How To Be Mindful in Everyday Life
What Does Being Mindful Mean?
Being mindful is more than just buzzwords; it’s a transformative state of being that can elevate your life and infuse peace. It enables you to rise above the noise and chaos of everyday life, allowing you to discover joy in the smallest of moments. This simple practice can lead to profound changes in your well-being and mindset.
Now I know you are probably thinking, "I don't have time to sit and do nothing."
And I feel you! Neither do I, not really. But we can't afford NOT to.
If you want inner peace, calm and a clear mind, it takes remembering to practice it on a daily basis – but just a little does go a long way. And it gets easier with time because our mind remembers the habit to pause, the more we do it.
Let me put it to you this way, mindfulness is our ability to not think about the past or the future but to instead observe what is happening in the moment. It is about paying attention to your thoughts through the lens of an observer, and connecting to your breathe.
Sound simple, right? Well, It can be!
Leaning how to be mindful provides us so much more than just peace and clarity. Mindfulness acts as a tool to help us achieve goals such as: weight-loss, beginning a new healthy habit or creating a more loving connection with ourselves and others.
In the realm of mindfulness, we find a heightened state of being that enables us to transcend our circumstances and discover an inner sense of serenity. This inner serenity, when cultivated, becomes a magnet for well-being, prosperity, and a myriad of positive experiences.
The Essence of Mindfulness
Professor of Medicine, author and meditation teacher, Jon Kabat-Zinn explains that, “Mindfulness is an elevated state of being that empowers you to transcend your circumstances and embrace a sense of joy. As you embrace joy, you draw in health, finances, abundance, and a myriad of other wonderful things into your life.”
Mindfulness therefore is the key to a balanced and joyous life. It empowers us to rise above the chaos of our daily existence and discover serenity within ourselves, attracting positivity and abundance.
Mindfulness isn’t about changing the world around you; it’s simply about changing your perspective.
Mindfulness in Everyday Life
Being mindful should not be reserved for grand occasions; it’s found in the everyday moments. All too often, we overthink the simplest things. But to truly experience joy in the smaller things, we must be present and check in with ourselves often.
Take, for instance, the routine act of making dinner. Most of us rush through this task, hardly aware of what we’re doing. It’s as if we’re on autopilot, thinking about the next task on our to-do list or hoping to put our feet up after a long day. And I get it!
But what if we approached dinner differently?
I will admit that making dinner as a mother to twins for the last 21 years has, well, often felt like a daunting task more times than I care to count. Trying to be creative in the kitchen, to make the meals enticing while quick to prepare has not been an easy task. Come on, I am sure you can relate.
Even though I've been told have a knack for whipping up a healthy and tasty meal together in record time (I rarely get complaints - dare I hear any), the monotony of it all can get the best of me sometimes.
And not too long ago, I heard these inspiring words that I hope will resonate with you, just as they did with me: What if life is all about the small moments, like making a bed, chopping vegetables and helping your children with their homework? Instead of rushing through them in pursuit of grander adventures, embrace those ‘boring’ and repetitive tasks, and take them on with joy, over and over again.
Maybe the seemingly insignificant moments we rush through are in fact the very moments that life IS all about. Not just the big events, the vacations, or the fun nights out. But the everyday efforts we often mindlessly take for granted.
So, the next time you are at the counter making dinner, remember this, be mindful, and infuse joy into the experience (as much as you are able). Play your favorite music, savor the aroma of fresh ingredients, relish the act of chopping veggies, or share a dance with your loved ones on the kitchen floor (I did this when my kids were small).
The circumstances remain the same, but the experience is entirely different.
Put your mind and joy into everyday tasks instead of begrudging them as mere chores, and remember that joy thrives in the routine of life.
"The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it." - Thich Nhat Hanh
Shifting Your Perception
Ultimately, it all comes down to how we choose to perceive our aligned actions. Learning to be more mindful isn’t dependent on external factors; it’s an internal shift in energy. When we cultivate mindfulness in our lives, it has a profound impact on our well-being. Studies reveal that it stimulates neuronal growth, hormonal balance, and emotional changes that support a healthier and happier life.
Ellen J. Langer, a social psychologist, and her team of researchers at Harvard introduced a unique concept of mindfulness, adapted to contemporary life. She says that being mindful can be achieved without mindfulness meditation or yoga. She defines it as “the very simple process of actively noticing new things.”
At first, when we learn something new for the first time, we remain present and focused to ensure we are following through the best we can. In other words, we are being more mindful than normal. However, over time, our skills become more refined, and we begin to maneuver through our new skill with ease, becoming less observant and less mindful. More mindless over time.
So, even though we may know how to make the same chicken dinner we’ve made a hundred times before, we can still take notice of novel or new things around us - shifting our perspective to mindfully see familiar components all around us.
I take the same walk in my neighbourhood all the time and I can tell you that I observe more keenly because it is familiar. I make it a habit of paying closer attention to my surroundings and pleased when I notice something new.
Your Personal Journey to Mindfulness
Embarking on a journey of mindfulness is a deeply personal experience. It begins with understanding what mindfulness means to you and identifying the moments when you’ve felt it, mind and body.
Consider the activities and hobbies that bring you the most mindfulness and the people who make you feel mindful and at peace.
If you’re feeling that your life lacks mindfulness at the moment, it’s time to explore why and what changes might be needed to step into a more mindful life. Start small by taking imperfect actions that nudge you toward a more mindful existence.
Studying mindfulness has deepened my awareness of the beauty in stillness and quiet. Even in the midst of a chaotic day, taking a few minutes to mindfully savor my morning cup of coffee or embrace a deep breath can have a profound impact on my busy workday, allowing me to find calm, contentment, and ultimately, a sense of peace and gratitude.
The Challenge: Embrace Imperfection
This week, challenge yourself to take small, imperfect steps toward mindfulness. Embrace life’s imperfections, savor the present moment, and let mindfulness guide you. Start each day with gratitude, infuse your conversations with mindfulness, and find mindfulness in the tiniest details.
For instance, check in with your body when you wake up in the morning, and mindfully start your day by expressing gratitude for the simple gift of a new day, instead of immediately reaching for your phone. During your daily conversations, focus on mindfully practicing active listening and truly immersing yourself in the words of others, mindfully avoiding the urge to plan your response.
If you have children, listen intently to what they are saying and make the very most of your engagement, knowing that that very moment is s gift that will soon be a distant memory.
Here is another one: When you perform routine tasks like washing dishes, mindfully experience the warmth of the water and the sensation of each movement, mindfully allowing yourself to be fully present in the moment.
These small, intentional acts can gradually weave mindfulness into the fabric of your daily life, making each day a more fulfilling and harmonious experience. I mean, they are going to happen anyway so might as well make them count,
Elevate Your Journey
If a mindfulness practice resonates with you after reading this post, and you’re ready to learn how to be more mindful and take your journey to the next level, consider a life coach for women and exploring my mindset coaching practice with Vanessa Marie by your side.
I offer inner accountability support, balance, and a more mindful approach to your lifestyle. My framework provides profound insights to reshape your awareness and transform your life into the mindful one you dream of having.
Remember, mindfulness is available to us all in every moment. Unleash your natural curiosity, be aware of where you are and what you are engaged in without being overly reactive or overwhelmed by your surroundings.
Be kind to your wandering mind, and most of all, pay attention to the present moment. With practice, this is how you too can becoming more mindful.