Mindfulness is a word that is thrown around all the time, but most people aren’t sure how to practice mindfulness. Does it mean getting up at 5 in the morning to meditate? Or, adding an extra hour to an already overloaded routine? The good news is that there is no one right way to do it, you can pick and choose from the options below to find mindfulness techniques and practices that work well for you.
Now, in case you’re wondering what the benefits of mindfulness are, the American Psychological Association (APA) has found that practicing mindfulness can result in reduced rumination, stress reduction, boosts to working memory, focus, less emotional reactivity, more cognitive flexibility, relationship satisfaction, among others. I think most of us would admit that seeing a difference in even one of those areas would have a profound impact on our lives!
Here are 5 ways to add mindfulness to your daily routine.
Use the daily mindfulness digital planner
If you’re thinking, look, I don’t have time to research the best mindfulness apps or look up gratitude journals, the flourish daily mindfulness digital planner has everything that you need in one place. The planner includes templates for affirmations, a gratitude log, a journal, and a gratitude log. You’ll also love the manifest board template where you can compile a digital manifest board. Plus, with the daily template you’ll have space to organize your day with your schedule, to-do’s, and even have space for gratitude, affirmations, and manifestations.
Try out a mindfulness meditation app
Using mindfulness meditation is a simple and affordable way to relieve stress. In general, the apps Headspace and Calm are great for getting started. They’re easy to use and you’ll find meditations for anywhere from under 5 minutes to around 20 minutes. I’ve been meditating now for a decade and still love using Headspace, especially when I’m facing a stressful work situation or just need to relax and unwind right before bed. And, if you want more recommendations for apps, you can check out 5 iPad Apps to Help You Relax and Sleep.
Create a regular gratitude practice
If you’ve ever read a book on happiness you’ve probably heard about the importance of expressing gratitude. When you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed with life, one of the best ways to overcome those feelings is to bring yourself back to something that you’re grateful for. You can even use the 5 minute morning journal or the daily mindfulness digital planner if you want a built-in system for this. Keep in mind that finding what you’re grateful for could be something as small as having access to thousands of books through your library app on your phone, or being grateful for having such a kind best friend.
Journal your daily life
I find that keeping a journal or diary of my regular activities is another helpful exercise to stay mindful and present. As humans, we’re often really focused on either the past or the future, stressing over what we could have done differently or desiring a future that feels out of reach. Remember that life will never be perfect and there will always be something that you’re striving for. Instead of letting this discourage you, use it to remember that today is precious and you only get to live each day once, so make it count! This doesn’t mean you need to always be hustling or trying to fit a million tasks into each 24 hour day, instead, enjoy and appreciate the small moments and do the best you can.
Add in a mindfulness exercise to your morning or evening routine
Another way to practice mindfulness is through physical exercise or movements like yoga, tai chi, or qigong. If you’re not sure where to start, just head over to YouTube and type in whatever exercise you’re looking for and you’ll have hundreds or possibly millions of choices. These practices will help you to get your body moving while also focusing on the breath and the present moment. And, even if you have health problems, you’ll find all of these to be easy on your joints and body. While I’ve done yoga for years, I just started qigong a few months ago, and can really see the difference in how I feel afterward. Personally, I love watching qigong with Kseny.
Now that you have a few new options, feel free to pick and choose which ones sound most appealing to you. What I love about mindfulness practices is that most of them are either free or extremely affordable and don’t require much time or effort. However, even a few minutes a day can really add up over time. Remember that while it’s great to be productive, we all need time to recharge and focus on our mental and emotional well-being.