This blog post is part of the Mindfulness in March series.
Do you want to be in the present moment more often so you can experience more calm? Here are 13 ways you can do so.
1. Focus on your breathing for 1 minute. Sit comfortably and simply notice your natural inhalations and exhalations. (Don’t consciously try to change the way you’re breathing). Is your breathing shallow or deep? How does it/do you feel? What sensations do you feel in your body? Whenever your mind wanders, bring your awareness back to your breath.
2. Concentrate on one task at a time. As much as possible, focus on doing one thing at a time.
3. Take a mindful walk. You can do this in your yard, if necessary, and here’s how to do it.
4. Drink mindfully. When you’re having your morning coffee or just drinking with your meal, do this: Slowly pick up your mug/cup/bottle and notice how it feels in your hands (Is it warm or cool? What’s the texture of the container?). Slowly bring it close to your mouth, taking a moment to smell it then take a sip and pay attention to what you taste, the temperature and the texture before swallowing.
5. Observe your surroundings. Pause for a minute or two and look around you. Take in everything you can see around you without judgment.
6. Take a moment to appreciate three things about yourself. It can be physical or non-physical.
7. Listen mindfully. The next time you’re having a conversation with someone, really listen to what the other person is saying without judging good or bad. Don’t come up with your response (like most of us do), simply listen.
8. Do a body scan. Sit comfortably with a straight spine and close your eyes. Start from the top of your head and observe how each area of your body feels.
9. Observe your thoughts for 1 minute. Sit quietly and “watch” your thoughts. Don’t get caught up in them, don’t judge them. Just allow them to come and go.
10. Slow down and pay attention. Instead of rushing from activity to activity, take your time and really focus on what’s happening in the moment.
11. Listen to music while doing nothing else.
12. Take a digital break. Whether it’s for a few hours, a day or a week, take some time away from scrolling on social media or even take a break from using your phone.
13. Practice yoga mindfully. As you move through your asanas (poses), breath fully and deeply, focusing on your breath and what you’re doing at that moment. Notice any physical or emotional sensations that come up and observe your thoughts without judgement. And when you notice your mind wandering, bring your focus back to the moment.