Recently, I posted 5 simple techniques to be more mindful. The idea is to practice directing your focus on the important things in life, becoming more efficient, compassionate, and happy. In addition to the first 5 tips, I’ve compiled another list of, what I consider, more external techniques. You still use these to focus your awareness, just in a slightly different. way, to gain perspective, understanding, and a stronger sense of connection with others and the world around you.
5 more ways to add mindfulness to your life:
6. Try new things
How? Think about the routines in your life. Reflect on whether it is still a worthwhile routine. Is it still useful? Bring you joy? Improve your life? Why or why not? If whatever you’re reflecting upon continues to add value to your life, think about the positive role that it plays in your life and be grateful. If not, consider a different path. Try something new- if you always get the same meal at a restaurant and it doesn’t bring you pleasure, pick something new. If you always take the same route somewhere, switch it up. You never know what you might find if you take a different path, unless you actually take it!
Why it works: Routine is simply the act of doing things over and over again, but sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do. Choosing to actively live your life allows you to gain new perspective, build new neural pathways (yay for brain growth!), and take charge of what you choose to spend your time doing.
How? Take a walk. Take each step with purpose. Feel your body’s movement, visualize your muscles doing their jobs, your heart pumping blood through your body, your blood feeding your cells with oxygen, and feel your lungs with each breath. Thank your body for the work that it does and all of the things that you can do because of it.
Why it works: Like step #5 from the Part 1 of this series, this is another way to connect with your body. In addition, you can practice gratitude at the same time! When focusing your mind on your body and your steps, there is no room for the worry or the negativity that might be stressing you out. Also, when you practice appreciation for your body and it’s functions, it may be easier to look past the “flaws” and learn to love your body as it is.
8. Be mindful of your words
How? Think before you speak. Ask yourself: Is it kind, is it necessary, is it helpful, is it true? Recognize your speech as something you have control over. Are you gossiping? Are you yelling? Are you being authentic or sarcastic? Think about how someone else may receive the message that you’re sending. Listen without thinking about what you’re going to say next.
Why it works: Too often, we speak without speaking. Our words have lasting consequences, for the better or for the worse. It’s an interesting thought, but we don’t always have to have an opinion about every topic. Being respectful and thoughtful with your words can help you be more empathetic and react better to situations in everyday situation. If you can learn to control your reactions and impulses toward speaking negatively or out of habit, the words that you do speak tend to carry more weight.
9. Act with care
How? Take a few seconds to pause between your actions throughout the day. Slow down between activities or events to reflect on what you’ve just done and acknowledge your next steps.
Why it works: You have a choice to be reactionary and frantic, or calm and peaceful. Acting with purpose and reflecting on those actions regularly can improve your day to day efficiency and productivity. If you find that something was not actually worth your time or effort, you may be far less likely to engage in the same unproductive activity in the future.
How? Donate your time to serving those less fortunate than you. Find a local group, organization or company that is engaged in serving a population that resonates with you.
Why it works: Volunteering truly can change your perspective on your own situation and increase your sense of empathy for what other people may be going through. Through giving, we receive so much more than we could ever imagine, and often much more than we can even give.