a little time to decide when to give some or all of them a try,.
The important thing is to move from inspiration to action - and see what feels right for you.
To help you create new habits, you can use a habit tracker like this one - and if you’re really determined to make new habits stick and want genuine support from like-minded people then join my Habit Club here for A$66/yr. It’s helped so many people achieve more than they thought they could.
Please, let us know in the comments below how you feel about the above, what you'll try ...and then come back to let us know how it goes, so we can all learn from and be inspired by each other.
Dream Life Founder