To be mindful in your daily life is to embrace all of life’s moments with awareness. From brushing your teeth to your commute to work– you experience it with total involvement. By choosing to be mindful in your daily life, you bring joy and sweetness into each moment that passes. Here are a few ways to bring that mindful essence into your everyday activities.
Mindfulness embraces life with awareness. It shows us what is taking place within ourselves and in the world around us.
We touch life deeply when we live mindfully. We nourish everything with our awareness and that awareness naturally flowers into understanding. Mindfulness is always present.
We can embrace life with awareness at any moment. In fact, we can do it right now.
We can notice the sensation of the inhale through the nose as it fills the chest and belly, and notice the sensation of the exhale tickling the tip of the nose as it exits the body.
We just did it. We brought mindfulness to the breath.
Mindfulness is right here, all the time. We can hold it before us in every activity whether that be breathing, walking, or reading like right now.
Nourishing each experience with awareness is the essence of mindfulness, and we can carry that essence with us in each action we perform.
What we perceive as mundane reveals itself as a miracle when we hold it with mindfulness.
The following explains seven ways we can practice mindfulness in our everyday activities, helping us deepen our involvement with life, moment-by-moment.
7 Simple ways to be mindful in your daily life:
1. Breathing Mindfully
We just practiced breathing mindfully when we noticed the inhale and the exhale– simply. That is mindfulness of the breath.
We practiced while reading this blog post, and we can practice while doing pretty much anything.
Because we are living, we are breathing. As long as we are alive, we can always practice mindfulness of the breath.
We can notice whether our breathing is shallow or deep, and we can notice the subtle rise and fall of the body with each in and out breath– regardless of what activity we are performing.
Breathing mindfully is something that we can practice moment-by-moment. Just by bringing our awareness to the constant movement of the breath through the body, we ground ourselves more deeply into experiencing this moment.
2. Waking Up Mindfully
Every morning we wake up, we know that we have another day of life ahead of us.
In Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, Peace is Every Step, he shares that each day gives us a brand new twenty-four hours– and that is a precious gift.
Because we have a brand new twenty-four hours ahead of us, we can choose to utilize this time to bring well-being to ourselves, those around us, and to the world. We can choose to live consciously.
It is truly a blessing, waking up with this body and mind– and being able to utilize these tools to touch the world with joy. Embracing the gift of life gives us something to smile about the moment we wake up to experience it.
3. Walking Mindfully
If we are able to walk, we are quite blessed. We are able-bodied enough to take ourselves around, wherever we desire to go, with no assistance.
The very fact that we can walk is a blessing within itself. Each step is a miracle to be celebrated.
Holding mindfulness while walking means taking each step in awareness, embracing the blessing of being able to perform this movement.
When we walk, we walk just to walk. Even if we are going from one place to another, the purpose of walking is just to walk.
We walk slowly, embracing each step with mindfulness. We immerse ourselves into the experience of walking.
We embrace the earth as it grounds our feet, taking each step with joy. Walking with awareness and joy– that is the essence of walking mindfully.
4. Eating Mindfully
Eating mindfully helps us to experience and appreciate our food deeply. When we hold mindfulness while eating, we see the whole universe within a single grain of rice.
We can see the elements that worked together to create the food we are eating.
The sun which gave the plant nourishment, the water which hydrated the plant, the earth which rooted it, and the air we share with the plants all of these elements played a part in the food we see on our plates.
We hold gratitude for all the elements of nature for creating this possibility.
We can see the farmers who cultivated and harvested the foods we are eating. From our grains, to our vegetables, to our fruits, a farmer took care of all of those plants, and played the biggest hand in helping us get food onto our plates.
We hold gratitude for those farmers, and we see their effort when holding mindfulness while eating.
There may have been others involved in getting your food to you. It may have been the people who transported the foods in trucks to your local market, or those who stocked the shelves, or the clerk who sold it to you. Maybe someone else bought the groceries and cooked the food for you.
When we hold mindfulness while eating, the food’s story is revealed to us. We can see how many hands came together to put the plate of food before us, and appreciate each one of them with gratitude.
And when we bite into the food, we experience it fully or should I say, mind-fully. We embrace the smells, the tastes, the textures, and the experience when we practice eating mindfully enjoying our food deeply.
5. Washing Dishes Mindfully
Performing the boring task of cleaning dishes becomes quite enjoyable when we experience it with mindfulness.
When we set up to wash the dishes, we can feel the hot water running down our hands, and embrace each dish as we clean it to allow it to serve us once again.
Each moment of life is a miracle to be celebrated even washing the dishes.
I know getting a seasonal scented dish soap always makes me even happier when washing the dishes, and with each dish I scrub I spread that festive aroma around a little bit more.
When we hold mindfulness of the little things in life, we make our lives a little more joyful.
We can bring joy into washing dishes, into cooking, into cleaning into anything that we do when we nourish it with awareness.
6. Driving Mindfully
When I was younger, I used to play so many racing games. I know a lot of us did.
There was something so fun about the idea of driving a car around. Playing those games would be so exciting.
I especially loved the racing games at arcades when you could hold the steering wheel and press down on the pedals. It really felt like you were driving, and it would be so enjoyable.
We can bring that same joy and excitement into driving even now— by holding mindfulness of the experience, and appreciating each moment of it.
When we drive, we just drive. We have a moment to just be— immersed in the experience.
Yes, we drive to get from one place to another. But while we are driving, we just drive.
In holding mindfulness while driving, we recognize that when we operate our cars— we become one with them. If the car goes forty miles per hour, we go forty miles per hour.
When we drive, our vehicle becomes an extension of ourselves. So when we drive mindfully, we become the vehicle and simply drive.
A car is a tool to be utilized for a purpose. When we drive mindfully, we are clear about that purpose. We know our destination, and our reason to go there.
We are constantly emitting pollution into the atmosphere when we drive our cars. Mindful of this fact, we can choose to be purposeful about using our vehicles for travel which is necessary– rather than misusing them aimlessly.
Just as one who wields a sword utilizes their weapon when needed— we, too, can use the tools of our cars with purpose, intention, & mindfulness.
7. Sitting Mindfully (Mindfulness Meditation)
Sitting mindfully is just sitting in awareness of the present moment. We sit in awareness of the activity of the body, the mind, the emotions, & the world around us.
This is mindfulness meditation. It is simply sitting, and seeing. When we take the time to practice sitting in mindfulness meditation, we learn how to rest our minds in awareness.
It can be difficult to apply mindfulness into our daily activities if we don’t practice cultivating awareness in stillness.
Just as sports teams practice to apply their skills during a match, we practice sitting in meditation to embrace each precious moment with mindfulness.