Mindfulness, popularly defined as “paying attention on purpose,” can be practiced in solitude or during interactions with others. Mindfulness at home or with friends can infuse more calm, empathy, and tenderness into our most important relationships. And if you’re like everyone else, you could use a little less stress!
Here are eight mindfulness practices to consider:
- Take a short walk by yourself each day, paying attention to what you see, hear, touch, smell, and feel.
- Practice “mindful eating” by paying attention to the appearance, shape, and taste of each bite of food and enjoying a meal without multitasking activities such as work or television.
- Meditate on a person or situation that gives you deep joy. This is especially powerful during moments when you are with that person.
- Keep a gratitude journal and fill it each day with observations of all that is good in your life.
- Notice emotional triggers as they occur, pausing to breathe and reflect before you respond (or before you don’t respond). This will help you to not only feel less stress but be more empathetic and solution-oriented with your family and friends.
- Perform small acts of kindness without being asked, such as bringing your spouse or partner a cup of coffee or giving them a kind greeting card with a personalized note.
- Acknowledge rather than try to avoid or rationalize any disappointment, pain, or grief that you feel, fully exploring the emotion and how it shows up in your body.
- Once a day, do a “body scan” that involves lying down, closing your eyes, and methodically focusing your attention on each part of your body, from head to toe. Take note of any tension or pain that you feel along the way.
If you have your own personal mindfulness practices, I would love to learn about them! Please contact me here.